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Faculty & Advising

Full-Time Faculty

Curt Laird, Ph.D.
Chairperson, Justice and Safety Department

Dr.Laird was chosen to fill the vacant Chair position for the Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, Emergency Medical Service, and Fire Science Programs within the Justice and Safety Department in May 2015. Dr. Laird brings with him a strong background in academic administration, dynamic drive, and unexpendable energy.  He is located in FR 211.


Hakim Ben Adjoua
B.A. and J.D. from University of Michigan

Attorney Adjoua has practiced law in the areas of litigation, commercial transactions, labor and alternative dispute resolution. He generally teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution, Administrative Law, Business Law, Business Organizations, Computer Assisted Legal Research and Intellectual Property.

Thomas G. Shanahan
B.S. from The Ohio State University
J.D. from Capital University

Prior to coming to Columbus State, Mr. Shanahan engaged in the general practice of law. He teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, general practice, and litigation and professional malpractice.

Catherine A. Ritterbusch 
Assistant Professor
B.A. from Marquette University
J.D. from Marquette University Law School

Before joining the faculty at Columbus State, Ms. Ritterbusch chaired the justice department at a four-year college in Wisconsin, and practiced law in a variety of areas, specializing in complex commercial litigation.  She teaches Legal Research and Writing, the legal system, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and litigation. She is the faculty adviser for the Student Paralegal Association.


Academic Adviser

Once you are a student in the Paralegal program, you will enjoy professional academic advising from the Health and Human Services Division advisers located in Union Hall, room 477. Students should consult with these advisors when first entering the program and each subsequent semester before registering for classes. Please contact them for an appointment at or email a message to:



Trish Haaser
Office Assistant

Trish manages the daily office procedures of the Legal Studies Department. She can be contacted at 614 287-3620, FR 206.