Carl Smallwood

Carl Smallwood (; 614.688.3075) is a retired partner at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP in Columbus, following a successful career resolving disputes by litigation and negotiation.  He focused his community service on diversity/inclusion, particularly on broadening law-related secondary school academic enrichment and post-collegiate educational opportunities for underrepresented and underserved communities. A past president of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, he was the first African American president of the Columbus Bar Association, where he also led the Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative, a five-year commitment by 22 local law firms to make a concerted effort to recruit, hire, retain, and promote minority lawyers. Now approaching its 20th anniversary, the Columbus legal community has witnessed significant increases in attorneys of color at many levels compared to 2000 (the first year statistics were collected), although the work on diversity and inclusion continues.

Carl, a 1980 Ohio State University Moritz College of Law graduate, has taught Trial Practice at Moritz as an adjunct professor, led the Moritz alumni association, was founding president of the Law and Leadership Institute, LLC (a non-profit Moritz Law helped to create to provide a statewide diversity pipeline program in Ohio for promising high school students from underserved communities), and has rendered remarkable contributions to the University, culminating in its awarding him The Ohio State’s University’s Distinguished Service Award.

Carl has attended each of the Divided Community Project’s conferences at Moritz. He spearheaded the development of – and now chairs – the Greater Columbus Community Trust Initiative, the model ‘community leadership team’ format used in DCP’s National Academy initiatives.