News - Capital University Law School

CapLaw Represents: Zach Klein’s Journey from Capital University Law School, to Columbus City Attorney

3/27/2018  - 

When Zach Klein, L’04, decided to attend Capital University Law School, he knew that one day he wished to pursue public service. But he had no inkling that his education at Capital would help propel him to a leadership position with the Ohio Attorney General, a job at the White House working for Vice President Biden, the presidency of Columbus City Council, and most recently, the position of Columbus City Attorney.

Like many first-year law students, Zach did not have a precise roadmap of his career drawn up. But he knew that Capital, with its prime location in Columbus and award of a generous merit scholarship, gave him a terrific opportunity to pursue his dream.

Raised in the small community of Belpre on the Ohio River, Zach had originally come to Columbus in order to pursue his education at the Ohio State University where he studied biochemistry, political science, and mathematics. And at Capital, Zach discovered the passion for public service that has helped to drive his career.

“I have many fond memories of Capital, but for me, engaging with the faculty intellectually and professionally was at the top. I loved researching constitutional issues for Professor Jim Beattie as his research assistant and debating public policy in Professor Dan Kobil’s Constitutional Law classes. Several of my professors helped me to obtain both state and federal judicial clerkships after graduation and even facilitated my first real exposure to politics—working for Rich Cordray, who became Ohio’s Attorney General in 2008.”

Zach’s intellectual incubation at Capital has proved invaluable. During his career as a public servant, he has weighed in on some of the most controversial issues that confront local officials today. In 2012, he was the primary author of the Columbus domestic partnership registry that was created to ameliorate discrimination against same sex couples several years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such discrimination was unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). Recently, in light of mass shooting deaths across the country, Zach as City Attorney helped to develop proposed Columbus legislation that would ban bump stocks and regulate the commercial sale of certain firearms, among other things.

Not surprisingly given his experience, Zach’s professional advice to current and future law students is to interact readily with the Capital law school faculty. According to Zach, “Capital is a special place because professors truly want to get to know students and help them succeed. I’m living proof of that. Students just have to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.”

Despite his busy schedule, Zach also advises law students to make time for some fun. Zach still enjoys refereeing Women’s Division One college basketball games--something he has been doing since his days as a law student. He also treasures family time spent with his wife Jennie, and children Stella, 5, and Rocco, 3.

Visit our CapLaw Represents page for additional profiles.