2004 Graduate Yvette Simpson’s Success Story Continues with City Council Election
Yvette Simpson ’04 flirted with the idea of running for Cincinnati City Council for a few years, but it was not until July 2010 that she decided to enter a race.
From October 2010 to the early days of November 2011, the proud Cincinnatian and West End resident poured countless hours into her 2011 campaign. But even after all the time and energy put forth, the end result was surprising to her.
“I never thought I’d win the first time out,” Simpson said.
On Nov. 8, Simpson was elected to City Council, one of four newcomers to the nine-member council. Since that day and since being sworn in on Dec. 1, “it’s been a whirlwind,” the 33-year-old said.
Simpson got quickly acclimated to her new role, first working with the rest of the council to pass the budget. Since those first two weeks, Simpson has been attending meetings, getting out in the community and familiarizing herself with “what’s happening and where the city is going to go” in the coming years.
More than three months in, Simpson says her goals have not changed. Now she is working hard with her fellow councilmembers to achieve them. “One of the overarching things that I was looking at was really kind of bringing a sense of efficiency, order (and) transparency to the way the government happens,” Simpson said. “I think that we have been successful in that already.”
Outside of supporting the initiatives of the other eight councilmembers, Simpson said her office is concerned with three areas in particular: small business development, neighborhood development and a focus on youth as the future of Cincinnati.
“I think for the first time in a long time you are seeing a council that’s really looking at how do we progress Cincinnati, how do we make Cincinnati a world-class city,” said Simpson, reflecting not only on her aspirations but also those of the other councilmembers. “We’re really in a position to be able to become competitive with cities that we would not typically compare ourselves to.”
Pursuing a Legal Career
When Simpson was eight years old, she decided she wanted to attend law school. While few children at that age have this aspiration, this is especially noteworthy considering no one in her family attended college, let alone pursued a graduate degree. “I looked at the law as an opportunity to make change. I don’t know why I saw that at eight, but I really did,” said Simpson, who grew up in Lincoln Heights. “There are, of course, always challenges when you’re the first at anything, particularly when you have very little resources. I was very fortunate to have lots of support.”
After graduating from Princeton High School, she attended Miami University, majoring in political science and mass communication, while minoring in business legal studies. Simpson was highly involved at Miami, which was a “wonderful” experience and helped her grow as an individual, she said.
“I feel like undergrad was an opportunity to become myself,” Simpson said. “I finally became a leader in law school. I started to realize I could be someone that could lead things and get things done.”
Simpson enrolled at the College of Law in the fall of 2001, and was very active on and off campus for all three years, which included working multiple part-time jobs, just as she had done while attending Miami.
At UC Law, Simpson co-chaired the Student Legal Education Committee (SLEC), was an executive member of the Moot Court board (and was inducted to the Order of the Barristers), served on the honor council, was a senior articles editor for the Human Rights Quarterly, and worked as an associate with both Baker & Hostetler LLP and Frost Brown Todd LLC.
“I got a taste of leadership and involvement, and I loved it,” said Simpson, who received the University of Cincinnati’s “Spirit of the Community” award while attending the College of Law.
Following law school, Simpson worked at Frost Brown Todd and then with Keating Muething & Klekamp PPL. Working in private practice helped Simpson build a strong foundation, but she soon found that she “gravitated more towards the community and the opportunity to help people,” she said.
In her third year in practice, Simpson had the opportunity to travel to Africa with a team of lawyers, doctors, teachers and engineers, where she conducted a non-profit education group.
After enjoying this experience, Simpson began to ask herself, ‘Could I make a living out of making change?’ Can I serve for a living, as opposed to it being the thing that I do after work?’
Simpson went on to develop Miami University’s first pre-law program after being approached by the university. Simpson, who called this a “phenomenal growth opportunity,” has led the Miami pre-law center for five years and is sad to be leaving the program at the end of the month.
Passion for the Past
In 2005, Simpson was named to the Business Courier’s “Forty under 40” list and she was also named a YWCA Rising Star. There are too many accomplishments to list them all, but there is one thing Simpson is particularly proud of: making it to and graduating from law school after setting that goal at age eight.
“That’s probably the most significant because it was the thing I always wanted to do. To have accomplished that is just phenomenal,” Simpson said. “When I look back at how far I’ve come and how many obstacles there were between me and that, and it feels like everything after my law degree really is ‘cake.’”
Not only is Simpson proud of her law degree, but she is specifically fond of her time at the College of Law. “I love my law school,” Simpson said. “I get as involved as I can. Of course, I have a great relationship with the law school through my work at Miami. I’m just really proud of my school.”
On Oct. 31, just more than a week before Election Day, Simpson was one of several City Council candidates who attended a lunchtime forum at the College of Law. This event, co-sponsored by the Law Republicans and Law Democrats, was a great opportunity for each of the candidates, especially Simpson.
“I was the only one, I think, there who actually attended UC law school, which was quite an honor for me to be able to get back to my alma mater,” Simpson said. “I was really inspired by the questions and comments of the folks that we met with.”
Outside of her work, Simpson has become “quite enamored” with golf and enjoys working out, listening to live music, singing and dancing. Despite being a people-person, she also likes the occasional peace and quiet to read biographies and autobiographies about great leaders.
By Jordan Cohen, ’13
Julie Janson ’88 Named 2012 Chair of Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
2012-02-28: Julie Janson, president of Duke Energy in Ohio and Kentucky, will serve as the 2012 chair of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She was publicly installed into the position on Feb. 16 at the Chamber’s annual dinner.
In her role at Duke Energy, Janson leads Duke Energy’s Ohio and Kentucky operations, serving approximately 1.2 million gas and electric customers. In addition to her leadership at the Chamber, Janson serves on the boards of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, 3CDC and Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and is a member of the Cincinnati Business Committee. She also chaired the 2010 campaign for the Fine Arts Fund, now known as ArtsWave.
Bryant and Shanahan Named One of the 2012 Women to Watch by the Cincinnati Enquirer
Christie Bryant ‘06, an attorney and small business owner, is chairperson of the African American Chamber. In this position she will monitor projects including minority hiring at the incoming Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, which plans to fill 1,700 permanent jobs. In addition, she is founder of Records Request, a documents service. Finally, Bryant is a member of the Cincinnati City Planning Commission, new chair of the city Human Services Advisory Committee, and finance chairwoman of the Avondale Community Council.
Megan Shanahan ‘00 is a Municipal Court judge for Hamilton County. Elected November 2011, Shanahan has the distinction of being the youngest of 14 Hamilton County Municipal Court judges. She was elected to this position after 11 years as prosecutor in Butler and Hamilton Counties, where she won convictions of child abusers and murderers.
For the complete list of the Enquirer’s 2012 Women to Watch, visit the website. (Women to Watch list)
“Ten Key Skills for Building a Successful and Rewarding Legal Career over the Next 10 Years: An Insider’s Perspective”
When: Thursday, April 5, 2012
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.mm
(a complimentary cocktail reception will follow the presentation)
Location: Graydon Head & Ritchey, 1900 Fifth Third Center, 511 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202, 20th floor
Cost: Complimentary for GCMCP members and UC Law Alums
CLE: GCMCP has requested one (1) hour of professionalism CLE credit in Ohio and one (1) hour of general credit in Kentucky
RSVP: Michelle Moeller, or 513-722- 4942. Pre-registration is now open. Reserve your seat early as space is limited.
So you think that you have what it takes to get promoted and make it to the top? Get an insider’s perspective from two of the top legal recruiters in the country, Michael Sachs and Sonja Olds Sam of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Chicago Office. The duo will share their “insider’s perspective” on the 10 soft and substantive skills most requested by today’s top corporations and firms when hiring their next lawyer.
Take an hour to invest in your career while gaining valuable, complimentary CLE credit. Sachs and Som will share how you can become a stronger candidate at your current or next employer. As the legal market place continues to evolve, you might be surprised at the skills and talents most highly prized by today’s employers. Please join us for a thought-provoking, practical look at personal development, followed by a complimentary cocktail reception.
About the Speakers:
Michael Sachs, Managing Director at Major, Lindsey & Africa-Chicago.
Mr. Sach’s national recruiting practice focuses on placing attorneys at all levels – from associate counsel to general counsels in corporate legal departments around the world, with a target on MLA’s Central Region.
Sonya Olds Som, Managing Director in Major Lindsey & Africa- Chicago.
Ms. Som’s practice focuses on developing and executing business development and strategic marketing initiatives for MLA’s In-House Practice Group, as well as MLA’s sister company, Inside Edge Legal, in the Central Region.
This event is presented by the University of Cincinnati Law Alumni Association and the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program.
Catching Up With Rob Lewis '97, Alumni Association President
Dear Alumni and Friends,
On behalf of the UC Law Alumni Association Board of Trustees, welcome to the New Year! I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for the great year that the UC Law Alumni Association had in 2011. With tremendous support from the alumni, the Association continued to work closely with the law school to provide our alumni and the Greater Cincinnati legal community a valuable array of CLE programs and activities – both social and professional.
- In May, we continued our 30 year tradition of honoring Distinguished Alumni when we presented Distinguished Alumnus Awards to George Fabe ’81, Louis F. Gilligan ’68, and Col. Levator Norsworth, Jr. ’73 at our annual Spring Luncheon. At this event, we also awarded our annual scholarships to James (Jimmy) Harrison ‘13 and Antwuan Williamson ‘13.
- In August, we hosted a summer social/happy hour at Via Vite Restaurant. Approximately 75 alumni and students attended, all of whom had a great time networking, catching up and enjoying appetizers, drinks, and views of Fountain Square.
- In November, we provided almost a full day of CLE at the Kingsgate Marriott to nearly 100 alumni and friends. This year’s speakers included Judge and Professor Marianna Brown Bettman (Ohio Supreme Court Update), Professor Sandra Sperino (Civil Procedure Update), Chuck Strain (Professionalism) and Patrick Garry (Substance Abuse). We also honored Mike Zavatsky with the Adjunct Faculty Award.
- We also held our first-ever joint Alumni Association/Student Bar Association Bearcat Tailgate. Helped along by some great grilling by SBA President (and Board Member) Jared Hess ‘12 and great weather, the tailgate attracted close to 200 attendees covering five decades of College of Law alumni as well as many current students from each class. Everyone managed to have a great time despite UC’s loss to WVU.
Of course, these are just some of the highlights. We also supported the law school and the SBA in many other activities, including the Barrister Speed Chats, a career discussion forum, and the charity golf tournament sponsored by the SBA.
In 2012, I would encourage you to take full advantage of these programs. Not only do they provide excellent opportunities for networking and professional growth, but they also are a lot of fun. This year I hope we can work together to expand both the size and the number of the Alumni Association’s events and activities so that we can include more alumni from more classes.
Rob Lewis ’97
Law Review Meant Opportunity to Learn and Contribute to Legal Scholarship for James Tate '09
It has been less than three years since James Tate ’09 took a position at Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham, but his experience thus far at the seven-lawyer firm has been “incredible.”
“I couldn’t ask for more diverse and challenging work, and have had endless opportunities to take on new tasks and develop new skills,” Tate said. “Your first year or two as a lawyer is daunting, and most of us don’t really know what we are doing. Being at a small firm with talented and experienced lawyers gives me the opportunity for structured growth and mentoring whenever I need it.”
Tate said the firm’s main focus is “qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act,” while they also do an array of litigation and appellate work. In his time at Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham, Tate has taken and participated in many depositions; briefed summary judgment multiple times; and written motions in limine, jury instructions, pretrial orders and discovery. He also traveled throughout the United States for a False Claims Act case – one he worked on for two years right out of law school – involving “bid rigging at a Navy supercomputer center in Mississippi.”
Like countless attorneys working in downtown Cincinnati, Tate received his legal education up the hill at the College of Law. It was there that he founded the College’s ACLU student chapter and also participated in Law Review. “I applied for Law Review because you had to apply to get on Law Review, and I wanted to see if I could,” said Tate, who was born in Louisville but moved to Cincinnati at age six. “I chose to be on Law Review because I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn and make a real contribution to legal scholarship.”
As a 2L associate editor, Tate found the writing to be challenging, but he also learned a lot, he said. He credited the 3L editors for helping “sharpen” his writing, and he ultimately had a comment published: “Eliminating the Nexus Obstacle to the Prosecution of International Drug Traffickers on the High Seas.”
“I grew a lot as a 2L and valued the Law Review as an institution,” he said. “The Law Review is an unparalleled opportunity for students to read, write, think and participate in legal debate. I wanted to help sustain and grow one of the prized assets of UC Law.”
And Tate did just that, becoming the Law Review’s editor-in-chief in 2008-09. His work on the Law Review not only earned him a prestigious award, but he eventually landed a job with the namesake of that accolade.
Tate and publications editor Kelley Brandstetter were 2009 recipients of the James B. Helmer, Jr. University of Cincinnati Law Review Prize. Based on Helmer’s continued involvement with the College of Law and the Law Review since graduating in 1975, he and Tate met a few times as a result. “He was looking for another lawyer, and I was looking for interesting work,” Tate said. “It was a good fit.”
Coming to the College of Law was also a good fit for Tate, who earned a bachelor of philosophy degree from Miami University in 2004. Between 2004 and enrolling in law school in 2006, Tate was a counselor, followed by a file clerk at Manley Burke.
Today, Tate is not only a busy attorney, but his family keeps him busy as well. “I have a two year old daughter (Julia), so I answer lots of questions, dig in the mud, sword fight, go to the zoo and museum, play with stickers and stuffed animals, have tea parties, and wrestle,” said Tate, who added that he and his wife are expecting another child this spring. The Mt. Washington resident also enjoys canoeing, fishing and bike riding. “I am very happy with the work I am doing right now, and with my present and future opportunities for growth,” he said. “When I’m not at work, I try to live simply, take time off, and enjoy my family.”
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
Scott A. Kane '97 Named Managing Partner of Squire Sanders’ Cincinnati Office
Ohio (January 24, 2012) - Scott A. Kane has been named managing partner of Squire Sanders’ Cincinnati office.
Squire Sanders is a global law firm with 37 offices in countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Lawyers in the Cincinnati office offer clients a full range of counsel pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing, commercial litigation, financial services, public finance, business reorganization and bankruptcy, intellectual property, and international matters.
Kane is a Litigation partner with a focus on business and financial services-related litigation. He also represents debtors, creditors’ committees, and other clients in disputed matters in commercial bankruptcy cases and has worked on Enron, WorldCom, Lehman Brothers, and other large bankruptcies. In addition to his litigation practice, Kane leads Squire Sanders’ E-Discovery & Data Management team and teaches a class on electronic discovery as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Under his leadership, Squire Sanders serves as national e-discovery counsel to several Fortune 500 corporations around the country.
“Scott balances an active litigation practice, challenging work on e-discovery and active involvement in the Cincinnati legal community, and we are very pleased to have him join Squire Sanders’ leadership team in this office management role,” said James J. Maiwurm, Squire Sanders chairman and CEO.
Deborah L. Spranger '97 Elected to Executive Committee of Saul Ewing LLP
Gary B. Eidelman and Deborah L. Spranger, partners and Vice Chairs of Saul Ewing's Business and Finance Practice in the Baltimore, MD and Chesterbrook, PA offices respectively, have been elected to the Firm's Executive Committee, effective immediately. The seven-attorney committee serves as the firm's managing body; they will each serve a five-year term....
Spranger is a business transactional attorney with significant experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and the licensing and commercialization of intellectual property. She serves as outside General Counsel to technology, manufacturing and other companies of all sizes, including a number of start-up and growth-stage biotechnology, specialty pharma and medical device companies. She assists companies in a wide variety of corporate and commercial matters, from counseling on formation and organizational issues, to developing strategies to incentivize and retain employees, to negotiating and documenting licensing, supply and distribution arrangements with customers and suppliers. In addition to her role as Vice Chair of the Business and Finance Practice, Spranger is Co-Chair of the Firm's Life Sciences practice and the creator of its Medical Device Roundtable Series. She is active in community and industry organizations, including serving on the Boards of Directors of the Southeastern Economic Development Council of Pennsylvania and the Chester County Keystone Innovation Zone.
Spranger received her B.A., cum laude, from Furman University and her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Kearney Elected to Lead Senate Democrats
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Democrats in the Ohio Senate have elected a Cincinnati lawyer with close ties to President Barack Obama to head a new slate of caucus leaders in the presidential election year.
State Sen. Eric Kearney replaces state Sen. Capri Cafaro, of Hubbard, who led minority Democrats since January 2009. Cafaro said she wants to focus her energies in her district.
Kearney aide Damien Hardy said the full Senate must act on the transition. That vote is expected next week.
Joining Kearney on the new leadership team are state Sens. Joe Schiavoni of Youngstown, Nina Turner of Cleveland and Edna Brown of Toledo.
Kearney served on the national finance committee of Obama's 2008 campaign and as a state co-chair. His wife, Jan-Michele, was a Harvard law school classmate of the president's.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Kristyne A. Bullock '98 Promoted to Shareholder of Flaster/Greenberg
Flaster/Greenberg PC is pleased to announce the election of Kristyne A. Bullock and Jeffrey D. Hofferman to shareholders effective January 1, 2012. Both Bullock and Hofferman reside in the firm’s Philadelphia office and are members of the firm’s Intellectual Property and Litigation practice groups, respectively.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce the election of Kristyne Bullock and Jeff Hofferman to shareholders of the firm,” said Peter R. Spirgel, Managing Shareholder and Chief Operating Officer at Flaster/Greenberg. “Both are exceptional attorneys and have been tremendous assets to our dynamic law firm.”
Nearly doubling the size of its Intellectual Property practice in the last five years, Flaster/Greenberg’s attorneys help protect intellectual property crucial to both companies and individuals conducting business in emerging and growth industries that include biomedical, biotechnology, chemical, information technology, energy, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and telecommunications. Currently comprised of 15 attorneys, their depth of knowledge and experience in this complex legal area ensures maximum protection and realization of value for their clients.
Bullock concentrates her practice in patent procurement and transactional matters, patent litigation, and IP portfolio strategy and management. She conducts due diligence analyses for mergers and acquisitions and provides guidance and counseling to clients in patent law and interpretation, the implications of intellectual property law on business and commercial strategies, and licensing and IP-related agreements.
Bullock counsels and educates clients on matters involving the interaction of patent law and regulatory provisions in U.S. and non-U.S. jurisdictions. In addition, her past in-house experience as associate counsel at a Fortune 100 company provides her with a unique appreciation and insight into the needs of her corporate clients.
A resident of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, Bullock is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law (J.D. 1998), University of Cincinnati (M.S. 1995) and Gettysburg College (B.A. 1993). She is also a member of the Biotechnology and Emerging Technologies Group within the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association.