First Black woman elected to Ohio’s Supreme Court to visit law school

Justice Melody Stewart, Supreme Court of Ohio, will lead the discussion “May I Approach the Bench: A Conversation with the First African American Woman Elected to the Ohio Supreme Court”, at 12:15 pm, Tuesday, Sept. 20 in Rm. 140 at the College of Law. Justice Stewart will discuss her career trajectory, providing insight into her professional background and the impact of her historic position.  

To register, email Food will be provided. This event is hosted by the Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice and the Ohio Innocence Project.

About Justice Stewart

Justice Melody Stewart

Justice Melody Stewart

Justice Stewart has a rich background with more than 30 years of combined administrative, legal, and academic experience. She was elected in 2018 to a full term as the 161st Justice to serve on the Supreme Court of Ohio. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Justice Stewart served on the Eighth District Court of Appeals; she was the court’s Administrative Judge in 2013. While serving on the Court of Appeals, she was assigned to hear cases in other appellate districts and in the Ohio Supreme Court.

Her professional experience includes positions as an administrator for a health care management company, a music teacher, and a civil defense litigator. After practicing law as an assistant law director for the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, Justice Stewart worked as a lecturer, an adjunct instructor, and an assistant dean at Cleveland-Marshall before joining academia. Additionally, she taught at the University of Toledo College of Law and at Ursuline College and was director of student services at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Law.

Justice Stewart has served on many boards and committees, including the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee and the Ohio Supreme Court’s Judicial College board. She has been a member of various professional, educational, civic, and community organizations.

She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati; her JD from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University; and her Ph.D. as a Mandel Leadership Fellow at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Cleveland State University.

In addition to Justice Stewart, the university has several Ohio Supreme Court connections. Justice Sharon Kennedy is a 1991 graduate of the College of Law.  Justice Patrick DeWine serves as an adjunct professor at the College of Law and has taught undergraduate courses for the university. 

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