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Henry Ford College appoints new director of labor and human resources, William Lodge '78

Henry Ford College announced the appointment of Bill Lodge as the college’s new director of Labor & Human Resources, effective March 30.

William LodgeLodge has 37 years in human resources, 26 of them in management roles. He comes to HFC from the Judson Center in Royal Oak, a nonprofit human services agency for children with special needs, where he served as director of human resources. His duties at Judson included workforce planning, talent acquisition and retention, total compensation, performance management and employee safety.

Prior to the Judson Center, Lodge was director of human resources and legal affairs for 12 years at GreenPath Debt Solutions in Farmington Hills, a nonprofit organization that provides credit counseling, debt management services and financial education services.

Additionally, Lodge is no stranger to Dearborn, nor to higher education. From 1995-99, he was director of human resources at the Oakwood Healthcare System in Dearborn. He has spent 18 years in higher education – 14 at the University of Cincinnati and four at the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills.

“I am looking forward to returning to higher education and, in particular, becoming part of the community college world,” Lodge said. “I strongly believe that community colleges are one of the primary solutions to the problems caused by the unsustainable growth in the cost of a college education in this country.”

Lodge earned an undergraduate degree in history from Ohio State University and a juris doctor degree from the U-C College of Law. He also has completed master's of business administration courses at the U-C Graduate School of Business.

Alum Jason Wasserman '04 are named Partners at Silverman|Thompson|Slutkin|White

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) April 07, 2015: Silverman|Thompson|Slutkin|White is pleased to announce that attorneys Avery B. Strachan and Jason T. Wasserman have been elected to the Partnership at the firm.

“Avery and Jason have distinguished themselves by their talent, work ethic, and legal acumen. They have already made meaningful contributions to our clients and we are confident they will make all of us and our firm better.” said Managing Partner, Steven D. Silverman.

Avery B. Strachan (Real Estate Law) has extensive experience handling matters related to the ownership, development and operation of real estate including, but not limited to, management, leasing, construction and litigation for all types of residential, retail, office, industrial, hospitality and mixed-used projects. Ms. Strachan has represented some of the most premier commercial and residential property management companies in the State, many of which have a national presence. She also has experience in business entity formation, homeowners’ association formation and governance, and general corporate and contract matters. Ms. Strachan has been recognized as one of Maryland’s “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers Magazine. She was appointed to the Character Committee for the Sixth Appellate Circuit (Baltimore) of the Court of Appeals of Maryland in January of 2014, has served on the Executive Council for the Bar Association of Baltimore City since 2007 and was elected as a Fellow of the Baltimore Bar Foundation in June of 2009. Ms. Strachan received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2000, where she was a member of the legal honor society, Phi Delta Phi.

Jason T. Wasserman (Civil Litigation) concentrates his practice in the area of complex civil litigation in State and Federal Courts in Maryland, Washington D.C., and on a National level. He has served as lead counsel in numerous high value injury and death cases throughout the country. He also has significant experience in professional and medical malpractice litigation. In addition to Mr. Wasserman’s work representing injury victims, he also represents numerous local and national corporations and insurance companies in the defense of personal injury, mass tort, toxic tort, and product liability claims. Since 2010, Mr. Wasserman has been named annually in Maryland’s Super Lawyers list of “Rising Stars” and in 2015, he was recognized as a “Super Lawyer.” Mr. Wasserman was also recognized by The National Trial Lawyers organization three times as one of Nation’s "Top 40 Under 40" Trial Lawyers and he is a 2015 recipient of the “Top 10 Under 40 Attorney Award for the State of Maryland” by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. He is an active leader in the Bar Association for Baltimore City, presently Chairs its Technology Committee, and was former Chair of its Young Lawyer’s Divisions. Additionally, Mr. Wasserman is heavily involved with the Defense Research Institute (DRI), where he is a current Chair on the Products Liability Committee, Maryland State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Mr. Wasserman received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2004.


Ellen Eardley, '03 named MU Title IX administrator, assistant vice provost

Ellen Eardley, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has been named the new Title IX administrator at MU.

COLUMBIA — Ellen Eardley, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has been appointed Title IX administrator and assistant vice provost at MU. She will start the position on April 20 with a salary of $150,000, according to Christian Basi, associate director of the the MU News Bureau.

Ellen EardleyEardley is a partner at the Mehri & Skalet firm in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law. She has been with the law firm for more than seven years.She was one of four finalists selected by a search team late last year. The committee convened in October to fill the Title IX administrator position — the first of its kind at MU. She visited the campus in December for interviews. The move followed investigations into Missouri athletics' failure to report the alleged sexual assault of one of its athletes, Sasha Menu Courey, and similar incidents.

Eardley, 37 and a native of southern Illinois, has a substantial legal history working with Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination at educational institutions, and other cases involving discrimination. "I've been working on cases of discrimination, and particularly gender discrimination, since I graduated from law school in 2003," she said. "I've always wanted to work on issues of gender and the law. It's the reason that I went to law school." Eardley holds a degree in English and women's studies from Eastern Illinois University. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Eardley joined the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., a leading women's legal organization. The center offers education and policy work, she said, as well as litigation on issues of anti-discrimination. It was founded more than 40 years ago "to expand, protect, and promote opportunity and advancement for women and girls at every stage of their lives." It was there Eardley said she did much of her work on Title IX issues.

Now a partner at her private practice, her focus has been predominantly employment and housing discrimination. At American University, she teaches a course to law students about discrimination issues, including Title IX. Eardley said she is aware of the work that has gone into Title IX initiatives at MU, and she acknowledged the work already put in by interim coordinator Linda Bennett. "My first step is to build on the work that's already been done by Dr. Bennett, the chancellor, the provost, and I also want to spend to time listening to various constituencies on campus," Eardley said. This includes learning about the needs on campus and how Title IX information is disseminated so that the new UM System collected rules and regulations are easily understood.

Eardley, however, did say it will take some time to get the lay of the land and develop  strategic priorities. She said she is already familiar with Columbia. She grew up outside St. Louis and has visited campus several times. Her mother worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "A number of folks that I know personally have attended Mizzou, and I've always had a lot of respect for the school overall," Eardley said. Given her heritage, Eardley said she is excited to make the move from the East Coast back to the Midwest. "When I got off the airplane (in December) in the tiny airport outside Columbia, I felt at home," she said. "I like to see the horizon, and I really enjoy living in a college town, so I'm excited about the move." 

This story was written by Thomas Carter

Prof. Williams Writes Editorial on Definition of Marriage

Professor Verna Williams recently wrote an editorial, “Marriage has Changed Through the Ages,” examining the definition of marriage. This was in response to recent Supreme Court of the United States case about marriage equality.  Read the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial here.

Professor Williams is a family law professor and co-director of the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. 

Paula Boggs Muething Talks About the Importance of Civic Service

For Paula Boggs Muething ‘03, a career in litigation has also been a career of civic service.  Originally from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Boggs Muething studied political science and journalism at the University of Kentucky and then worked for several years on the West Coast before returning to the Midwest to study law. 

At the University of Cincinnati College of Law, she was a fellow with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights.  In fact, the Institute was a major factor in her decision to attend UC Law.  “The program was really the focus of my law school experience,” she shared.  “Working on the Human Rights Quarterly journal and engaging with the programs and speakers the Institute brought in were truly enjoyable experiences.”  She further became involved in Law Review her second year, and continued her third year, even when she became editor of the Human Rights Quarterly journal.

Out of law school, Boggs Muething spent one year clerking for Justice James E. Keller at the Supreme Court of Kentucky.  “It was a wonderful experience,” she reflected, noting that the clerkship helped to prepare her for the rest of her career.  “I agree with the sentiment that a clerkship is a tremendous experience out of law school.  It works as an excellent bridge between the classroom and becoming a practicing attorney.”  Following her clerkship, she spent two years at Keating, Muething  & Klekamp PLL, working in litigation before spending the next five years working as an attorney for the city of Cincinnati.

Much of her work as a city attorney involved land use as well as First Amendment issues.  “Blight, nuisance abatement issues – I really became involved in working and engaging with various communities and neighborhoods around the city,” she explained.  This work led to her involvement in an effort to pass land bank legislation, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation.  Upon the land bank’s creation, she was hired to manage it in its effort to return vacant properties to productive use by providing diverse commercial and residential opportunities through investment in neighborhoods.  She served as the general counsel and vice president, working to employ the land bank in the best possible ways to revitalize communities.

At the end of last year, Boggs Muething was appointed Cincinnati City Solicitor.  “The job is a potpourri of legislation, litigation, economic development, community redevelopment – just about anything you can conceive a city being involved in,” she said.  She further noted that the position involves constitutional issues, which can be rare in private practice.  “I think it’s the best job any lawyer could ever have.  It is always interesting, I work with very intelligent and motivated attorneys, and working with our elected officials is a wonderful way of engaging with ideas and turning them into programs and laws to better our city.”

The Importance of Civic Service

“I will tell you that this is one of the easiest towns to get involved in if you want to be involved in civic organizations and community work at a leadership level,” she said, reflecting on her career.  “If you really are interested in it, you can get involved in this work, even if it isn’t going to be your day job.”  

Boggs Muething is a good example of this, as she joined the board of Talbert House while an attorney at KMK.  “You meet wonderful people on boards such as this who are civic minded and become a great network for continuing community development work throughout your career.  If you want to become involved in civic service, my advice is to just get involved.   Civic service does not have to be your day job in order for it to be part of what you do, and it can be just as rewarding.”



Karen Hester Reflects on the Rewards of a Career in Diversity and Inclusiveness

With four degrees behind her, Karen Hester ’01 has a wealth of education, knowledge, and experience that she has turned into a career working in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness.  While she was born in Chicago, her father was in the Army, so she moved from place to place growing up.  She considers Kansas home, and now she works in Colorado.

Her first two degrees are from Kansas State University:  a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in student personnel and counseling.  She later earned her juris doctor from the College of Law before returning to Kansas. There, she earned a LL.M. in taxation from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law.

“I enjoyed law school… as you can tell, I really enjoy learning,” said Hester, lightheartedly referencing her degrees.  “I worked between each of my degrees, and when I was in law school I think that I was really able to enjoy the moment.”  At UC Law, she was involved in numerous programs and student groups:  Black Law Students Association, Tenant Information Project, Student Court, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Student Legal Education Committee, and the Immigration and Nationality Law Review.

Currently, Hester serves as the executive director for The Center for Legal Inclusiveness in Denver, CO.  The Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing diversity in the legal profession by actively educating and supporting private and public sector legal organizations in their own individual campaigns to help legal employers retain and advance diverse and female attorneys.  And she feels strongly that her previous work has prepared her for this position. 

Her professional career was in the field of career services at the University of Kansas School of Law.  “I noticed that a lot of the work I was doing was related to diversity and inclusiveness at the time,” she shared.  With some reflection and encouragement, she submitted a proposal to make diversity and inclusiveness officially part of her job duties, and it was ultimately accepted.  “It was around this time that it really hit home for me.  I remember having the feeling that ‘this is what I am supposed to be doing.’”

As the chair of the diversity committee for the Kansas Bar Association in 2011, Hester discovered the Center for Legal Inclusiveness while surveying what other organizations were doing.  When the position of executive director opened up, she jumped on the opportunity and now has been in the role for about two years.

The Center held its 2015 Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Summit on May 4, 2015 – a day-long conference with workshops, speakers, and panel discussions with over 200 attorneys from across the nation in attendance.  The Center further produces an inclusiveness manual laying out step-by-step processes through which organizations can make themselves more diverse and inclusive.

In reflection on her work and her career path, Hester advises young attorneys and law students to “enjoy the moment.” 

“I look at students today and see that things are different,” she said.  “It’s more expensive, its harder to get a job --  I know some students out there wonder, is it worth it.  I say it is.  You may not take the path that others take, and that’s okay.  Find your own way, you’ll find that the work you do is rewarding.”



College of Law Ranks 10th in Midwest Region for Hiring

Dean Mina Jefferson counsels Caleb Benadum ’14 and
Chiddy Ukonne’13

A recent survey found that the University of Cincinnati College of Law ranked 10th in the Midwest region for hiring. Using data provided to the American Bar Association by the respective law schools, the survey compared UC Law’s employment rate with that of 42 Midwest universities.  Read more about how the universities stack up in the ChicagoInno article:  “42 Midwest Law Schools, Ranked by Graduate Employment” 

Law students have the opportunity to work closely with the team from the Center for Professional Development—five attorneys with significant legal experience who are dedicated to preparing students for their career. The CPD team begins working individually with law students from their first semester through Professional Planning Meetings, helping them build competitive resumes, and managing activities and programs that promote professional development through service. 

Learn how CPD helps prepare students for their careers: CPD

College of Law Students Receive Scholarship Awards from the Black Lawyers of Cincinnati

Remington A. Jackson ’15 and Georgeanna Bien-Aime’16 are both recipients of prestigious scholarships from the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati (BLAC). The BLAC is a professional organization committed to improving the administration of civil and criminal justice; working with national, state and local bar associations to solve problems particular to African American lawyers; and improving opportunities for all lawyers and law students to share equally in the benefits of the legal profession.  The awards were announced at the organization’s annual scholarship and award banquet.

Jackson, who will graduate this month, is the recipient of The Theodore M. Berry Scholarship. This scholarship was created in recognition of the political, civic and legal achievements of former Cincinnati Mayor Theodore M. Berry, who was also a University of Cincinnati College of Law alumnus. A graduate of the College of Wooster, Jackson plans to pursue a career in labor and employment law or corporate law. While at the law school, he honed his leadership and professional skills while working at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the General Counsel’s Office for the university, and as a judicial extern to the Hon. Jeffery P. Hopkins, United States Bankruptcy Court-Southern District of Ohio. In addition, this past year he was president of the Black Law Students Association and vice-chair of the Midwest Region of the National Black Law Students Association.

“I will be using the funds from this scholarship for bar support to avoid taking out any additional student loans,” Jackson said. “But more importantly, the meaning of this scholarship goes far beyond monetary value. Since coming to Cincinnati, I was made aware of Judge Berry's achievements, such as being the first Black mayor of Cincinnati. But my mentors challenged me to dig deeper past those accomplishments to his character. Being awarded the Theodore M. Berry Scholarship is an immense and humbling honor not only because of the prestige associated with such a legal giant so much but also the fact that it will continue to help me build my career here in Cincinnati.”

Bien-Aime, a second year law student, was awarded The William A. McClain Scholarship, which is given to an African American student who demonstrates leadership potential and dedication to the community. Judge McClain, a member of the Bar of Ohio for more than 70 years, was a former Cincinnati City Solicitor, the first African American attorney to serve in this position of any major city in the country.  

A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Bien-Aime plans to focus her career on corporate transactional work, labor and employment, and regulatory compliance. At the College of Law she is an Associate member of the Freedom Center Journal, the Black Law Students Association and served as the Legislative Advocacy Specialist for the National Black Law Students Association Midwest Region this year. In addition, she volunteers throughout the Cincinnati community with groups such as the Avondale Bond Hill Legal Clinic, Habitat for Humanity, and the Volunteer Income Tax Association.  She has interned for the Honorable John Andrew West, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and is currently a legal intern with Cincinnati Public Schools and an extern with The Kroger Co.

“After passing the bar, I plan to go directly to an in-house legal department or to start my career at a small firm and then move to an in-house position,” she said. “I really appreciate this award,” Bien-Aime continued. “It will open doors and give me greater opportunity to advance the work of the late Honorable William A. McClain.”

College of Law Assistant Dean named President-Elect of the National Association for Law Placement

Cincinnati, OH—Mina Jones Jefferson, Assistant Dean and Director, Center for Professional Development at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, has been named president-elect of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), an association of over 2,500 legal career professionals dedicated to facilitating legal career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students and lawyers. The 44-year-old organization advises law students, lawyers, law offices, and law schools across North America and beyond.

Jefferson was recognized as president-elect at the NALP annual conference in Chicago, IL in April 2015. Her term includes service as president-elect in 2015-16, president in 2016-2017 and immediate past president in 2017-2018.

“This is a wonderful and well-deserved honor for Dean Jefferson that reflects the high esteem in which she is held by her peers across the country,” said College of Law Dean Louis D. Bilionis. “As the legal profession continues to experience major change, it needs strong leaders – and Mina is a great leader in the field.”

“It’s a privilege to have a leadership role with the preeminent organization for legal career professionals,” said Jefferson. “I look forward to advancing the initiatives identified in NALP’s strategic plan and upholding its foundational beliefs that law students and lawyers should benefit from a fair and ethical hiring process; that law students and lawyers are more successful when supported by professional development and legal career professionals; and that a diverse and inclusive legal profession best serves clients and our communities.”

Jefferson, a University of Cincinnati College of Law graduate, has a strong background in the legal hiring field. As a former hiring partner at a National Law Journal Top 250 law firm, she is one of the few law school career services professionals in the country who has worked on both sides of the table. She practiced commercial litigation for almost a decade and was one of the first African American women in the region elected to partnership at a large firm.

A published author, Jefferson writes on the topic of careers and professional development for numerous legal publications and is a sought after speaker on the topic of professionalism. She has also taught Ethics courses at the college, as well as the legal extern course.

Active in the community, she currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers (CALL).  Jefferson, a former co-director of the Law & Leadership Institute at the College, also served—by appointment—on the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Continuing Legal Education Committee.  Additionally she has been a member of the board of the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, Children’s Law Center, ProKids, and the Cincinnati Bar Foundation.  

Ohio Innocence Project Attorneys and Exonerees Honored at Award Ceremony by Death Penalty Advocacy Group

L to R: Attorneys Gilbert, Godsey, Howe; Exonerees Bridgeman,
Jackson, Ajamu; Attorney Mills.

Ohio Innocence Project Director Mark Godsey, OIP attorney Brian Howe and exonerees received a “Special Recognition” award on May 7 in Beverly Hills, CA.  

Cincinnati, OH—The University of Cincinnati College of Law’s Professor Mark Godsey, Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) attorney Brian Howe, and three exonerees were recognized with the “Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award” at the 24th Annual Death Penalty Focus Awards dinner, held on May 7 in Beverly Hills, CA.  Death Penalty Focus, founded in 1988, is an organization committed to the abolition of the death penalty through public education, grassroots organizing and political advocacy, media outreach, and domestic and international coalition building.  The award recognizes individuals whose actions and stories bring to light the flaws in the US judicial system. 

Actors Mike Farrell and Ed Asner

Wrote Mike Farrell, the organization’s president, in an email about the award, “Your efforts which resulted in the exoneration of these men for a crime they did not commit are an incredible accomplishment. It is cases like these which further illustrate the importance of our work to end the death penalty.”  Farrell, an actor and activist, is well-known for his role as Captain B.J. Honeycutt from the hit-TV show M.A.S.H.  Event attendees included: Ed Asner, known for his Emmy Award-winnign role as Lou Grant during the 70s and early 80s on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and spin-off "Lou Grant and as Ed Wunclear on "The Boondocks', among many other film and TV roles; actress Amy Brenneman, known for her role in the TV-series "Judging Amy", Violet Turner in "Private Practice", and Laurie Garvey in HBO's "The Leftovers"; Larry Flynt, Jr., publisher and president of Larry Flynt Publications; and many others.

Godsey and Howe were recognized for their representation of Ricky Jackson. The OIP’s investigation also ultimately freed Jackson’s co-defendants, Wiley Bridgeman and Kwame (Bridgeman) Ajamu, who—along with Jackson—were honored for their courage and commitment.  The men together served over 100 years in prison for a crime they did not commit; many of those years were spent on death row. Jackson has the tragic distinction of setting the record for the longest-serving person to be exonerated in U.S. history. They were exonerated in November 2014 after a key prosecution witness, Eddie Vernon, recanted his story that he saw the men shoot and kill Cleveland, OH businessman Harold Franks in 1975.

In addition to the OIP team and exonerees, several other individuals and organizations were recognized for their work at the event. Awardees included Dale Baich, an Assistant Federal Public Defender, who defended Joseph Wood, a man whose botched two-hour execution in Arizona last year was deemed by many to violate the Eighth Amendment; Rabbi Leonard Beerman, a founder of the DPF and lifelong opponent of capital punishment; and the program “Death Row Stories,” an 8-part CNN series exploring cases that pose hard questions about capital punishment and the justice system.

Attorneys for the exonerees are: Mark Godsey, Brian Howe'08, David Mills, Terry Gilbert

Actress Amy Brenneman.

About the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project

Harnessing the energy and intellect of law students as its driving force, the OIP seeks to identify and assist inmates in Ohio prisons who are actually innocent of the crimes they were convicted of committing.  Innocence Projects across the country have freed more than hundreds of wrongfully convicted inmates to date. The Ohio Innocence Project to date has helped 23 individuals obtain their long-sought freedom.

Read more about Ricky Jackson’s story

Learn more about the Ohio Innocence Project.