Janet Green Marbley is the Administrator and Counsel for the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of Ohio. Janet serves as Section Liaison to the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.
Where are you from? How have your experiences here, or throughout your upbringing, influenced your passions and aspirations today?
I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I went to undergrad at the University of Cincinnati, and moved to Chicago shortly after my graduation from Capital University Law School. I moved back to Columbus about 10 years later.
I grew up during the Civil Rights movement. While I was in middle school, school desegregation was enforced in the Columbus Public Schools. By the time I was a junior in high school, fights between Black and White students occurred on a daily basis. When the violence escalated, Police became involved. The fighting continued to escalate until the Police responded in full riot gear. Black students were arrested, loaded onto buses, and taken to the Juvenile Detention Center. After that experience, I became determined to become a lawyer to enforce the rights of Black people. That experience has definitely influenced my passion for civil rights and social justice.
What drives you?
I am driven by trying to help those who have been wronged by “the powers that be.”
What is one thing most people do not know about you that you feel they should?
Most people don’t know that I love music. It helps me deal with my emotions, and is a common language for everyone.
When you look back, what is it that you want your advocacy and professional career to stand for?
I want my advocacy and professional career to stand for doing what’s right and just, even when it’s difficult, unpopular or may result in sacrificing relationships with others.
What is one issue which you care about or work most on and why?
At present, the one issue that I care most about is preserving our democracy and the right to vote. Because of the current efforts to suppress the right to vote, our democracy is threatened.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge facing this issue today?
Currently, the greatest challenge to the right to vote are the numerous legislative attempts to prohibit or make it more difficult for people to vote, These efforts are not based upon evidence of fraudulent voting or other lawful purposes. They are, in my view, based upon the need to keep power vested in one political party. Such efforts are a threat to American democracy.
In what corners do you find the greatest support in propelling these issues you work on? In other words, who are your most frequent allies?
The most effective allies in confronting challenges to the right to vote should be, and frequently are, members of the legal profession. We know the importance of protecting and preserving the rule of law and the right to vote.
What CRSJ project(s) are you working on? Or, what have you undertaken in CRSJ that you found the most rewarding to have worked on? Are there any upcoming events or projects you want us all to know about?
During my first year as a member of the CRSJ Section, I have worked on Chair Angela Scott’s initiatives, including the Voting Rights Toolkit and the first virtual Father Drinan Award Reception. I also serve as the CRSJ Liaison to the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. I am currently working with a subcommittee on the development of an economic justice webinar on July 13, entitled “There's No Place Like Home: Evictions & Mortgage Foreclosures After the COVID-19 Evictions Moratorium."