Faculty Advisors

Deborah Jones Merritt

John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law; Courtesy Professor of Sociology; Courtesy Professor of Public Policy and Management, and Associate Faculty Member in Women’s Studies

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude in 1977 and from Columbia Law School in 1980. While at Columbia, she was managing editor of the Columbia Law Review and won the Robert Noxon Toppan Prize.

After graduation, Professor Merritt clerked for Judge (now Justice) Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Professor Merritt practiced law in Atlanta and joined the law faculty at the University of Illinois in 1985. She served there as professor of law, professor of women’s studies, advisor to the Joint JD/MD Program, and associate dean for academic affairs before moving to Ohio State, where she accepted the Drinko Chair in 1995.

Professor Merritt has published widely on issues of equality, affirmative action, federalism, health and technology, legal education, tort reform, and law and social science. Much of her work has focused on public policy issues, and she has made numerous presentations to judges, legislators, and other policymakers. In 2009, the United States Supreme Court invited her to defend the lower-court judgment in Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick, a prominent copyright class action. Professor Merritt also has co-taught courses in Europe with both Justice Ginsburg and Justice O’Connor.

In December 2008, Professor Merritt and her Moritz colleague Professor Ric Simmons published Learning Evidence: From the Federal Rules to the Courtroom, a text that offers a new pedagogy for teaching the basic Evidence course. A comprehensive teacher’s manual and website, www.merrittevidence.com, complement the book. The book is now in its second edition, and West has created a full series, the Learning Series, based on the Merritt and Simmons model.

Professor Merritt has been honored as an Ohio State University Distinguished Lecturer (1999), University Distinguished Scholar (2002), and has received the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (2009), awards conferred on the university’s most outstanding professors. In 2004, the university recognized her work promoting diversity with one of its Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Awards. She also served as the university’s general commencement speaker for the Autumn 2004 commencement. From 2000-2005, Merritt directed the John Glenn Institute, which is now the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, a university-wide college devoted to encouraging public service and informing public policy.

Professor Merritt can be contacted at merritt.52@osu.edu.

Christopher J. Walker

Associate Professor of Law; Director, Washington, D.C., Summer Program

Christopher J. Walker is an Associate Professor of Law (with tenure) at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and Director of the Moritz Washington, D.C., Summer Program. At Moritz, he teaches Civil ProcedureConstitutional Litigation, the Ethics of Washington LawyeringFederal Courts, Legal Analysis and Writing (LAW II)Legislation and Regulation, and State and Local Government Law.

Professor Walker’s research focuses primarily on administrative law, regulation, and law and policy at the agency level. His publications have appeared in the Michigan Law Review, Stanford Law Review, andUniversity of Pennsylvania Law Review, among others. He has also written a report for the Administrative Conference of the United States on the role of federal agencies in the legislative process, and he coauthors the agency adjudication chapter of the American Bar Association’s annual book Developments in Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. His article Legislating in the Shadows was selected as the recipient of the 2016 American Association of Law Schools Scholarly Papers Competition Award.

Professor Walker brings to his scholarship and to the classroom extensive practical experience of having worked in all three branches of the federal government as well as in private practice. Prior to joining the law faculty in 2012, Professor Walker clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He also worked for several years at a litigation boutique in Washington, D.C., as well as on the Civil Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented federal agencies and defended federal regulations in a variety of contexts. During Winter Semester 2017, he served as an academic fellow on the Senate Judiciary Committee, working on the Gorsuch Supreme Court confirmation as well as on regulatory reform legislation for Senator Orrin Hatch. During the summer of 2017, Professor Walker served on Senators Portman and Brown’s bipartisan judicial advisory commission to help fill the three federal district court vacancies in Ohio.

Outside Moritz, Professor Walker serves as one of forty Public Members of the Administrative Conference of the United States, as a Governing Council Member and Adjudication Committee Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, and as a member of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Administrative Agency Law Specialty Board.  He is also a regular blogger at the Yale Journal on Regulation and the Section Editor for Jotwell’s Administrative Law Section.

Professor Walker received his law degree from Stanford and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  At Stanford, he served as managing editor of the Stanford Law Review and editor-in-chief of the Stanford Law and Policy Review.

Professor Walker can be reached at walker.1432@osu.edu.

Anne E. Ralph

Associate Clinical Professor of Law

Professor Anne E. Ralph teaches  Legal Analysis and Writing (LAWI and II, Advanced Legal Writing, and Pretrial Litigation.Before joining the Moritz faculty in 2011, she clerked for Judge Kenneth F. Ripple of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She also practiced with law firms in Washington, D.C. and Columbus, focusing on copyright, civil rights, complex business litigation, and appeals.

Professor Ralph is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Virginia School of Law. At the University of Virginia, she was a Hardy Cross Dillard Scholar, was elected to the Order of the Coif, and was a member of the Virginia Law Review and the Virginia Journal of International Law. Professor Ralph graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in English and philosophy, and she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Professor Ralph’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of law and narrative. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Nevada Law Journal and the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. In 2018, she was recognized as a part of the New Scholars’ Showcase sponsored by the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research. She also serves as an associate editor of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD and as a member of the editorial board of the Monograph Series of the Legal Writing Institute.

Professor Ralph is Vice Chair of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Commission on Continuing Legal Education.

Professor Ralph can be reached at ralph.52@osu.edu.