Pictured (left to right) are Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Kennedy, Delaware City Attorney Natalia S. Harris and current OSBF President Judge David Hejmanowski.

Courtesy | Ohio State Bar Foundation

The Ohio State Bar Foundation (OSBF) is pleased to announce the induction of 25 attorneys to its Fellows Program. The new class of OSBF Fellows was welcomed by Chief Justice Sharon Kennedy at a ceremony at the Supreme Court of Ohio on June 13. The 2023 Fellows class includes lawyers from private firms of every size and kind of practice, as well as prosecutors, public defenders, judges and community leaders.

“We are delighted to welcome a fresh set of fellows into the Foundation community,” said Judge David Hejmanowski, OSBF president. “This is a diverse and inspirational group of lawyers with a strong dedication to service, poised to make significant contributions to the Foundation’s goal of strengthening the justice system in Ohio through outreach and education.”

As the professional honorary of Ohio lawyers, the OSBF welcomes a new class of fellows each year that features a group of attorneys who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism and are committed to serving their communities. Since its inaugural fellows class in 1998, the OSBF has inducted over 1,000 fellows.

Each class of OSBF Fellows designs its own year-long experience, centered around a topic they choose after discussing important issues in the justice system they might impact by using their resources as lawyers to research, plan, network, and educate. Fellows enjoy this opportunity to make a difference in a way they may not be able to execute through their job or on their own.

Over the years, OSBF Fellows have developed 26 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, news reporting on the legal system, and more.

Earlier this year, the Class of 2022 OSBF Fellows hosted the Color of Justice: Racial Inequities in the Justice System, a symposium focused on race-based disparate treatment in the justice system. The discussions addressed barriers in the justice system, the populations being affected, and opportunities for change on an individual and systemic level. For more information, or to watch the symposium, visit www.osbf.org/color-of-justice.

Included in the Class of 2023 OSBF Fellows is Natalia Harris, the Delaware city attorney. Harris is a graduate of Central State University and earned her law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law.

Harris currently serves as the Delaware City attorney as well as on both the Central State University Board of Trustees and the Cincinnati Bar Association. She has chaired the annual awards banquet for the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati and gives back to the legal profession as a mentor in the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program.

Throughout her career, Harris has been a dedicated public servant, serving as the city prosecutor for the city of Delaware, city prosecutor for the city of Cincinnati, Columbus assistant city attorney, and Montgomery County assistant prosecutor. Harris was nominated by 2022 OSBF Fellow Judge Nicole Sanders of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Submitted by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.