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Cincinnati Law Hosts Founder of Multi-Million Dollar Real Estate Tech Company as First Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Austin Allison, founder and CEO of multi-million dollar real estate tech company Dotloop will share his inspiring story at the law school on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 12:15 p.m. in Rm. 114. All are invited to this free event. Food will be provided; rsvp to Lori Strait at

Cincinnati, OH— Hear this inspiring story of how UC graduate Austin Allison took a leave of absence after his second year at Cincinnati Law to begin his new start-up, DotLoop - a real estate technology venture. DotLoop has become one of the most successful start-ups ever in Cincinnati, surpassing $1 trillion in real estate closings and was purchased by real estate giant Zillow Group in 2015 for over $108 million.

Allison co-authored Peoplework, a best-selling business book about putting people first in a digital-first world. Among his many accomplishments, Allison was named to Forbes 30 under 30 list and Inman News’ Innovator of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year. He has also been featured on the cover of several major national publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine’s Young Millionaire’s Edition. Allison has earned his success through hard work, innovation, and treating people with respect.

Allison has been named Cincinnati Law’s first “Entrepreneur-in-Residence” due to his tremendous entrepreneurial success and for his willingness to engage with his alma mater. Allison will be involved from time to time in the future with Cincinnati Law’s business law and entrepreneurship programs.

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence is a new initiative at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Individuals are chosen based on their entrepreneurial success and engagement with the law school. This event is sponsored by the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic and the Entrepreneurship Law Club.

Bruce & Ginny Whitman Launch One of School's Newest Fellowships

How one couple’s passion for helping the “underdog” led to funding a new fellowship

For Bruce and Ginny Conlan Whitman (’80 and ’81, respectively), law school served as a means to an end. “I wanted to start fighting for people, helping the little guy fight the powers that be,” Bruce says. “I realized years ago that I could do this if I became a lawyer.”  

To keep that dream alive and growing, the Whitmans funded the Whitman Fellowship. Starting in 2016, this annual fellowship is helping train future attorneys who want to represent those battling the big and powerful. “We want to preserve this unique aspect of American law,” Bruce says.

When was this dream born? About four decades ago, in a Cincinnati bar where two college dropouts worked as a bartender and waitress.

The road from local bar to law school

Bruce and Ginny met on the job at a local Clifton hotspot, Incahoots. “We liked each other and decided we wanted to be together,” says Bruce, smiling. Together, they decided to go back to school, enrolling as students in UC’s night school to finish their degrees. Both also chose to pursue law careers.

“I thought I’d just be a paralegal,” says Ginny. “My father, who was an attorney, encouraged me to think bigger and be a lawyer. I grew up talking about law around the dinner table. My dad was politically engaged, interested in social and legal issues. It was always a part of who I was.” Bruce, inspired by the 1982 book Gunning for Justice by trial lawyer Gerry Spence, knew he wanted a career in trial practice. Both applied to and were accepted at Cincinnati Law. And both say they owe their careers to the law school taking a chance on them.

“I was 27 years old when I was in law school,” says Ginny. “I had a great career in school, working in leadership roles in class such as on SLEC and as an editor on the Law Review.” All the while, Ginny continued working full-time at Incahoots. “I felt very supported by the college,” she says.

“For me, law school was a great place. I had lots of fun. I’m still friends today with my first year study group: Jerry Metz, Mark McDonald, and Pat Lane,” Bruce says. He also gained a strong interest in tort law. Indeed, it was in his tort class with Professor Stan Harper that Bruce confirmed his area of focus: helping people fight against the powers that be. While in school, he worked as a law clerk for Phil Pitzer and at the law firm of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley.

Branching out

After graduation, Bruce worked for several small firms before going out on his own in 1983. His big break came with the litigation related to The Who concert disaster in 1979. Eleven people were killed in a stadium rush at the former Riverfront Coliseum in downtown Cincinnati. The brother of a friend was one of the victims, and the family hired Ginny’s father, Thomas L. Conlan, as his lawyer.

However, Conlan became ill, giving Bruce the opportunity to step in. “It was a dream come true—fighting for the underdog,” says Bruce. “There’s nothing like rolling up your sleeves and getting into the fray.”

The Who concert litigation also turned into a huge learning opportunity for Bruce on how to put together a major lawsuit before taking it to trial or settlement. Afterward, he continued to grow professionally and his law firm began to flourish.

Meanwhile, Ginny clerked for US District Court Judge S. Arthur Spiegel, followed by a job at her father’s firm. “I walked out of my clerkship into the courtroom,” she recalls. After her father died in 1984, Ginny went to work for Cincinnati Law alum Jim Helmer, then at Helmer, Lugbill & Whitman, where she stayed until leaving to start her own practice in 2007. Then, a position at Legal Aid of Greater Cincinnati opened up.

Leap of faith

“This was my opportunity to change the delivery of law and make it more available to those who are underserved,” Ginny says. “Bruce said to me, ‘This is what you’ve wanted to do all of your life.’ And he was right. I took a leap of faith that it would work.” She became managing attorney for the Volunteer Lawyers Project, a position she held until her retirement last year.

Today, Bruce and Ginny remain committed to helping the underserved. “There is a tremendous need for working and middle class people to get proper legal representation,” says Bruce. “We’ve devoted our careers to helping people against powerful forces. There’s a great need for lawyers trained to deal with these situations.”

That’s why they established the Whitman Fellowship, with the goal of developing a cadre of attorneys who want to champion the needs of the little guy. “This is tremendously satisfying work,” Bruce says. “It may not be as lucrative as big time firm work. But there’s great satisfaction in representing people and winning their cases.”

Adds Ginny: “We wanted to create this fellowship so we could help find and train students interested in doing this type of work.” The Whitman Fellowship is designed to support students who are gaining internship experience with tort attorneys. “The fellowship is a great way to help one lawyer at a time develop skills, start a practice, and develop other mentoring relationships with groups,” Ginny says. “It’s also a way to make an impact.”

The career of the citizen lawyer—the entrepreneur lawyer—“is sort of a dying art in this era of specialization,” Bruce says. “I believe the best representation is one lawyer, one client—partners working together with common goals. I don’t want to see it die.”

About the Whitman Fellowship

Launched in 2016, the Whitman Fellowship provides a Cincinnati Law student with a $5,000 stipend to work for an employer that specializes in representing individual plaintiffs and their families in personal rights litigation, tort and employment law, such as those injured by the negligence of another or wrongfully terminated from employment. The Whitman Fellowship recipient will work (minimum of 300 hours over the summer) on substantive legal assignments under attorney supervision, supporting the employer’s work.  Examples of assignments include legal research, drafting memorandum, drafting pre-trial litigation documents, filing, and observing meetings/hearings.

Cincinnati Law Bar Results Announced; Students Exceed State Average by 15%

Bar Pass

Today the results of the July 2016 Ohio Bar Exam were released and the University of Cincinnati College of Law, recognized as a “Best Value Law School” by National Jurist and preLaw magazines, recorded an 86 percent passage rate for all Cincinnati Law exam takers, second among Ohio’s law schools and 15 percentage points higher than the state-wide average of 70.5 percent. These numbers put the law school two percentage points behind our nearest competitor in Ohio and 10 percentage points ahead of all other Ohio law schools. 

The passage rate for Cincinnati Law first-time takers also was 86 percent, second in the state. This rate exceeds the state-wide average passing rate of 76 percent.  Almost 1,000 aspiring attorneys from across the state and the country took the July exam.

In addition, for those out-of-state jurisdictions that have released their outcomes, Class of 2016 results are very strong, representing a 90% pass rate, including a 100% pass rate in Indiana, Montana and West Virginia.

“Passing the bar exam is one of the singular events in every lawyer’s professional life and I warmly congratulate our students and everyone else who passed the Ohio Bar examination,” said Cincinnati Law’s Dean Jennifer S. Bard.

“Although in the end passing the bar exam is a test of an individual student’s knowledge, stamina, and analytical ability, it starts with strong teaching and support that our Cincinnati Law students get from every faculty and staff member.  We have had a great year here and it reflects a truly exceptional group of faculty, staff and students strongly supported by the faculty, staff, students, and trustees of the University of Cincinnati.   Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to help our students succeed.  Go Bearcats!”  

Applicants who successfully passed the examination and who satisfied all of the Supreme Court’s other requirements for admission will be admitted on November 7, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. during a special session of the Supreme Court at the historic Ohio Theatre in Columbus, OH. The session will be streamed live via the Supreme Court and Ohio Channel websites at and  It will also be available statewide on the Ohio Channel’s local public broadcasting stations.


Cincinnati Law alum Trisha Culp ('02) joins Bradley's Nashville office as a senior attorney on the Healthcare team

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 10, 2016) – Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is pleased to announce that Trisha A. Culp has joined the firm’s Nashville office as a senior attorney on the Healthcare team.

Trisha Culp“Trisha is an esteemed and talented addition to our Healthcare group. We are thrilled to have her join the firm,” said Nashville Managing Partner Lela Hollabaugh. “As the healthcare industry continues to burgeon in Nashville, it is crucial for our team to remain ahead of the curve. We are proud of our existing capabilities and ongoing growth that will serve our clients well.”

Ms. Culp focuses her practice on assisting clients in the healthcare industry in a wide range of transactional, operational and regulatory matters. She has advised healthcare clients in a variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, practice formation and joint venture arrangements. She has significant experience preparing and negotiating physician employment and hospital-based physician contracts as well as other professional service arrangements. Ms. Culp also counsels clients on state and federal regulatory matters unique to the healthcare industry, including anti-kickback and self-referral laws. In addition to healthcare work, her experience includes small business formation and counseling, as well as transactional work in corporate and securities matters.

Ms. Culp is an active member of the Nashville Health Care Council and Leadership Health Care. She earned her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati and her B.S. (summa cum laude) from Ohio University.

About Bradley
Bradley combines skilled legal counsel with exceptional client service and unwavering integrity to assist a diverse range of corporate clients in achieving their business goals. With offices in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia, the firm’s 500 lawyers represent regional, national and international clients in various industries, including financial services, healthcare, life sciences, real estate, construction, technology, energy, insurance, and entertainment, among many others.

Stephanie Louka picked as new Director of the Ohio Department of Aging

Bonnie K. Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging and one of Gov. John Kasich's original cabinet members, will retire Aug. 1.

Kasich picked Stephanie Loucka, currently the chief of staff at the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, as Burman's replacement.“Bonnie has been a tireless supporter of ways to help older Ohioans thrive and contribute as active members of their communities and has been an invaluable member of my cabinet in helping us jumpstart some of our most innovative new programs,” Kasich said in a statement.

Burman, 63, was involved from her appointment in 2011 in "strengthening state efforts to serve the elderly, including preventative aging programs, senior health care reforms and policies allowing older Ohioans to remain in the comfort of their homes," the governor's office said. She also was given special assignments, helping launch key initiatives including drug abuse programs and the Community Connector mentoring grants. Loucka, a graduate of Otterbein University and the University Of Cincinnati College of Law, worked previously as human resources director and assistant director at the Department of Aging.

This article was published on on July 22, 2016 and UC College of Law doesnot own copyrights to it.

Littler's Lisa Kathumbi named President-elect of the Ohio Women's Bar Association

COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 2, 2016) – Lisa M. Kathumbi, an attorney in the Columbus office of Littler Mendelson, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has been named president-elect of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association (OWBA). When her term as president begins in May 2017, she will be the first African-American to lead the OWBA, a 25-year-old professional legal association. Until that time, Kathumbi will continue to serve on the board under the leadership of current OWBA President Marilyn McClure-Demers, associate vice president and associate general counsel, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

“I am delighted to continue serving the Ohio Women’s Bar Association and to continue working with President McClure-Demers and other board members. Our goal is to continue to grow the OWBA’s membership while upholding the organization’s mission of promoting the leadership, advancement and interests of all women attorneys. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as president in 2017,” said Kathumbi.

The timing of Kathumbi’s election to president-elect coincided with the OWBA welcoming American Bar Association (ABA) President Paulette Brown to serve as the keynote speaker at its 2016 Annual Conference. Brown, a partner at Locke Lord, is the first woman of color to lead the prestigious ABA, a 136-year-old professional legal association. Brown and the OWBA’s strategic leadership attracted over 400 lawyers from across the state and inspired attendees at the 2016 Annual Conference.

Lisa KathumbiA steadfast advocate for OWBA since joining in 2011, Kathumbi was named the recipient of the association’s President’s Choice Award in 2014 for contributing ongoing support, energy, talent, time and vision.

An active member of the Columbus community, Kathumbi previously served on the editorial board for Better Lawyer, a publication of the Columbus Bar Association; as a founding board member of Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX), a nonprofit that provides evidence-based empowerment programming for girls; on the boards of the John Mercer Langston Bar Association and City Year Columbus; and as a volunteer for the YWCA Family Center and the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio.

At Littler, Kathumbi counsels and represents employers ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Her practice extends nationally and includes representation of healthcare providers, retailers, hospitality companies, restaurants, insurance companies, and small business owners in state and federal litigation. Kathumbi also works with clients to navigate the legal risks of day-to-day employment decisions, and conducts litigation avoidance training and seminars. Her strong reputation has earned industry accolades, including 2014 and 2015 recognition as a Rising Star in Ohio Super Lawyers®.

Kathumbi earned her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, her M.A. from the University of Chicago and her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati.

About Littler
Littler is the largest global employment and labor law practice, with over 1,000 attorneys in over 70 offices worldwide. Littler represents management in all aspects of employment and labor law and serves as a single-source solution provider to the global employer community. Consistently recognized in the industry as a leading and innovative law practice, Littler has been litigating, mediating and negotiating some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record for over 70 years. Littler Global is the collective trade name for an international legal practice, the practicing entities of which are separate and distinct professional firms. For more information visit:

College of Law Chief of Staff Installed as National President

Mina JeffersonMina Jones Jefferson, Chief of Staff and Director of the Center for Professional Development, is now president of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), an association of more than 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 installed at the NALP annual conference in April 2016. Her term includes service as president-elect in 2015-16, president in 2016-2017 and immediate past president in 2017-2018.

“It’s a privilege to have a leadership role with the preeminent organization for legal career professionals,” Jefferson said. “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 1990 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 and 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.

Marianna Bettman, Law Professor and Alumnae, Receives University’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Professor Emerita of Practice Marianna Bettman received the University of Cincinnati Distinguished Teaching Professor Award on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

Marianna BetmanCincinnati, OH—Congratulations to Cincinnati Law graduate and Professor Emerita of Practice Marianna Brown Bettman who received the University of Cincinnati’s Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. The award was presented at the university’s annual Faculty Awards Celebration, presided over by President Santa Ono, Provost Beverly Davenport, and the Faculty Senate.

"We are all exceptionally glad of the recognition Professor Bettman is receiving for being an exceptional educator. She has had a positive influence on the practice of law in Ohio and beyond through the hundreds of students she has taught. I look forward to her continued association with the law school even as she enjoys the much deserved freedom of retirement," said Jennifer S. Bard, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law at Cincinnati Law.

Professor Bettman started her professional career working in community development during the late 60’s, speaking to community members about school desegregation. Recognizing the role legal solutions could play to address racial injustice, she determined that her next career step would be law school at the university. While there, she excelled at school, winning the Constitutional Law Prize and becoming the first woman to be awarded first prize in Trial Advocacy.

After graduation in 1977, Professor Bettman began working in private practice. From there, she was elected Judge, First District Court of Appeals—the first woman elected to this position. She developed an expertise in separation of powers, state constitutional law, and the Ohio judicial system. After six years on the bench, the opportunity arose to join academia, leading her to College of Law in 1999; she remained at the school until recently. Her mastery of material and the high expectations set for students is legendary. Students, in turn, thrived under her style. Noted one, “Professor Bettman keeps us on our toes. You must be well-prepared at all times because you are called on every class!” In addition to teaching, she directed the Judge-In-Residence and Judicial Extern programs.

Professor Bettman is the recipient of numerous awards. They include the following: The Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2005, 2011, 2014), the Excellence in Education Award (Ohio Magazine, 2011), Cincinnati Attorney of the Year (Jewish National Fund, Judge Carl B. Rubin Legal Society, 2010), the Foot Soldiers in the Sand Award (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People-National Chapter, 2008), the A.B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching (University of Cincinnati, 2008), the Nettie Cronies Lutes Award (Ohio State Bar Association, 2008), the University of Cincinnati Law Alumni Association Distinguished Alumna Award (2001), the Women’s Studies Distinguished Alumna Award (University of Cincinnati, 1998), the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement (1994), and many more. She authors the well-respected blog Legally Speaking Ohio and the monthly newspaper column Legally Speaking for the American Israelite, in addition to lecturing at numerous continuing legal education seminars, including an annual presentation at the Ohio Judicial Conference. Professor Bettman retired from teaching in December 2015. However, she is still committed to the law school and the education and training of future generations of attorneys.

Brandon Craig ’09 Presents Paper on Fighting Housing Discrimination

Brandon Craig ’09 presented his paper “Black Zip Codes matter: Fighting Housing Discrimination in the 21st Century,” at the recent David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia Law Review Symposium. The symposium’s theme was “From Protest Movements of the ‘60s to #BlackLivesMatter: Legal Strategies for an Emerging Civil Rights Movement.”

In his paper, Mr. Craig covers the historic change in the laws leading to the passage of the fair housing act in 1968. He then goes on to discuss the changes in the enforcement of the fair housing act up to the present, finishing with how we must change our arguments going forward in the 21st Century.

Here's a link to the symposium to view the presentation: Craig Presentation

Sue Erhart '96 promoted to General Counsel at Great American Insurance

Great American Insurance Group has named two new leaders for its legal team. Sue Erhart has been promoted to general counsel, while Eve Cutler Rosen has been named executive counsel within its Property and Casualty Legal Group.

Erhart will continue to have direct responsibility for the staff and operations of the Property and Casualty Group’s Legal Department in her new role. She joined Great American in June 2010 after she became a partner at Cincinnati’s Keating, Muething & Klekamp PLL. She received her bachelor’s degree from Xavier University and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Rosen will oversee the company’s international operations in her new role and serve as senior counsel for the Property and Casualty Group. She has been general counsel since August 1999 and worked for Great American for 29 years. She previously worked at Aetna and was in private practice in Philadelphia. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University School of Law.

Great American primarily focuses on property and casualty insurance for businesses along with the sale of traditional fixed and fixed-indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions and education markets. It’s a subsidiary of American Financial Group (NYSE: AFG), which is also based in Cincinnati.

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