In Akron, Supreme Court to Resume Off-Site Program


Image of the curved, red brick building of the University of Akron School of Law

Off-Site Court will return in late October when the Ohio Supreme Court holds oral arguments at the University of Akron School of Law.

Image of the curved, red brick building of the University of Akron School of Law

Off-Site Court will return in late October when the Ohio Supreme Court holds oral arguments at the University of Akron School of Law.

After a two-year hiatus, the Ohio Supreme Court is taking its oral arguments back on the road.

The Supreme Court and its seven justices will hold Off-Site Court at the University of Akron on Oct. 26 and 27. Typically held twice a year, in spring and fall, the educational event had been suspended due to the global pandemic.

The visit coincides with the centennial celebration of the University of Akron School of Law.

“It’s an honor for the Court to be part of the law school’s centennial recognition,” said Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “We’re also happy to share our Court sessions locally and engage with students in their community.”

Created in 1987 as an opportunity to educate high school students and the public throughout the state about Ohio’s judicial system, the program is most often held at a high school.

“We at the law school are excited to have the Supreme Court hold live sessions at the university,” said Akron Law Dean Christopher (C.J.) Peters. “This will be a tremendous opportunity not only for area high school students, but also for Akron undergraduates, our law students, and other citizens to observe the state’s highest court in action.”

The program is returning to a law school for the first time since 2014, when the host was the University of Toledo College of Law.   

Traditionally a one-day event, the Akron Law visit marks only the second time the Court will have two consecutive days of oral arguments on the road. In 2012, sessions were held at the Cuyahoga County Courthouse for its 100th anniversary, and the next day at the Case Western Reserve School of Law in Cleveland.

The format is geared toward learning. Students from local high schools sit in for oral arguments. Each of three student groups departs the makeshift courtroom after each case and meet with the attorneys for a debrief, where they can ask questions.  

Prior to the Supreme Court’s session, the justices meet with a group of students to explain their work at the Court and the state’s judicial system, while fielding their questions.  

In its 77 trips, Off-Site Court has traveled to 71 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Summit County last hosted a Court visit in 1990.

To date, the program has enabled 41,399 Ohioans – 32,605 of them students – to personally observe the proceedings of the Supreme Court and interact with justices, attorneys, and Court staff.

To accommodate the number of students attending, Off-Site Court will be held at the Jean Hower Taber Student Union on the university campus. The event is open to the public.

For questions about Off-Site Court, contact the Supreme Court’s Public Information Office at 614.387.9250. For questions about the University of Akron School of Law, contact lawstudentaffairs@uakron.edu.



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