Contributed by both of the O’Neills
Mike: After law school, I worked for the U.S. Department of Labor in the Office of the Administrative Law Judges doing Black Lung Law. In 1991, we moved to Columbus so I could begin working for the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the nonpartisan bill drafting and research arm of the Ohio legislature. I’ve been there ever since. We draft legislation for both houses and both parties and provide research that isn’t trying to further a political agenda. The nonpartisan aspect of the job really appeals to me – law school taught me to see both sides of issues.
At LSC, I’ve worked in a wide variety of areas, including tort reform, concealed carry, and labor law. That’s been nice, as it keeps the job fresh. I currently am the Division Chief of the Insurance, Commerce, Labor, and Housing Division. The job suits me, and I feel that I get to contribute to the process: if I do my job well, Ohio runs a little more smoothly.
Shari: I wanted a career doing research and writing, and specifically wanted to be a judicial clerk. After graduation, I clerked at the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals in Middletown for about 2 years before Mike got a job in Columbus and we moved from Cincinnati.
I clerked at the 10th District in Columbus for a few years before our first child, Kevin, was born in 1994, and then I decided to take some time to be an at-home mom, my career for about 8 years. When our second child, Brian, entered kindergarten in 2002, I was able to return to clerking at the 10th District, after which I got a job as a staff attorney for Colley Shroyer & Abraham, a small personal injury firm in German Village. I was there for about 8 years, drafting the firm’s briefs and memoranda, among other tasks, but always looking to get back to state service.
This past spring, I was hired as legal counsel to the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission. I started on July 28. I’m looking forward to this opportunity to serve the state and to be part of Ohio legal history as the Commission reviews and makes recommendations for changes to the Ohio Constitution.
Mike: Shari and I married in 1990, and we have two sons.
Shari: Although we sometimes miss our hometown of Cincinnati, Mike and I have enjoyed Columbus, which, after 23 years, is home, and has been a great community for our boys.
Mike: Kevin (20) is a rising junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic in Albany, NY, where he is studying Computer Science and Cognitive Science. Brian (17) is a rising high school senior and plans on studying Biology, probably at Ohio State.