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August 10, 2020 at 5:23 pm

Alumni News | Cleveland State University School of Law Inducts Rom into Hall of Fame

Alan Jay Rom

Alan Jay Rom

Ohio University alumnus Alan Jay Rom ’67 Economics was elected to the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Hall of Fame Class of 2020 at Cleveland State University.

“It was a big surprise,” says Rom, who graduated from Cleveland State University School of Law in 1972. The Hall of Fame was established in 2017 to honor outstanding contributions to the success and prestige of the law school. His Hall of Fame biography reads in part:

He served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia as an economic advisor to a rural savings and loan cooperative. His legal career took him from representing migrant farm workers in Southern New Jersey and the Connecticut-Massachusetts “tobacco valley” for 5 years to becoming staff counsel to the Boston Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for 18 years, where he specialized in voting rights, employment law, and education. He worked in a small law firm handling wage and overtime claims for 7 years, became Executive Director of Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice for 6 years, joined the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office for 3 years, and then established his own law firm, Rom Law P.C. in 2011 and also serves as a volunteer attorney for Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy (META). Alan is a member of the Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts Bars, the Bars of the Supreme Court, First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Federal Districts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey. He is the author of the chapter on overtime law for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and has been an adjunct at Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts University. He has lectured at several Boston law schools and published two law review articles on public school finance and authored other articles. He has judged moot court competitions at Harvard Law School and Boston University Law School since 1980.

“While Professor Paul Murray Kendall (Shakespeare tragedies) was the best professor I had at Ohio University, Professor Hyman Cohen, who I had for administrative law in law school was the best professor I had there. I took that course in the fall of 1971, and I haven’t seen him since, and now I am in his company! That is humbling!” Rom says, noting that Cohen is also a member of the 2020 Hall of Fame class.

He adds that he wishes he had met the late Judge Nathaniel Jones, another 2020 inductee. “Before he was appointed to the court, he was General Counsel to the NAACP. I worked with his successor at the NAACP, Thomas I. Atkins, on civil rights litigation, so I heard a lot about Judge Jones from Tom. Both of  them were legal giants.”

Still Making Ohio Memories

Vernon Alden, OHIO's 15th president, with Alan Rom

Vernon Alden, OHIO’s 15th president, with Alan Rom

During his undergraduate years at OHIO, Rom says that while he majored in economics, he had the same number of credit hours in English. (Thus the passion for Shakespeare.)

Rom noted that while “the late President Vernon Alden was president while I was a student, I never met him until an alumni ‘Lobsterfest’ gathering in Rockport, MA, about five years ago.”

Rom also has visited the Athens campus several times recently.

He returned in 2017 to give a lecture on how he used his degree in economics in his law practice and returned again in the fall of 2019 when he was named to the College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni. See Notable Alumni | Alan Rom Focuses on Employment Law, Civil Rights, with a Nod to Shakespeare.

“During my return last year, I was given a personal tour of the Alden Library, which didn’t exist when I was a student. The library we used was Chubb. The flood of 1964 was memorable, and we had to be evacuated from the newly opened West Green to the East Green. Time passes quickly and all of that seems like yesterday,” he says.


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