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Asked and Answered. Q&A with Dean Bard


How do your advanced degrees help you as a Dean?

Although my first advanced degree and most important one is my law degree, I use the others every day.  Public Health is a field with a very distinctive methodology.  It seeks to prevent harm at the earliest possible stage.  So, for example, public health’s earliest emphasis was on safe food and water.  Today a good example would be to contrast public health’s focus on developing effective vaccination strategies versus medical’s emphasis on treating patients once they are ill.  That approach works well in a law school because it asks us to identify the results we want and then to consider the earliest point where we can intervene to achieve them. 

An example of how the University of Cincinnati College of law is already using this method is our introduction of the concept of the “Complete Professional” during orientation for first years so that by the time the students enter the practice of law they already have the complete package of skills they need to succeed.

Since my Ph.D. is in the field of Higher Education it too is very useful.  It showed me how to use research findings to understand how today’s students learn and how they see the process of becoming a professional.  It also me how important it is to use assessment tools to see how well a program or policy is achieving its intended result.  It can be easy to think that because we’ve all been to school or because we hear feed-back from the loudest voices that we know what works and what doesn’t.  But I’ve seen to many studies where “conventional wisdom” turned out to be wrong to assume that what we think we see on the surface is actually reflective of what’s going on.  >

To take that a step further, what I learned from my study of research methods and doing my own research is that it’s easy to be fooled into thinking that just because one thing follows another or that two things usually happen together means that that one is causing the other. 

So, for example, if we added a question to the admissions application and the next year fewer students started applying, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are related.  Another thing I learned in my Ph.D. study is how many resources are devoted to studying higher education.  I began the habit of reading The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education and University Business every day and as a result see how factors like government regulation and the economy are affecting students around the world.   I’ve read several articles lately and been to some excellent presentations, including one by our own Joel Chanvisanuruk that shows how the high-stakes testing that has permeated K-12 education has changed the way our students are prepared to tackle the challenges of legal education.  When teacher pay and job security is dependent on how students perform on standardized tests, there is less time devoted to skills like writing and problem solving.

Immediately before coming to the University of Cincinnati College of Law I was Associate Vice Provost for Academic Engagement for a large, public research university.  That meant I had the responsibility to identify the wide range of activities that faculty, staff and students were doing that blended traditional academics and scholarship with direct involvement with the community. Although some of this included traditional service projects, its core was a new kind of engagement identified by the Carnegie Foundation in which universities and communities work together in ways that are mutually beneficial to both.  So, for example, a chemistry class might not just visit a water treatment plant but actually be taught there so that the class could be involved in the daily challenges of maintaining a safe water supply. Law Schools have long been ahead of the curve in this kind of activity because even before formal clinics became a part of the curriculum, students and faculty have gotten involved in using the law to address community needs.

The tradition is particularly strong at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and I am very excited by what I’m hearing every day about the impact our faculty, staff and students are having by working not just for but with our community.   I look forward to sharing with our community the results of a survey we are doing right now to catalog these activities.   These include those you’ve heard about such as the highly successful work of the Ohio Innocence Project, the Entrepreneurship Clinic, and the Battered Women’s clinic but it extends well beyond that to programs like the Law & Leadership Program that brings high school students into the building for a five week program, the student volunteer organization that prepares returns for students on campus, the staffing of human rights organizations around the world by fellows in the Urban Morgan Institute.

What Do You see as the Challenges Ahead for the Law School?

Many of the challenges our law school faces come from rapid changes to the way legal services are delivered.  Rapid advances in communication has made it easier for clients to meet their legal needs through on-line only law firms that do not have the over-head costs of a traditional bricks & mortar firm.  At the same time, the economic crash of 2012 has had a permanent impact on what the clients who had traditionally spent the most on legal services were willing to pay.   Large law firms have permanently changed their hiring practices and that has affected the practice of all employers.   It is no longer standard practice for students to have a job before graduating and in fact it’s increasingly likely not to have a firm job offer until after bar passage—at least five months later.

As a result, we have had to change how we prepare students to succeed in the job market.  But we also have to prepare them how to manage their expectations and anxiety as they study for the bar exam without an offer of employment and perhaps need to support themselves afterwards. No small part of this is the pressure they face from well meaning friends and family who are not aware of how fast hiring practices have changed. 

The good news is that the new terrain is manageable and that employers, too, are adapting and finding ways to hire students as clerks without bar results. 

Do We Really Need More Lawyers?

A more serious problem is the dramatic disconnect between individuals in need of legal services and access to any way of paying for them.  By some estimates, over 80% of people in need of a lawyer to represent them in a non-criminal matter, a divorce, a bankruptcy, an eviction, an employment termination, cannot afford one. Without minimizing the crisis in access to health care, it’s important to understand that many of these cases involve a dispute between two parties of significantly different resources.  So that one party, the landlord, the employer, can afford to have its interests represented by a lawyer while the other does not.

I think because we so often hear the phrase on television, “if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you” we don’t appreciate that this only applies to individuals charged with a crime by the government.  It has no application to any other kind of legal dispute, even ones in which the government is bringing a non-criminal dispute such as taking a way a license to run a restaurant or condemning a piece of property.

Dynda Thomas '86 Quoted in New York Times


Dynda Thomas (’86), former Urban Morgan Institute fellow and expert on conflict minerals quoted in the New York Times article “Complex Law on Conflict Minerals". Thomas is a partner at Squire Patton Boggs and leads the firms conflict minerals practice group.  

UC Law Labor & Employment Expert Professor Sandra Sperino Speaks to National Audience


Professor Sandra Sperino will be presenting the book she is co-authoring with Professor Suja Thomas at the Colloquium on Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law (COSELL) on September 11. COSELL is an annual gathering of labor and employment law scholars from across the country.  The conference is hosted at the University of Indiana (Bloomington) Maurer School of Law.  Professor Sperino's book will be published by Oxford University Press next year. Read more information about COSELL.

 

Private Violence Emmy



Featuring Un Kyong Ho (Cincinnati Law - '10) (left)

And the Emmy goes to…

Private Violence, premiered last fall by the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, just received an Emmy nomination and is one step closer to another award.

And more local Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice news:  Community groups, originally formed at the Center’s premier, are moving forward on specific action items to improve the lives of survivors of intimate partner abuse in Cincinnati. 

Changing the definition of abuse…

One action group is working to revise the definition of abuse under Ohio’s domestic violence statute to protect against more than physical abuse.  The group is in the initial stages of making video featuring women who have been denied a civil protection order for lack of physical abuse, but who were experiencing intimidation, isolation and “coercive control,” and then later were physically abused.  This happens all too often, and by broadening the language, the system will become much more proactively protective.  The video should serve as a powerful advocacy tool to help bring about this important and much needed change in Ohio law.

Judicial Training, Preschoolers and Curricular Offerings…

Another action group is working to expand training for judges and magistrates in Ohio on intimate partner abuse.  The group is researching training requirements in other states and exploring programming to address specific issues in Ohio courts that were identified at the Private Violence City Summit last October.  Two other groups, one working on the development of programming for preschoolers impacted by domestic violence and the other on social work curricular offerings, have been formed and will be meeting regularly this fall.

Want to get involved?  There is much important work to do!  Send an email to uclaw.justice@gmail.com if you would like additional information about any of these working groups.

UC Law Tailgate! Go Bearcats!


Are you ready for a Tailgate Party?!   We are! This year we’re celebrating not once, but six (6) times!   Food trucks and dollar beverages will be available for all tailgaters.  We’ll be in spot #60 in the Bearcat Family Zone. Just look for the University of Cincinnati College of Law Alumni Association banner.

Join the fun!

Tailgate Schedule

  • September 5
  • September 12
  • October 1 (Thursday)
  • October 24
  • October 31
  • November 14

Tailgate map 

Donald J. Mooney, Jr. '75 Receives Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter


Cincinnati-based attorney Donald J. Mooney, Jr. will receive the 2015 Excellence in Journalism in Written Communication “Editorial” award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter. The award is in recognition for Mr. Mooney’s bi-monthly commentaries titled “Another View” written for Cincy Magazine. He will receive the award on June 18, 2015 at the Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards Program held in downtown Cincinnati.

The Society of Professional Journalists promotes and protects a free press and the highest standard of professional ethics, providing a climate in which journalism can be practiced freely and to unite Cincinnati journalists behind those goals. The Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists works with community partners in the region to host events and recognize the best of Cincinnati journalism. 

Mr. Mooney is a certified specialist in employment labor and law. With over 35 years of experience, his practice concentrates on civil trials and appeals; employment and labor relations; antitrust, trade secrets, securities and business litigation; and land use law. He represents employers in federal and state litigation involving noncompete agreements and discrimination. In SEC investigations and related securities litigation, he represents officers of companies.

In addition to his roles as a practicing attorney and columnist in Cincy Magazine, Mr. Mooney is a frequent writer and speaker. He has received the highest rating, AV Preeminent®, from Martindale-Hubbell® and has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer. He earned his B.A., cum laude, from University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati.

About Ulmer & Berne LLP

Ulmer & Berne, established in 1908, is a full-service law firm focused on exceeding client expectations and delivering superior, customized legal solutions for an exceptional value. Its more than 180 attorneys, located in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, serve as counselors and partners to a wide range of clients to help them solve their business challenges and achieve their goals. The firm represents publicly traded and privately held companies, financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity funds, pharmaceutical companies, international joint ventures and affiliations, investor groups, family offices, start-ups and emerging businesses, public bodies and nonprofit organizations. For more information, please visit ulmer.com.

Patricia Kirkwood Burgess '94 returns to Northern Kentucky as a member of Frost Brown Todd in Florence


June 15, 2015 (Florence, KY) – Frost Brown Todd (FBT) is pleased to announce the relocation of Patricia (Trish) Kirkwood Burgess to the firm’s Florence office, after nine years of serving as a member in the Lexington, Kentucky, location. Burgess is a native of Northern Kentucky with strong ties in the region.

“It’s very exciting to be back in this area where I grew up, was educated all the way from grade school through law school, and still have many close connections. I look forward to serving this community the same way I have served clients and the wider community in Lexington,” she says.

As a trusted legal adviser for more than 20 years, Burgess places great emphasis on understanding all aspects of her clients’ businesses to focus not only on legal issues, but also the practical implications of those issues on their businesses and lives. She practices in business and commercial litigation, and bankruptcy and reorganization law, and helps individuals and companies of all sizes navigate financial difficulties and legal issues to reach innovative, cost-effective and efficient solutions. She is a member of the Kentucky, Ohio and American Bar Associations, and of the American Bankruptcy Institute. She received a bachelor’s degree from Thomas More College in 1991, and her law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1994.

Burgess joins 12 other legal professionals as the only female member in FBT’s Florence office. The team is led by member-in-charge Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, who served as the 135th President of the American Bar Association. The attorneys in the office serve in community leadership roles throughout the region for companies and organizations such as the Kenton County Airport, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Redwood School and Rehabilitation Center and The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

About Frost Brown Todd

Frost Brown Todd is a full-service law firm serving some of America’s top corporations and emerging companies. With attorneys regularly identified by clients, peers and industry organizations as leaders in their practice areas, the firm advises and protects clients in business transactions and litigation in industries including insurance, banking, financial services, manufacturing, transportation, real estate, construction, energy and healthcare.  Its over 475 attorneys in ten offices throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia provide unparalleled service to meet clients’ needs; deliver the insights and solutions available only from a diverse group of professionals; and support the communities in which they operate. To learn more, visit www.frostbrowntodd.com.

Constitution Day featuring Kenya Mann Faulker and Lauren Hunter


Constitution Day Takes a Look at Race-Based Admissions after Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

 

Date: September 17, 2015
Time: 12:15 - 1:15 p.m.
Place: College of Law, Room 114
CLE: Application for one hour of general CLE credit has been submitted for Ohio and Kentucky.
 
Presented by:

Kenya Mann Faulkner, Vice President of Legal Affairs & General Counsel, University of Cincinnati
Kenya Mann Faulkner was named Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel at the University of Cincinnati in 2013.  Before joining UC, she served as the Inspector General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where her mission was to ensure integrity, accountability, and confidence in public programs, employees, and contracts.  Prior to her appointment to Inspector General, she was a partner at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia, and also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Ms. Faulkner also served as Senior Deputy Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section, and spent six years as a Philadelphia public defender.  Ms. Faulkner received her B.S. in criminal justice and English from Niagara University and her J.D. from the State University of New York, University of Buffalo Law School.
 

Lauren Hunter, Assistant General Counsel, University of Cincinnati
Lauren Hunter recently assumed the role of Assistant General Counsel at the University of Cincinnati, where her practice primarily involves addressing labor and employment issues that exist regarding University employees, as well as other student-related matters.  Prior to joining UC, she was an associate at Frost Brown Todd LLC where she was a member of the government services and labor and employment practice groups.  In that capacity, she advised various public sector clients regarding compliance with federal and state labor and employment laws.  She also has experience with public sector collective bargaining in both Ohio and Kentucky.  Ms. Hunter received her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where she was an editor of the Ohio State Law Journal, and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky.
 

 

Parking options and directions:

Deaconess Garage – From Clifton Avenue, turn west onto Straight Street.  Garage will be one block down on the right and you pay $5 cash when exiting.

 
This lecture is made possible through the generous support of Alfred B. Katz Constitution Day Fund in memory of Alfred B. Katz '35.

Prof. Lassiter Quoted in Enquirer Article About Rumpke Landfill


Professor Christo Lassiter provided commentary for the Cincinnati Enquirer article “Rumpke Has Edge in Lawsuit vs. Colerain Twp.” in the August 10, 2015 issue of the newspaper.  Here’s the story.

Prof. Lassiter Quoted in Enquirer Article About Rumpke Landfill


Professor Christo Lassiter provided commentary for the Cincinnati Enquirer article “Rumpke Has Edge in Lawsuit vs. Colerain Twp.” in the August 10, 2015 issue of the newspaper.  Here’s the story: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/08/10/expert-rumpke-edge-lawsuit-vs-colerain-twp/31424967/