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Law Alumni Lead the Way in Public Office
Three Capital University Law School alumni are taking their legal backgrounds to new roles in the Ohio House of Representatives and on Columbus City Council and the Columbus Board of Education.
In November 2018, Erica Crawley L’17 was elected to the House of Representatives to serve House District 26, which is comprised of neighborhoods on Columbus’s east side.
As a freshman Democratic member of the House, the U.S. Navy veteran who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom was named to the Finance Committee by House Speaker Larry Householder.
In addition to her law degree from Capital, Crawley holds a master’s degree in public administration from Walden University and a bachelor of arts degree in criminology with a focus on juvenile delinquency from Cleveland State University.
While at the Law School, she served as a junior fellow for the Family and Youth Law Center, 1L representative and vice president of the Black Law Student’s Association, co-president of the Health & Law Society, American Bar Association representative to the Student Bar Association, ABA deputy lieutenant governor of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs for the law student division and as a member of the ABA National Moot Court Team.
Crawley is a member of the Columbus Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Franklin County and the League of Women Voters. She has worked with Cuyahoga County Job & Family Services, YMCA Head Start/Early Head Start Program, Court Appointed Special Advocates and the Black Child Development Institute-Atlanta Affiliate.
Shayla Favor L’12 says it was her Capital University Law School experience that taught her to be open to new opportunities. It’s one of the reasons she decided to seek an unexpired term on Columbus City Council.
Favor was chosen from among 15 finalists to fill the unexpired term of Jaiza Page, who was elected to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas in November 2018.
“I think all of your experiences help prepare you for the next experience in life,” Favor says.
She speaks with the knowledge of someone who has had a variety of life experiences between being an undergraduate and going to law school. She says she always knew she would go to law school. But, after graduating from The Ohio State University with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and African American Studies, she first wanted to explore her creative side, which led her to enroll in culinary school in Chicago.
“I think there is something to be said for one who kind of leans into the journey of life,” she says. “I’ve had myriad experiences, and I think that’s one thing that Capital does very well.”
She says the skills she learned at Capital Law School have prepared her well for her career path. Prior to being appointed to City Council, Favor served as an assistant city attorney for Columbus, where she specialized in zoning, including addressing neighborhood blight. It was in that role that she began to really see transformation in the city.
“I wanted to extend my reach,” she says, of her decision to apply for council. “It’s amazing how we can see some of the work come full circle.”
She cites two properties that once were hotbeds of criminal activity. “Now, those two hotels are being transformed into housing for youth who have aged out of foster care and for homeless youth.”
Favor is actively campaigning to keep her Council seat, which expires at the end of 2019. “I realize there’s a vast amount of work we still have to do,” she says. “I want to serve the residents of the community very well.”
In addition to her Columbus City Council role, she is a member of the executive boards of John Mercer Langston Bar Association and Creative Control Fest.
Jennifer Adair L’05 says her Capital University Law School education gives her the ability to use an analytical process “to look at things in different ways” in her new role as a member of the Columbus City Schools Board of Education.
Adair recently was selected from a field of 45 applicants to serve the remainder of a board term, which expires Dec. 31. She is running for re-election while serving on the board and in her job as the Equal Employment Opportunity Program Manager for the State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services.
She sees her role on the board as having the potential for impact by bringing people together through a holistic approach. “We need to collaborate to get things done,” she says.
Adair’s experience with Columbus City Schools is extensive: she graduated from Centennial High School, her mother is a teacher and her daughter is in the third grade in the district. Her daughter is the reason for her involvement with the schools. Adair says she wants to work for the district that she loves to ensure her daughter and other students receive the best education possible. “That’s really the mission of the schools.”
Throughout her own schooling and career, Adair has been active in several mentorship programs, including with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, as an undergraduate at Northwestern University – where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science – and through the Ohio Supreme Court.
“For me, I’ve done a lot of mentoring because I received a lot of mentoring and, truthfully, that is why I am where I am today,” she says. As a result, Adair says she would like to promote more peer-to-peer mentoring, particularly at the middle- and high-school levels.
She credits Capital Law School for creating bonds with her former classmates that continue to this day.
“When I was at Capital, the culture was just really good,” she says. “Capital really helped establish those relationships that carry on for the rest of our lives.”
Adair remains committed to the Capital University Law School community, where she has served as a legal teaching assistant for Criminal Law and Constitutional Law I, and as a past Law Alumni Association Board president, reunion chair, African-American Law Alumni Association president and CapLaw Paralegal Program Advisory Board member.
In addition to the school board, Adair has extensive community volunteer involvement, including serving on the City of Columbus Recreation & Parks Commission, chair of the North Linden Area Commission, president of the Maize Road Civic Association and president of the Northwest Civic Association. She also has been active with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Future Possibilities, Neighborhood Design Center and United Way of Central Ohio.