Irish Legal 100


MAUREEN O’Connor is the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. She is the 10th chief justice and the first woman in history to lead the Ohio judicial branch.

Among the initiatives she has championed in Ohio and nationally since she took office in 2011 are racial justice; challenges to debtor’s prisons; attorney representation for the poor; reform of bail, fines and fees; sentencing fairness; cameras in courtrooms; and grand jury reform.

In 2016 she led the creation of the nation’s first multistate body designed to fight the opioid epidemic by creating an across-borders team of judicial, legislative and law enforcement sectors with medical, scientific, research and philanthropic groups. The work of nine states acting as a unit continues today and has spawned a national body and regional efforts.

O’Connor’s commitment to modernization of the courts across the state is unmatched. Since 2015, she has endowed Ohio local courts with more than $35 million to add and enhance technology. This funding has increased access to justice for litigants, defendants, and the public. The foresight made Ohio a leader in its ability to continue to administer justice through the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

O’Connor joined the Supreme Court of Ohio as a justice in January 2003 and was re-elected in November 2008. She was elected chief justice in 2010 and was re-elected to a second six-year term in 2016.

O’Connor earned a BA from Seton Hill College, and a JD from ClevelandMarshall College of Law.

O’Connor raised two adult sons, Alex and Ed Kipp. She has five grandchildren.

O’Connor’s paternal ancestors emigrated from Co. Cork in the 1820s to work on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Her mother’s ancestors were from Co. Down. O’Connor is involved with the Irish American Charitable Foundation of Cleveland.





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