Alumni News

October 20, 2019 at 1:05 pm

Notable Alumni | Patrick Lang, from Student Politician to Athens County Common Pleas Court Judge

By Regina Yoong

Graphic for College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Award

Editor’s Note: The College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Awards honor alumni for broad career accomplishments, commitment to community service, and valuable contributions to Ohio University and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Patrick Lang ’99 Political Science

The proud son of an immigrant mother, Patrick Lang grew up in rural Appalachia before attending Ohio University. During his first stint in Athens, he worked as a file clerk at Chubb Hall, delivered pizza for Papa John’s, sold plasma and served on the Athens City Council.

After earning a B.A. in Political Science from the College of Arts & Sciences, Lang drifted for a while in Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati, before turning back up in Athens, this time with a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

He served as an assistant county prosecutor before being twice elected as city Law Director. Lang currently serves as Judge of the Athens County Common Pleas Court. He lives in Athens with his wife, Jenny, baby, Wally, and cat, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

Patrick Lang, portrait

Patrick Lang

OHIO Memories

“I probably took being a political science major a little bit too much to heart and was almost always involved in a campaign of some kind,” Lang shares about his experiences campaigning.

“Tuesday night meetings of the College Democrats were a staple of my week, as were the uptown shenanigans which often followed. With the help of many friends, I became either the first or second OU student to ever win election to the Athens City Council (depending upon whether you believed the Messenger or the News.  The mystery endures).

“While I was on Council, there was a riot over a time change, and also Council tried to ban porch couches, over my vehement objection. The ordinance passed by a 5-2 vote, but was later resoundingly overturned in a referendum, cementing my faith in the wisdom of the people, at least for a while,” he recalls.

Patrick Lang campaigning for Athens City Council

Patrick Lang campaigning for Athens City Council

When asked about OHIO’s impact on his career, Lang made a list on the wisdom and experiences he gained during his time at OHIO:

  1. Actively seek out new interests and pursue them.
  2. Find allies in a worthy cause and fight for it together.
  3. Elect good people to office, or at least try.
  4. Experience failure, learn from it and don’t be bitter.
  5. Go to a party at Riverpark, find the best girl there and marry her.
  6. Become an expert at something.
  7. Be the only group of people tailgating outside Peden Stadium in the rain for a Tuesday night game in November.
  8. Meet most of my best friends.
  9. Stay up late on Court Street and still be on time to work in the morning.

Lang’s point of pride is doing something for a living that he loves, that is challenging, that makes a difference. He is overjoyed to be able to do all of these while living in Athens!

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