February 8, 2021

Shaped By History?


”I thought back to the day I decided to go to law school. It was a warm spring day. May 4, 1970. I was a freshman at Oberlin College. A few days earlier, President Richard Nixon had expanded the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia. Antiwar college protests erupted throughout the country.

About 1 p.m. in the afternoon, the news hit us in the gut as we huddled around TVs and radios on our sheltered college campus. In just 12 seconds, the Ohio National Guard fired over 60 shots at student protesters at nearby Kent State University. Nine students were wounded, one of them paralyzed for life; and four students — Allison Krause, Jeff Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and Bill Schroeder — were killed.

Bill Schroeder was an ROTC student watching the protest; he was shot in the back. Sandy Scheuer was walking to class. I didn’t know them, but I’ve never forgotten their names.”

Lee Fisher

Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

That quote comes from an article that my friend, colleague and ‘he that keeps me on the straight and narrow’ … Stuart Robbins just shared with me.

Stuart, thank-you.

My father fought for the British Army in the second world war. If you are 75 or under, you were not on planet earth during that war and as a result, the impact it had on that generation is being lost - if not forgotten.

The Vietnam war is much more recent, but still, is - like WWII being lost into history, so when I read first hand experiences, especially something as personal as the words Lee wrote, I like to stop and reflect for a moment.

And who is Lee Fisher?

”Lee Fisher is dean of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. He is the former Ohio attorney general, lieutenant governor, director of the Ohio Department of Development, chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, president and CEO of the Center for Families and Children, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, state representative and state senator.

But there’s more. He recently came on to the People First Podcast and talked with Stuart about Law - and, IMHO, more importantly Leadership in Law. If you don’t want to jump off to another site, you can listen to it right here …


Or follow the link to a great interview, weighing in at under 30 minutes of ‘gold’.

I often find that knowing a little more about people, their history and what shaped them, helps me understand the context of who they are today and what they are saying. Lee is no exception. In fact I think it is possible to draw a straight line from the experience he described in that quote above to his life’s work. I hope you agree.

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