Biography of Joseph C. Sommer

Joe Sommer is an attorney who retired from Ohio’s state government after working 30 years in the public sector. He obtained a B.B.A. from Ohio University and a J.D. from the University of Toledo. He is admitted to the bar in Ohio and California. He was certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in workers’ compensation law for 12 years.

A former activist for many years with the Humanist Community of Central Ohio, he served on its board and held the offices of president, vice president, and secretary. He is a longtime member of the American Humanist Association, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (being the Ohio representative on its board of delegates for many years), and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The American Humanist Association certified him as an Advocate for the Humanist philosophy.

He is a volunteer attorney for the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. He is a board advisor for the Center for Effective Discipline, which works to end corporal punishment of children. He has been a board member of the good-government group Common Cause Ohio. He is active with the progressive Democratic group Yes We Can Columbus. He is a member of the editorial board of The Columbus Free Press newspaper, to which he periodically contributes articles. He is also the president of his condominium association’s board.