Speaker Series

speakerseriesThe Program on Law and Leadership’s Speaker Series brings distinguished thought leaders to campus to lecture on the theme of leadership while interacting candidly with students. These leaders, who come from a host of backgrounds and experiences, share their knowledge and insights with students through thoughtful discussions about how leadership can be learned and applied at every point in their academic and professional careers. As another component of the series, select students also have the opportunity to meet and network with speakers through small-group lunches.


Speaker Series: J.D. Vance

March 22, 2018 | J.D. Vance, the author of the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Book (soon to be a movie), Hillbilly Elegy, first used his law degree to practice in a corporate law firm and later founded a non-profit organization to work on some of the problems his book describes and he faced during his childhood in Ohio.  The non-profit, Our Ohio Renewal, addresses the state’s opioid crisis and works to bring high-quality employment and educational opportunities to Ohioans. 

Speaker Series: A Conversation with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan

September 29-30, 2015 | The Program on Law and Leadership hosted Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan as the inaugural event of the College’s 125th anniversary celebration. As part of this two-day event, the Justice was interviewed by Dean Alan C. Michaels.

Speaker Series Keynote: Chief Judge Jamie Baker

November 14, 2014 | James E. Baker, in his final year as Chief Judge of the nation’s highest military court, visited The Ohio State University to reflect on the importance of ethical courage and leadership for all professionals. Students heard Judge Baker discuss some of the special challenges associated with working at the intersection of law, policy, and senior leaders in the national security realm.  Previously, Chief Judge Baker served as legal advisor to the National Security Council at the White House, chief of staff to U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and a Marine Corps infantry officer. He is the author of In the Common Defense: National Security for Perilous Times (2008).  He has been an Adjunct Professor at Yale, Georgetown, Iowa, and Pittsburgh law schools.

Speaker Series: The Speaker of The Ohio House of Representatives, William Batchelder ’67

April 15, 2014 | The Program on Law and Leadership welcomed Speaker Batchelder for our annual Speaker Series address. Speaker Batchelder is a 1967 graduate of The Ohio State College of Law, and the second longest serving member of the Ohio House. 



PLL Community Unrest and Community Leadership Panel

September 22, 2016 | In an era of increasing discord in communities in all parts of the country, the panel discussed: What should local leaders do in the midst of community unrest? What plans should they make during more tranquil times? What special contributions can lawyer-leaders make in both situations? In addition, they examined the unique challenges faced by communities given the current controversies, and shared best practices of what local and lawyer-leaders are doing to meet them. Special focus was placed be on how to forge collaboration amongst a multitude of stakeholders.

The discussion, moderated by Nancy H. Rogers, Director, Program on Law and Leadership, Professor Emeritus, featured Grande Lum, Former Director, U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service; Director, Divided Community Project, OSU Moritz College of Law, led the federal mediation that intervened in Ferguson, MO, Baltimore, Sanford, Florida, and elsewhere; Barbara Langhenry, director of the Cleveland Law Department, which had a critical role in planning for the anticipated demonstrations during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this past summer; and Carl Smallwood, Partner, Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease LLP; past president, National Conference of Bar Presidents, chairs a local Columbus effort to take advantage of tranquil times to plan ahead, and to enhance trust among communities within the larger community.

PLL Panel Event: “Lawyers, Leadership & Community Change. Who, What, How.”

January 22, 2015 | Students had the opportunity to hear three lawyer-leaders talk about how they’ve used their positions of leadership to make positive changes in their communities. Janet Jackson, president and CEO of Central Ohio United Way, Judge Bill Dues, Preble County juvenile judge and founder/president of the Preble County Youth Foundation, and Jeffry Harris, economic director of The City of Worthington, joined Dean Garry Jenkins for a discussion of leadership in the community.

Judges as Leaders: Stories from Behind the Bench, a Panel Event

April 2, 2014 | The Program on Law and Leadership hosted an event featuring three distinguished federal judges. The panel event, entitled, “Judges as Leaders: Tales from Behind the Bench” was comprised of Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, of the Ninth Circuit Court, Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., and Judge Jeffrey Sutton, both of the Sixth Circuit. Professor Nancy Rogers moderated this prestigious panel. The judges discussed their collective leadership lessons, as well shared stories from their distinguished careers.