Johnson Law Firm Founded 100 Years Ago

By Nils P. Johnson Jr.

CANFIELD – In 1921, my grandfather, Walter O. Johnson, back from World War I and fresh out of law school, opened a law office in downtown Youngstown.  He was the son of Nils Peter Johnson, a Swedish immigrant who operated Rose and Johnson wholesale grocers on Federal Street.  

Nils Peter delivered groceries with a horse-drawn cart up and down the Valley, became widely known and eventually was elected state senator.  Walter, who was Struthers city solicitor, was in the general practice of law, representing families and small businesses throughout the community.

My father, Nils Paul Johnson, served in World War II and joined Walter in the family law office after finishing Ohio State University law school. He was a trial lawyer and specialized in eminent domain law, representing landowners when the state acquired land as the interstate system expanded in the 1950’s.  

I joined the office in 1976, expanding the practice into business law, estate planning, real estate and oil and gas. My brother, Eric, came on board in 1983 as a litigator, oil and gas and appellate attorney. Attorney Karen Bovard has also worked hard for many years to help our practice grow.

Now in our 100th year as a family firm, my daughter, Molly Johnson, and son, Nils Peter Johnson, have taken over management of the firm.

Molly is a litigator, business, oil and gas and appellate lawyer, who also serves as Canfield’s county court judge. Nils Peter concentrates on business law, probate and estate planning.