On Friday, November 20th, 2015, Kara Nicole Ford of Swanton, the daughter of Charlene O’Connell and the late Douglas Ford, was sworn in to the Ohio State Bar Association by the honorable Mark C. Reddin of the Bowling Green Municipal Court. Kara, who is currently working on an internship at the Bowling Green court, received her Juris Doctor from the Michael E. Moritz College of Law during a hooding ceremony at the Ohio State University in May of this year. In addition to her law degree, she simultaneously earned a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. She was one of only 11 dual degree recipients out of the OSU law school’s graduating class of 174.
Kara’s academic journey began at Swanton’s Crestwood Elementary in kindergarten and then moved to Park Elementary for the next three years through third grade. Prior to entering the fourth grade her mother enrolled her and her older brother Kevin in Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo where she remained until graduating high school in 2009.
In the middle of Kara’s freshmen year at Maumee Valley she traveled to Ethiopia with a group from the school and spent a month volunteering at an orphanage outside the capital city of Addis Ababa. During her sophomore year she completed an internship with United States Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, spending the final two weeks in Washington DC during the 2006 mid-term elections.
These two experiences proved to have a life guiding impact on her decision to attend Ohio State and major in political science with a heavy focus on public service.
While studying for her undergrad degree Kara worked as a page at the Ohio House of Representatives and served as the President for the OSU chapter of the One Campaign, an international charitable organization fighting extreme poverty and preventable diseases, mainly in Africa.
She completed her undergrad studies in just three years, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 2012. Before beginning law school Kara went to Africa again, this time volunteering for the summer in an orphanage with sporadic electricity and no running water in the jungles of Ghana.
During her time in law school she spent a summer studying English common law at the prestigious University of Oxford in England and completed two internships, one for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and one the Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio.
While at the CDF, she worked for Sarah Biehl, who was also an OSU law school alumna and, ironically enough, a former Swanton resident and a Swanton High School graduate, class of 1995.
Kara took the three-day Ohio State Bar Exam in late July and received her successful results the day before Halloween. Once her internship is completed in Bowling Green she plans to remain in the area and work in the law field in the public sector.
BY BILL O’CONNELL