Ben White’s fondest wish is to be a good leader for his family, his church, and his adopted hometown. He’s intent on growing as a leader -- not for the sake of occupying positions of leadership, but to have good judgement and be a guy others think of if they have a problem they can’t solve on their own.
He supposes the biggest surprise he ever experienced, so far at least, is how much you can love your child. “It increases and increases. Jane is her name, and she’s a very enthusiastic child. She blows kisses to strangers in the line at Kroger. She’s like her mom in that when she smiles, her whole face smiles.”
Ben is the son of a retired Presbyterian minister and the eldest of four siblings. The family moved often to and from towns outside Chicago, Dayton, and Pittsburgh. The longest stretch he ever stayed in one place was for seven years in Georgia. His father eventually became a full-time chaplain in the Army Reserve, at which point the entire family moved to Hawaii, where Ben attended college.
He met Mandy after college. It was near the end of 2012, at ChristChurch Presbyterian in Atlanta. He was overseeing a chili cookoff. Neither had ever dated. He was attracted to her smile. “Her entire face smiles,” he says. “Jane takes after her.”
As a boy, Ben often created imaginary scenarios to inhabit, sometimes around galactic or military themes, injecting himself into them in various good guy roles. He loved living in rural Pennsylvania. He and his younger brothers would come home from school, disappear into the woods and stay there until dinnertime.
He says he has always loved to read, starting with the Hardy Boys and Jules Verne. A more current list of his favorites includes Tolkien, Dostoyevsky, and Flannery O’Connor. He has a short list of natural phenomena he’d like to see, like the Northern Lights, a funnel cloud forming and a total solar eclipse.
What matters most to Ben are his family and his faith. He is as motivated by relationships as he is by goals. “If there’s a conflict, I’ll try to resolve it in a way that gets a good result, but also preserves the relationships in play. That harmony between people is important to me.”
Most of all, Ben says, he wants to be helpful. He was drawn to the law because he was looking for a career that would be intellectually fulfilling while enabling him to be a practical resource for the people around him.
He joins Graydon’s litigation group. “Litigation is one of the purer forms of lawyering. The adversarial process brings the truth to light, and the research is a kind of equalizer. If you do the proper research, you can get a realistic sense of the strengths and weaknesses of a case. Then you can strategize.”
Ben’s practice is focused on litigation, appeals, and data security. Prior to joining Graydon, he clerked for Justice Pat DeWine on the Ohio Supreme Court, where he worked on a broad range of issues, including commercial law, election law, public utilities, public records, writs, criminal procedure, adoption, and contract, statutory, and constitutional interpretation. He was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Cincinnati Law Review. He has published articles on state constitutional law and the impact of drones on individual privacy. During law school, he externed for Judge Timothy Black and Magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz of the Southern District of Ohio, working on issues ranging from arbitration to the Freedom of Information Act. He was also Professor Ronna Schneider’s research assistant, keeping up-to-date on how the First Amendment impacts schools and students.
Prior to law school, he was a personal injury paralegal for plaintiffs. He spoke with dozens of clients every day, keeping them updated on the status of their cases. He thrives on the relationships he develops with clients. He enjoys being a resource for them during the distress of litigation, explaining the process and exploring all their options with them.
The son of a retired Lieutenant Colonel, Ben has lived in Ohio, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Georgia. He is glad to be back home in Ohio, where he lives in East Walnut Hills with his wife and daughter.