R. Guy Cole Jr
United States Court of Appeals for the
Judge R. Guy Cole Jr.
Born: Birmingham, Alabama-May 23, 1951
Education: Tufts University (B.A. 1972); Yale Law School (J.D. 1975). Judge Cole was a participant in the Workshop on Urban Legal Problems and a Research Assistant for the Center for Advocacy and Policy Research (NAACP).
Judge Cole was appointed by President Clinton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in January, 1996. Previously, Judge Cole was appointed by the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1987 to a position as a United States Bankruptcy Judge.
Ransey Guy Cole, Jr. was born in Birmingham, Alabama. His father attended Meharry Medical College and practiced family medicine in Birmingham and later in New Haven, Connecticut until he retired in 1994. His mother attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and has a master's degree in audiology. His mother works at Southern Connecticut State College as a Speech and Hearing Administrator.
Judge Cole's decision to become a lawyer was influenced by his parents, who emphasized the importance of education and the pursuit of excellence, to which Judge Cole added a desire to contribute to the public good. He pursued a career in the legal profession because he believed he could have a positive impact on the law and justice system.
In 1975, Judge Cole became the second African-American to work at the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Senour and Pease in Columbus, Ohio. He became the first African-American partner at the firm in January, 1983. Judge Cole worked from 1978 to 1980 as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice Civil Division in the Commercial Litigation Branch.
Judge Cole is actively involved in community activities, including serving on the board of the Children's Hospital, the Worthington Schools Education Foundation, and a college-bound program for Columbus city schools called "I Know I Can." Judge Cole has previously served on the board of the University Club, the YMCA, the Neighborhood House, the March of Dimes, Central Ohio, the Robert B. Elliott Law Club, and the Buckeye Boys Ranch.
Judge Cole believes that his personal experiences of living in Birmingham through the most turbulent periods of the civil rights struggle prepared him for his current position as Circuit Judge. His interest in the justice system and equal rights were nurtured by those experiences, and he also developed a respect for the importance of a just and fair legal system.
He advises young people interested in the legal profession and in becoming judges to prepare by developing strong legal and writing skills. In addition, he believes that it is important to have a wide range of life experiences because that will assist a judge in deciding the broad range of matters that come before the court. Finally, he advises that to become a judge the person should possess the proper temperament and have a sense of justice and fairness.
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