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Keynote Unity Summit Speaker

Putting Our Mission Into Action

At the Ohio State Bar Foundation, we fight to eliminate the social injustices happening in our legal system each day. We work to improve the justice system through our talented Fellows and the contributions of our members. Through our outreach programs, we educate the public about the rule of law because we believe that our legal system works better when it is understood well by everyone.

Each year, OSBF Fellows design their own class experience, creating a Fellows Week of Service centered around a legal topic they choose. Since 1998, OSBF Fellows have developed 25 community service initiatives focused on issues such as human trafficking, immigrant/refugee citizen education, prisoner reentry into communities, access to justice for developmentally disabled youth, foster youth care, journalism and reporting on the legal system, and more. These programs continue to be taught in classrooms.

We have a variety of programs designed to help you take the law to young adults in a fun, interactive, easy-to-teach programs like Constitution Classroom, B4USend and FWD@18 – each one can be co-taught with our Fellows Outreach Coordinator, another Fellow or you can present them on your own.

If you are an educator and would like a Fellow to come teach at your school, contact Bev Graves, Fellows Outreach Coordinator at for more information.

A New Podcast of the OSBF

Foundation of Justice

Highlighting the most pressing legal issues of our moment. Amplifying the stories and experiences of our community members. Providing insight on the latest developments from attorneys, judges, social workers, educators and community leaders.

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The 2024 OSBF Trauma-Informed Lawyering Symposium brought together experts to explore how trauma intersects with the legal system and impacts legal professionals. Attendees will gain insights into trauma-informed care, its application in legal contexts, and its neurological effects.

Panelists discussed strategies for managing legal matters involving trauma, emphasizing the importance of resilience for both individuals affected by trauma and the legal professionals assisting them. This symposium was an enriching experience for legal professionals seeking to enhance their understanding of trauma-informed lawyering.

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  • Coming soon...


The 2022 OSBF Fellows chose to focus on race-based disparate treatment in the justice system, and the result of their efforts was The Color of Justice: Racial Inequities in the Justice System, a virtual symposium that worked to build understanding around barriers in the justice system, the populations being affected, and opportunities for change on an individual and systemic level.

“The Color of Justice Symposium reveals how critical it is for us to identify and challenge racism,” said Judge David A. Hejmanowski, OSBF President. “I appreciate the thoughtful analysis and practical advice offered from each of our policy leaders. Understanding how these challenges impact justice outcomes is a critical step in creating a more just legal system.”

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The 2021 OSBF Fellows class focused on the needs of the LGBTQ+ community for the Fellows Week of Service, culminating in the OSBF Unity Summit: LGBTQ+ Education, Law and Policy. The Unity Summit brought together attorneys, social workers, educators, and other members of the public to hear from LGBTQ+ community voices and discuss LGBTQ+ legal issues. We were thrilled to have topic experts such as Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Supreme Court of Ohio; Micah McCarey, Director of the LGBTQ Center at Ohio University; and Dr. Scott Leibowitz, Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Nationwide Children’s Hospital THRIVE Program join us for the program. Cleveland-based spoken word poet Rachel Wiley closed out the summit,with a special performance.

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On the Margin: Foster Youth at Risk for Human Trafficking is a presentation and video created by the 2019 Fellows Class. The class put together this programming to highlight the alarming number of Ohio kids in foster care who fall victim to human trafficking.




Freedom. Independence. What’s not to like about becoming 18 – a noteworthy turning point in everyone’s life? In the eyes of the law, this is when you are now an adult, but with increased rights and responsibilities, comes the need to be aware of how the law changes after this turning point.

Our easy-to-use presentation is a great tool to share real-life, legal examples which young adults can incorporate into their transition plan. Developed by the 2018 OSBF Fellows Class.



Going to court is unsettling - especially for youth with exceptional needs. As parents, teachers and court personnel, preparing these youths for a day in court demands a different approach.

Thanks to the 2011 Fellows Class, we have o.p.e.n. court – where we meet, Henry and follow him on his journey through the court.

See Henry in three videos and learn about his experience with the juvenile justice system. These videos and resource materials will help:

  • Prepare youth when they become involved with the legal system
  • Engage caregivers and facilitators in best practices
  • Protect the rights and responsibilities of all during their “day in court.”

These videos and accompanying resources are intended to address the emotional and practical issues often faced by young people with intellectual disabilities who become involved in court. While every person’s experience will be unique, learning about individual rights and how to respond appropriately can help provide the confidence and skills needed to navigate the juvenile court system.




In 2009, The Ohio State Bar Foundation’s Fellows Class sponsored a state-wide video contest (B4USend) to help teachers, parents, and students understand the dangers of cyberbullying and sexting. The video, “You Can’t Go Back,” created and submitted by Heritage Middle School and Hilango Studios in Painesville, Ohio, was selected by the class.

In today’s post 2020 highly charged digital world, the potential legal, social, and emotional consequences have, unfortunately, not gone away since the video was first aired. By providing the most updated information, specific instructional activities and power point in an easy-to-use Teacher/Leader Guide, the Foundation is helping to address behaviors that can have devastating results for all concerned.



The 2006 Fellows Class created Keys to the Courtroom to help Pro Se defendants learn the basics of the courtroom. This program will also provide judges and lawyers with guidance to deal more effectively with those who represent themselves.