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Long-time OSBA member mentors students interested in law

Attorney Suzanne Richards of Columbus is helping to shape future leaders and lawyers through her work with a program that targets students from underserved communities.

Richards has been a part of the Law and Leadership Institute (LLI) since it began in 2008. LLI is a statewide initiative that inspires and prepares students for success through summer programs focusing on law, leadership, analytical thinking, problem solving, writing skills and professionalism. Only 40 students made up the first LLI class, but the program quickly grew, and currently serves more than 400 students at eight different law school sites throughout Ohio.

Richards, who currently serves on the LLI program committee and was LLI’s volunteer of the year awardee in 2011, said of her involvement, “Former Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers asked me to help out as the program was getting off of the ground and I quickly became involved.” In conjunction with her Columbus law office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, Richards helps to organize week-long internships for the program’s sophomore students. Richards related, “Through the internships I have met some wonderful young people. I’ve been able to interact with the students, which has allowed me to really get to know them and their needs as I am involved in writing the program’s curriculum.”

As a partner at Vorys, Richards focuses primarily in business and employment litigation. Her interest in the law grew from her father’s encouragement, which stemmed from his own respect for members of the profession.  She offered, “I enjoy how my career in law is a mix of intellectual and practical and how it gives me a sense of being helpful to people by helping them resolve problems they have.”

Richards has been an active member of the Ohio State Bar Association for more than 35 years and is currently an active member of the OSBA Appellate Practice Committee. She is also a former chair of the OSBA Paralegals Committee. She is currently on the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness for the Supreme Court of Ohio and the board of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Franklin County.

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