JIM PETRO has been a practicing attorney for over thirty-seven years in a career that has included co-founding a successful law firm, partnership in one of Ohio's largest law firms, and service as Attorney General of Ohio. Jim Petro's elected political experience includes service as a city councilman, city law director, state representative, county commissioner, Ohio Auditor of State, and Attorney General of Ohio.
A thirty-year AV-rated Martindale-Hubbell lawyer, Petro has litigated cases in most legal venues from Mayor's Court to the United States Supreme Court. He has represented clients ranging from prisoners claiming innocence to national and international corporations.
As Ohio Attorney General, Petro spearheaded a comprehensive effort to fully utilize DNA technology to solve crimes. He also became the first sitting state attorney general in the nation to intervene on behalf of an Innocence Project client. In the face of resistance from local criminal justice officials, DNA proved the inmate totally innocent, and he was released from prison after serving seven and a half years. Petro helped draft and advocated for criminal justice reform legislation in Ohio. He serves as a pro bono attorney for the Ohio Innocence Project and co-authored with his wife Nancy Petro False Justice - Eight Myths that Convict the Innocent.
Petro has served on several non-profit boards. A graduate of Denison University and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, he has been awarded honorary degrees from Denison University and the University of Toledo.
Petro is the recipient of numerous local, regional, and national awards. Most recently he received the Innocence Network's national 2011 Champion of Justice Award, which "honors public servants who go above and beyond in supporting and championing efforts to free the wrongfully convicted and/or reform the criminal justice system to prevent wrongful conviction."
Following his elected service, Jim Petro practiced law in Columbus, Ohio, most recently serving as Columbus Partner-in-Charge for the law firm of Roetzel & Andress. Upon the appointment of Governor John Kasich, Petro currently serves as Chancellor of the Board of Regents of the University System of Ohio.