Briefing Room


After 53 years, Prof. Herman teaches last class

December 4, 2014 | Faculty

After 53 years of teaching, Professor Larry Herman finished his final class today. Happy retirement, Larry, we wish you all the best.

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Larry Herman's Last Class


Over the past several weeks, alumni from around the country – and current students – have share what Professor Herman has taught them. Watch the video.


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To submit your story via video or text, email it to Barbara Peck at, or use #congratslarry on social media.

“I was not Larry Herman’s student, but his teaching still changed my life.  During my husband’s time in law school, I attended the wives’ club – there were very few women in law school at that time (class of 1968).  Most of the meetings dealt with things like flower arranging, but at one meeting Professor Herman held a mock class to  show us what our husbands were doing.   He handed out cases, gave an introduction, and then asked us questions.  The friend who was with me was not at all interested, but my hand was in the air all the time!  I was fascinated by the class and also by Professor Herman’s charisma.   After a number of years practicing law in Columbus, my husband accepted a teaching job at the University of South Carolina School of Law.    I eventually enrolled in law school here and graduated in 1985 — 20 years after finishing undergraduate school.  I practiced law for eight years and now work at the law school.   I don’t think I would have considered law as a profession but for Professor Herman’s mock class.” – Phyllis B. Buckhard, Columbia, South Carolina

“Larry Herman began his career at The OSU College of Law in 1961 with my entering class and became my Mentor. For 50 years now, I have practiced the ethics and the approach of “we are problem solvers, not problem makers” as a result of Larry’s  impact upon my life and legal practice. My best to Larry in his retirement.” – Robert Friedman, Canton, Ohio

“Congratulations on a great career. It has been a while since our last class, but you are one of the profs I have always remembered fondly  and always will..  I interacted with you through the crim law courses and moot court—the 1L mandatory requirement, and later on a Regional Team. So, why do I still recall your mentoring and teaching so fondly? You we enthusiastic in class. You engaged us, even during  our naïve moments. Your classes were always ones that looked forward to. I learned a lot from you. Not so much nuts and bolts,( although you certainly taught them ) but more important ideas. In particular, your moot court program has stayed with me even until today. The idea of writing clear persuasive briefs, being respectful to the tribunal, arguing two sides of the same point, and directly answering questions, were just a few of the foundations you laid in many young and budding lawyers. Best wishes and good luck to you in the future, and thanks for being one of my great professors at OSU. You can be very proud of your career.” – Louis Tosi, Toledo, Ohio

“Professor Herman’s criminal law class was my first class of law school. On the first day, he asked the class to write down on a note card whether we would represent a defendant we knew committed murder. I wrote “no,” but by the end of the semester, my answer had changed. Professor Herman taught me the importance of justice and that every person deserves due process, even criminals.” – David Sutton

“I was a first-year law student at Ohio State in 1980.  I advanced to the competition rounds of the 1L Moot Court tournament, and Larry Herman was on the bench.  I remember saying, “May it please the court,” and then he interrupted me with a question.  I never got to my prepared argument, because he just kept hitting me with questions!  It was good preparation for the final round, though, because I was ultimately named “Best Oralist” that year. The ability to think quickly on my feet, to articulate the law, and to answer probing questions, has stood me in good stead over the years.  I have now been a law professor (Regent University) for 27 years.  I often think about Larry, and I am thankful for the mentoring I received from him (and others, like Morgan Shipman and Claude Sowle).  I just recently completed a fifteen-year stint as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and now serve as the university’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.  I will continue to teach Torts, however, as I have done for 27 years. Best wishes, Larry, upon your retirement.  You have made a big difference in my life, and in the lives of so many others.” – Douglas H. Cook

“Larry was the primary reason I decided to serve in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps for a tour of duty of four years, which turned out to be a good learning experience for me. Also, very much enjoyed my criminal law courses that I took from Larry in law school. He was my faculty advisor and very helpful to me while I was in law school. Best wishes Larry in your long delayed retirement. Wish you the best of health and many good years in your retirement.” – Rich Stein

“Today, as Larry Herman teaches his last law school class, I reflect on the end of a remarkable career. Larry Herman taught me enough criminal law to pass the bar exam in 1980, and taught me that Windsor, Canada, is SOUTH of Detroit, and south of the US Border with Canada. I bet that nugget worked every one of those 53 years, and there are thousands of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law graduates who are better lawyers, better learners, and better people, because Larry Herman taught them criminal law and criminal procedure. #congratslarry Best wishes on a well deserved retirement!” – Carl Smallwood, Columbus, Ohio

“Professor Herman taught me Criminal Law. I am a 1965 graduate of the College of Law. Professor Herman could capture a class like no other.” –Herschel M. Sigall

“Professor Herman is the BEST EVER. In addition to being a wonderful teacher he was a SUPERB Moot Court coach!” –William M. Todd

“I took both criminal law and procedure from him. I took criminal procedure from him not because I ever planned to practice criminal law but because he was teaching it. He and Morgan Shipman were the two best professors I had in law school.” –Harry Carter

“I still laugh when I think of Professor Herman’s story about being accidentally caught by the cameras filming Weekend at Bernie’s 2 and appearing in the edge of one of the frames as a fleeting pastel splash of color.  That unique splash of color, of humanity, that he brought to each and every one of his classes is what I’ll always remember.” –Matt Chisman

“Professor Herman was my Trial Practice  teacher and Moot Court Advisor. Were very successful in Moot Court( I won the TER National Championship) As our judge in trial practice he sustained an objection to a question of mine that kept all of my damages testimony out.  I’ve never asked that question wrong again in 49 years of practice! Congratulations!” –Fred Luper

“Professor Herman was an outstanding professor! I took criminal law from him (class of 2000) and then went on to be a criminal defense attorney for the Navy JAG Corp in Washington, DC- I was always grateful for the outstanding criminal law preparation he gave me for the real world.” #congratslarry –Jennifer Dawn Freimuth Towell

“Prof. Herman reached out to me almost immediately after I joined the faculty in 1991 to make sure that I felt welcome and that I knew that he’d be happy to be a sounding board.  He was always wise, always a moderating influence, and always helpful.  I’m so grateful to him!” – Nancy Rapoport

“One of the best.  He wrote the most amazing letter of recommendation for my judicial clerkship.  A giant in the legal profession.” – Mimi Dane

“Both my dad and I had Professor Herman while we were in law school!  Best wishes on his retirement.” –Beth Van Fossen Lias

“Professor Herman taught me that principles of criminal law could be found in every aspect of life, including the final episode of “M*A*S*H,” in which he used a scene to illustrate the “necessity” defense.” –Ronald Bates

“He taught me so much, but more than anything, he taught me that law school was to be loved, not feared. Today, I still spend my days at one, and I very much owe it to him.  #congratslarry  Thank you for your immensely big heart and your wonderfully generous spirit. Thank you for modeling for me what a teacher should be.” –RonNell Andersen Jones

“Professor Herman taught me that it was ok to try to balance the personal and the professional.  He taught my 1L Criminal Law class and was an amazing teacher, but he was also extremely kind.  My husband and I had the crazy idea that it made sense to get married during my 1st year at Moritz and Professor Herman could not have been more supportive and encouraging as I began my great balancing act.  I will always be grateful for that support.  Congratulations Professor!” – Beryl Piccolantonio

“Prof Herman taught criminal law and I looked forward to every class – best of luck and much happiness in your retirement.” – Dawn Zarabet Watson

“He is one of my all-time favorite people.  Professor Herman taught me many things.  One of the most important things he taught me relevant to my appellate practice is to “write for the ear.”  After you write a brief, read it out loud.  If it sounds awkward or disjointed to you, guess what?  It will sound awkward or disjointed to your audience – the very judges that you are trying to persuade!  One of the things he taught me about life is that if you have passion for what you are doing, you will succeed.  I have always loved Professor Herman’s passion for teaching and zest for life.  To be honest, I am not sure I would have made it through law school without moot court.  It was my shining star, in large part because of Professor Herman. I cannot imagine how many lives he has influenced in a positive way.   Certainly, mine is one.”  – Anne Marie Sferra

“To add to the list regarding Larry’s influence.   I thoroughly enjoyed his criminal law class – and importantly, I realized that although a fascinating area, it was probably not for me.  (Learning where one does not fit is probably equally, or more important, than figuring out where you do fit.) More important, I attribute my wife becoming a lawyer to Larry’s influence.” – Jim Burkhard

“I retired from a career as a public defender last year after practicing law for 41 years.  I became a public defender primarily because Larry Herman instilled in me such a love and passion for criminal law and procedure that made me realize that  being a criminal lawyer was the career I wanted to pursue.  I spent most of my career doing criminal appeals and post-conviction  cases, essentially with two goals in mind:  seeking relief for my clients by insuring they  received due process and a fair trial and, by doing so, insuring that our criminal justice system operates the way it should.  I learned those principles from Professor Herman. I also owe a debt of gratitude to Professor Herman for his assistance in a criminal case I successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1988.  Larry agreed to participate in one of the moot courts we held and was of great assistance in helping me prepare for the oral argument.  I will never forget him telling me that you cannot assume the Court remembers what it said in previous cases —  you have to tell them. In 19 years of years of formal education I had two professors/teachers that stood head and shoulders above the rest.  Larry Herman was one of them. For me, what set him apart was his superb knowledge of and passion for criminal law and procedure and his tremendous ability to communicate it in a way that inspired me to not only learn its fundamental principles but also to practice them as a lawyer.  I am very fortunate that Larry Herman had such a great influence on my career.” – Greg Ayers

“Larry Herman taught me to be passionate and work hard for what you believe in! Now I have been an assistant prosecuting attorney for more than 20 years! Thank you, Professor Herman!” Christine Steigerwald Julian

“I took Larry for criminal law and he was my advisor on the National Moot Court Team and as Chief Justice.  He taught me so much that it is too much to share.  However, the one thing I remember when I’m doing public speaking is his strategy of 1) tell them what you’re going to say, 2) tell them what you want to say, and then 3) tell them what you said.  That way they’ll get it. Not only was Larry one of the key professors who influenced me academically but he became a friend and mentor to me during my days in law school and I really appreciate his continued personal interest in my success and development as a person and professional. Thank you Larry for making such a positive impact in my life!” – Kara Trott

 Make A Donation

Join us in celebrating Professor Larry Herman’s retirement from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law by making a gift of $53 in honor of Larry’s 53 years of teaching at Ohio State!