Professor Jack Harrison
Wolf Chair in Ethics and Professional Identity
The David and Nancy Wolf Chair and Program in Ethics and Professional Identity, endowed by alumnus David Wolf and Nancy Wolf, enables Chase to offer and to continually expand education in the areas of ethical conduct and social justice. It supports programming related to ethics and professionalism, including enhancements to pro bono and public interest service by students, training in diversity, equity and inclusion, recruitment of an ethicist-in-residence and development of lectureships in ethics and professional responsibility.
The chair was established in the 2023-24 academic year with the appointment of Professor Jack Harrison. Professor Harrison, who joined the Chase faculty in 2011, enhances the chair by his combined experience as a practicing lawyer, a law professor and a seminarian with a degree in theology. Prior to joining the Chase faculty he practiced for almost 20 years in major Cincinnati law firms. He teaches such courses as Torts, Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, and Sexual Orientation and the Law. He also directs the Chase Center for Excellence in Advocacy, which offers students experience primarily in courtroom advocacy.
Inaugural Lecture - Woman in Gold
The newly endowed David and Nancy Wolf Chair in Ethics and Professional Identity at Chase College of Law presented its inaugural lecture on September 27, 2023 on a lawyer’s account of recovering artwork stolen during the Holocaust. The presentation by Los Angeles lawyer E. Randol Schoenberg, followed by his conversation with Chase Professor Jack Harrison, who holds the Wolf Chair, was held at the Cincinnati Museum Center, and is in partnership with the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, located at the museum center.
Mr. Schoenberg is a litigator and grandson of Austrian-American composer Arnold Schoenberg, who fled Nazi persecution prior to World War II, who took on the challenge to recover for a family friend six paintings by Gustav Klimt held by an Austrian state museum that ultimately were valued at more than $325 million. Among them was “Golden Lady,” an early 20th century portrait utilizing application of gold leaf, that gave name to the 2015 movie “Woman in Gold” that recounted Mr. Schoenberg’s decade-long legal quest that began in the late 1990s. At the time, Mr. Schoenberg had been practicing law for about 10 years.Mr. Schoenberg successfully argued to the Supreme Court of the United States that his client, Maria Altman, from whose family the paintings had been stolen in 1938 in Nazi Germany-aligned Austria, could sue Austria for their return. He subsequently prevailed in 2006 in arbitration in Austria that the paintings be returned to Ms. Altman, who had fled Austria following Germany’s unopposed annexation of the country.
The event was also sponsored by the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Bar Association, Northern Kentucky Bar Association and the Ohio Innocence Project.
Walter Stahr, author of Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln's Vital Rival, will visit NKU Chase College of Law in spring 2024 to meet with students and alumni as a continuation of the Wolf Chair in Ethics and Professional Identity Lecture Series. In his book, Mr. Stahr discusses how Salmon P. Chase is best remembered as a rival of Lincoln’s for the Republican nomination in 1860—but there would not have been a national Republican Party, and Lincoln could not have won the presidency, were it not for the vital groundwork Chase laid over the previous two decades. Starting in the early 1840s, long before Lincoln was speaking out against slavery, Chase was forming and leading antislavery parties. He represented fugitive slaves so often in his law practice that he was known as the attorney general for runaway negroes. He strengthened his national reputation, as a progressive and an antislavery leader, first as federal senator (from 1849 through 1855) and then as Ohio’s governor (from 1856 through early 1861).Tapped during the secession winter by Lincoln to become Secretary of the Treasury, Chase would soon prove vital to the Civil War effort, raising the billions of dollars that allowed the Union to win the war, while also pressing the president to emancipate the country’s slaves and recognize black rights. When Lincoln had the chance to appoint a chief justice in late 1864, he chose his faithful rival, because he was sure Chase would make the right decisions on the difficult racial, political, and economic issues the Supreme Court would confront during Reconstruction.Drawing on previously overlooked sources, this book sheds new light on a complex and fascinating political figure, as well as on the pivotal events in the years before, during and right after the Civil War. Salmon P. Chase tells the story of a man at the center of the fight for racial justice in 19th century America.
Praise for the book:
“Long viewed as either a pretentious thorn in Lincoln’s side, or the beneficiary of Lincoln’s generosity in overlooking his flaws for the good of the nation, Salmon P. Chase has long deserved a full, fresh, fair reappraisal. With this sweeping, meticulously researched, and convincingly argued biography, Walter Stahr has produced just such a study. Stahr adds dimension and depth to Chase’s image and restores him to his rightful place as a genuine antislavery hero, however flawed by clumsy ambition. Anyone interested in the freedom politics of the mid-19th century should regard this fine book as an essential resource.”
—Harold Holzer, winner of the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize
“With meticulous research, Walter Stahr breathes new life into Salmon Chase, friend and rival of Lincoln, senator, governor, finance secretary and chief justice. Above all, this is a book about racial justice: about Chase’s long quest to end slavery and secure Black rights in America.”
—Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Lincoln Conspiracy