Susan Gellman Interview

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  • Ohio State University – J.D. 1986, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif
    Managing Editor, Ohio State Law Journal

Awards: C. Simeral Bunch Award for Academic Excellence; Michael Topper Memorial Award for Highest Academic Standing; John C. Hallen Memorial Award for Achievement in Torts; West Hornbook Award for Highest Scholastic Average; Honorable Mention, Moot Court Competition; American Jurisprudence Book Awards for highest standing in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Criminal Procedure, and Federal Income Taxation; Donald Teller Award for Outstanding Law Journal Article

  • Columbia University – M.S. Social Work 1980
  • Brandeis University A.B. 1978, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Professional History

  • Ohio Promote the Vote/Obama Voter Protection Program – Legal Observer Trainer; Election Day “FAST” Team, 2008
  • Denison University – Adjunct Professor, 2005
  • Wolman, Genshaft & Gellman
    Partner, 1996 – 2003
    Of Counsel, Wolman & Associates, 2003 – 2005
  • Ohio Public Defender Commission
    Assistant State Public Defender, 1990 – 1996

  • Capital University Law School
    Adjunct Professor, 1989

  • Judge John Holschuh, United States District Court, S.D. Ohio
    Law Clerk, 1987-88

  • Judge Max Rosenn, United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
    Law Clerk, 1986-87

  • Ohio Mock Trial Competition
    Founder and Organizer, 1982-83

  • Women’s American O.R.T. Executive Director, New England District, 1980-82


  • Affirmation of the Open Fields Doctrine: The Oliver Twist, 46 OHIO ST. L.J. 729 (1985) (Donald Teller Award)
  • Sticks and Stones Can Put You in Jail, But Can Words Increase Your Sentence? Constitutional and Policy Dilemmas of Ethnic Intimidation Laws, 39 UCLA L. REV. 333 (1991) (Bill of Rights Institute First Amendment Award)
  • “Brother, You Can’t Go to Jail for What You’re Thinking”: Motives, Effects, and “Hate Crime” Laws, 11 CRIM. JUST. ETHICS 24 (1992) (symposium issue)
  • Hate Crime Laws Are Thought Crime Laws, 1992/1993 ANN. SURV. AM. LAW 509 (symposium issue)
  • Hate Crime Laws After Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 21 OHIO N.U. L. REV. 863 (1995) (symposium issue)
  • Hate Speech and a New View of the First Amendment, 24 CAP. U. L. REV. 309 (1995) (symposium issue)
  • The First Amendment in a Time that Tries Men’s Souls, 65 LAW & CONTEMP. PROBS., Spring 2002, at 87. Agreeing to Agree: A Proponent and Opponent of Hate Crime Laws Reach for Common Ground, 41 HARV. J. ON LEGIS. 421 (2004) (with F. Lawrence) (symposium issue)
  • Liberties Watch, THE OHIO OBSERVER (monthly column), 1994-95 Martindale-Hubbell (weekly column on civil rights and constitutional law), 1998-2003 SIXTH CIRCUIT REVIEW, Advisory Alerts on Sixth Circuit constitutional law decisions
  • Thou Shalt Use the Equal Protection Clause, Not Just the Establishment Clause, for Religion Cases, 10 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 665 (2008) (with S. Looper-Friedman)

Selected Professional Affiliations:

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Central Ohio: Chapter Co-Chair; Legal Committee Chair
  • Anti-Defamation League Legal Committee
  • ABA First Amendment Rights Committee, Vice Chair
  • Professional Ethics Committee, Columbus Bar Association 1998-2002
  • Equal Justice Foundation Board of Directors


  • Best Lawyers in America, Constitutional law
  • Participation in symposia and colloquia on First Amendment topics, including Harvard Law School, NYU

Law School, Arizona State University, American Bar Association, Association of American Law Schools, Ohio State University, Grinnell College, New York Law School, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Marshall-Wythe College of Law, Ohio Northern University, Capital University Law School, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Hebrew University Faculty of Law

  • Participation in challenge to 2004 Ohio election, including investigation and litigation
  • Testimony before Congress on federal hate crime bill, at invitation of Justice Committee
  • Consultation to various state legislatures and university officials on First Amendment questions regarding proposed statutes and campus speech codes
  • Consultation to numerous governmental bodies, practitioners, scholars, and writers internationally on hate crime and hate speech issues; participation in litigation in several state and federal Supreme Court constitutional law cases; Consultation to Attorney General of Israel on Indirect Terrorism law
  • Consultation to Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Society for Religious Pluralism in various Israeli Supreme Court and lower court cases
  • Advisory Board Member for Constitutional Law, Sixth Circuit Review

Selected litigation: Ohio v. Wyant, Wisconsin v. Mitchell, Ohio Gen’l Assembly v. Brunner, Ohio v. Dalton, Capitol Square Review and Advisory Bd. v. Pinette, Watchtower Bible & Tract Society v. City of Stratton

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