Marlon Primes Headshot

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Marlon Primes values the start he got at Ohio University and WOUB

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Primes graduated from Ohio University in 1986

ATHENS, OH – When Marlon Primes came to Ohio University from Akron, Ohio in the early 1980s, he wanted to be a news anchor or reporter. Little did he know that he would end up using his voice in a different way.

“There was a couple of people I knew from growing up in Akron who went to Ohio University for journalism and worked at WOUB,” said Primes. “So, I decided to follow their path.”

Primes was a broadcast news major with a minor in political science. He took advantage of every opportunity to grow as a broadcaster. Primes worked at East Green Radio, ACRN and WOUB.

“I hosted African American-focused programming on WOUB on Sunday nights,” said Primes. “I also did audio engineering work and was a reporter in the WOUB newsroom.”

While Primes worked at WOUB, he was offered an opportunity outside of journalism.

“Through my political science minor, I got an externship at the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office,” said Primes. “That sparked my interest in law.”

The summer before his senior year, Primes was awarded the Scripps Howard Internship at WEWS Channel 5 in Cleveland. He really enjoyed the internship but learned he might have to move away from home to a small town to start his on-air reporting career and decided journalism might not be the right path for him. So, when Primes graduated from Ohio University, he decided to go to law school at Georgetown University.

“There were many things I learned at Ohio University and WOUB that I apply to my work as a lawyer,” said Primes. “Preparing for an interview is like preparing for a deposition. You have to do research, ask clear concise questions, make sure your information is accurate and focus on the individual.”

Primes retired after more than 30 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio before recently joining the law firm of Brennan Manna Diamond in its Cleveland office handling complex civil litigation. He serves as a partner and a leader of the Business and Tort Litigation Group.

Primes has been active in both work for the legal profession and community improvement work. He is the Past President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA). He was the first Black attorney to serve as president of the CMBA and the first government attorney to do so. Primes also served as national Vice President of the National Bar Association and was the Chairman of the Litigation Section of the Ohio State Bar Association where he spent countless hours educating young lawyers and K-12 students on the importance of the law.

In 2020, he received the first ever Craig Tame Award for Excellence in Community Outreach based in part on his teaching of high school students about both rights and responsibilities under the U. S. Constitution.

“My career went in a different direction, but I truly value the experience I got as an undergraduate at WOUB,” said Primes. “The WOUB experience is unique because it is unusual for a college student to be able to do on-air work at a professional AM/FM radio station. When I tell people about that they are astounded. It’s so important for students to take advantage of the opportunities to learn outside of the classroom that are available at Ohio University.”

Primes was interviewed for WOUB’s Spectrum podcast in October 2022. You can listen here.