Page 82

Alumni News >> joining OCCC, he was the Senate majority legal counsel in the Ohio Statehouse, where he played a significant role in drafting the casino legislation. “For the casino legislation, the Ohio House and Ohio Senate drafted different versions that had to be merged together,” Barron said. At the time the legislation was passed, the Ohio’s legislative bodies were controlled by different parties. “There were similarities to the bills, but we had to get together and make some compromises. It really was a true bipartisan effort.” While working for the Ohio Senate, Barron often staffed both judiciary committees and a general government oversight

“One of the great things for a young attorney working in state government is you have so much responsibility early in your career.” committee. However, when any bill was going to the floor, he could be asked a question by a member. “It is hard to describe a typical day in the Ohio Senate,” Barron said. “If there was testimony going on, there might be questions for legal counsel. It was common for a member to say, ‘Hey John, is this 500-page bill constitutional? Are there any legal problems?’ It is all issue-spotting. I really learned to think on my feet. Also, the longer you are there, the more you learn to anticipate these problems and get ahead of them by meeting with both sides of the issue up front. You’re not doing your job as legal counsel if you don’t tell an elected official that the law, as drafted, doesn’t work.” Barron’s career started when an internship he secured his

Meet John Barron

third year of law school turned into a full-time position with the Ohio Attorney General. He worked for several sections, including the chief counsel section and provided legal advice to statewide elected officials, including answering many constitutional, ethics, labor, and contracting questions. “One of the great things for a young attorney working in state government is you have so much responsibility early in your career,” Barron said. “There are also not a lot of places where you get to practice constitutional law.” After a quick stop in the state auditor’s office, Barron accepted the position of deputy legal counsel for Ohio Gov. Bob Taft. “As a young attorney, learning to be ready to answer any legal question the governor or his advisors might ask can be intimidating,” Barron said. “There is such a wide variety of questions. I had to learn quickly to be able to give the answer – and make sure it is the right answer. If I didn’t know, I had to say that and go find out the answer. You don’t always have the opportunity to go back and research for three or four hours. If you are in a meeting, and the governor wants to know the answer to a question, you need to be ready.” Barron left the governor’s office for the Ohio Department of Development where he was the chief legal counsel and focused on encouraging business to come to Ohio or stay through tax incentives and grant programs. He worked with Ohio’s Third Frontier Program and collaborated with other state agencies. He spent a year at the Delaware County development office before heading to the Ohio Senate. “Law school really did teach me to think, and to think on my feet,” Barron said. “With the Socratic method, you are sort of shocked when a professor calls on you and is trying to get you further and further out on that branch. Being taught how to respond to that type of questioning has served me well in being able to communicate effectively with the elected and appointed officials whom I have represented.” AR

Hometown: “Air Force brat.” Perfect Saturday: “Sleeping in, going to a Buckeyes game, coming home, and relaxing with the family.” Dream elected position: “Appellate judge.” Mentoring: “As a young attorney, I benefited tremendously from mentoring. Now I try to make sure I do the same whether it is with the Legislation Clinic students at Moritz or by having legal interns. I like exposing students to a career in state government.” NCAA sanctions on the Buckeyes: “Seems pretty harsh for some kids selling some

82

T H E O H I O S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

memorabilia. I understand the technical violation of the rules, but with everything that is going on in college football, the punishment seemed a bit harsh.” Best book read in the last five years: “Tough one. First, you have to understand that I often read 500 pages or so at work so when I do read books, it is just for fun. I like legal fiction and have read a lot by author Lee Child.” Best part of the day: “Easy. I have a beautiful wife and three daddy’s girls – ages 6, 4, and 2. When I walk in the door, they squeal and are so excited to see me. That makes it easy to forget about everything else.”

All Rise Winter 2013  

All Rise Winter 2013 - The Creepy Factor

All Rise Winter 2013  

All Rise Winter 2013 - The Creepy Factor

Advertisement