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Law School Celebrates 180th Hooding Ceremony; First Class of LLM Students Graduate


Graduation was held Sunday, May 19, 2013, at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

The College of Law celebrated the accomplishments of its graduates at its 180th Hooding Ceremony, held  May 19, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. The event was at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.

Making this event extra meaningful was the inclusion of the first class of students graduating with an LLM in the U.S. Legal System.  The LLM is the law school’s master’s degree program designed for foreign-trained attorneys, which was launched last year. This year, four of the six LLM students graduated.  (Two students have chosen to remain at the law school to participate in a certificate program next academic year.).

Meet Several of the LLM Graduates

  • Ovenseri Ven Ogbebor.  From Nigeria, Ogbebor received his education in Benin City. He has also taken classes at a university in Indianapolis, IN. He took part in the LLM program to begin the process of fulfilling Ohio’s bar exam requirement so that he can become an attorney in Ohio.  
  • Felicia Omoji. Also from Nigeria, Omoji was a practicing attorney for 22 years in her home country. The additional knowledge and skills learned via the LLM Program, Omoji believes, will help her to be better prepared in dealing with American and Nigerian clients, especially in a global arena. She would like to work in the legal/public interest/ non-profit sectors. 
  • Nerissa Harvey. From Jamaica, she received her LLM from the University of London. Harvey decided to work for her LLM in order to gain an understanding of the U.S. legal system and to develop the foundation necessary for the Ohio bar. She is interested in a career in estate planning.

About the Ceremony

The speaker for this year’s ceremony was Class of 1984 alumnae Sharon Zealey, chief ethics and compliance officer for the Coca-Cola Company. In addition to managing the global compliance program, she serves on the company’s Ethics & Compliance Committee and advises on U.S. trade sanctions and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Previously, she was senior litigation counsel for the Coca-Cola.

Zealey is a former partner in the commercial litigation practice group at Blank Rome LLP. She served as the United States attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, appointed by President Bill Clinton. She was also appointed by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and advised Ms. Reno on issues of national importance. She was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division for three years prior to her appointment. Ms. Zealey also served as Deputy Ohio Attorney General.

This year’s event also included the presentation of the 2013 Nicholas J. Longworth, III Alumni Achievement Award to Mark Stall ’88. This award recognizes law school graduates for their outstanding contributions to society.  Stall is currently general counsel of xpedx, a division of International Paper Company. In this role he provides legal and business advice and assistant to senior management, headquarters and field managers, as well as sales professionals. Actively involved in the community, Stall is co-chair of the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program, a member of the school’s Board of Visitors and the board for the school’s LLM Program and Institute for the Global Practice of Law, member of the board of directors of the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce.

Also being honored were this year’s winners of the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching: Professors A. Christopher Bryant, Lewis Goldfarb, and Sandra Sperino. The Goldman Prize is given to law school professors and is based on their research and public service as they contribute to superior performance in the classroom. .

For more information about the ceremony, visit the Hooding web pages at: 2013 Hooding. (2013 Photo Gallery)