Menu Toggle menu

Professor Jacob Cogan Elected to Executive Council of American Society of International Law


Jacob Katz Cogan, the Judge Joseph P. Kinneary Professor of Law, was recently elected a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. Founded in 1906, the Society, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, is the preeminent international law learned society in the United States. Its nearly 4,000 members from more than 100 nations include attorneys, academics, corporate counsel, judges, representatives of governments and non-governmental organizations, international civil servants, students, and others interested in international law. Professor Cogan recently co-chaired the Society’s 2018 Annual Meeting.

Immediately prior to joining the College of Law in 2006, he served for five years as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. Professor Cogan is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has received both the College’s Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching and its Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award.

Date: May 10, 2018

College of Law Celebrates its Graduates at the 185th Hooding Ceremony


The University of Cincinnati College of Law will celebrate the accomplishments of its graduates at the 185th Hooding Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

Cincinnati, OH – The University of Cincinnati College of Law will celebrate the accomplishments of its graduates at its 185th Hooding Ceremony. Verna L. Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law, will lead the ceremony, where 107 degrees will be conferred. This number includes 91 juris doctor degrees, 14 LLM (master’s) degrees and 2 certificates.

Randall ComerThe Hooding keynote speaker will be Randall M. Comer, Partner at Martin, Browne, Hill & Harper PLL. A Class of 2000 College of Law graduate, Comer is the president of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA). A civil trial attorney, he specializes in labor and employment, workers’ compensation, and contract disputes. In addition to the OSBA, he is a member of the Clark County Bar Association, the Dayton Bar Association and the Green County Bar Association. Comer was also selected for Ohio Super Lawyers 2011-2013 and for Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2005.

GriggsThis year’s recipient of the 2018 Nicholas J. Longworth, III Alumni Achievement Award, which recognizes graduates for their outstanding contributions to society, is Gerald A. Griggs. A 2004 graduate of the College of Law, Griggs is an Atlanta based litigator who has handled numerous high-profile cases including representing clients involved in the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating trial. His most notable case, Jaheem Herrera, helped launch the National Anti-Bullying Movement and changed anti-bullying law in Georgia.

All are invited to attend. Tickets are not required and there is no limit to the number of guests.

OIP Breakfast Raises Over $150K to Help Wrongly Convicted Persons


Cincinnati, OH— The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) at Cincinnati Law raised over $153,570 at its third Annual Breakfast April 19, featuring stories of innocent persons who still would be incarcerated, were it not for OIP.

“The extreme generosity of this community allows us to have a tremendous impact,” said Verna L. Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law at Cincinnati Law. “OIP demonstrates how a law school can make strides for justice, while providing a transformational experience for students. Whether they choose careers focusing on social justice or corporate law, our law students learn valuable lessons about persevering in the face of unimaginable injustice, committing to excellence in client service, among other things, that will make them outstanding attorneys.” 

The centerpiece of this year’s event was the premiere of the newest OIP video, which featured persons freed by OIP since its founding in 2003.  Viewers heard about their struggles to remain whole while wrongly incarcerated and their joys upon finally being released.   At the end of the video, the OIP’s most recent exonerees Ru-El Sailor (freed several weeks ago after 15 years in prison) and Evin King (exonerated in 2017 after 23 years in prison), joined other exonerees on the stage to celebrate OIP’s success in freeing 26 people. 

“The 26 exonerees are a direct reflection of the gifts and support of our donors,” said Mindy Roy, Assistant Director of Development at Cincinnati Law. “We are so grateful for their commitment to OIP.”

Co-chairs for this year’s breakfast were Anne DeLyons and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant, members of the OIP Board of Advocates. Event sponsors included the following: 19/19 Investment Counsel; Barbara J. Howard Co., L.P.A.; Blank Rome LLP; Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP; Helmer, Martins, Rice & Popham Co, L.P.A.; Katz Teller; Loevy & Loevy; Murray & Agnes Seasongood Foundation; Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP / The Estabrook Trust; Rittgers & Rittgers; White Getgey Meyer Co., L.P.A.; Bahl & Gaynor; Candace Crouse and Martin Pinales; Frost Brown Todd LLC; Gerhardstein & Branch Co., LPA; John D. Smith Co., LPA,; The Spahr Foundation; and Squire Patton Boggs.

EVENT PHOTO GALLERY >> 

 

About Cincinnati Law

As the fourth oldest continuously operating law school in the country, Cincinnati Law has a rich history. Its distinguished alumni include a U.S. president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and six governors. The College cultivates an intimate learning experience with a 9:1 student to faculty ratio and offers a wealth of resources, such as more than 40 student organizations, five journals and seven centers and institutes. For more information, please visit www.law.uc.edu.

 

 

Mark Godsey Receives University’s Faculty Research Mentoring Award


Cincinnati, OH—Congratulations to Professor Mark Godsey, the recipient of the University of Cincinnati’s Faculty-to-Faculty Research Mentoring Award.

This honor recognizes faculty members who use their time to support, counsel and mentor peers at various stages in their careers. Criteria for nomination include a history of demonstrated research mentorship; activities to support the success of peer faculty in clinical, translational or basic science research; and, evidence of mentee’s success in research endeavors.

“Professor Mark Godsey exemplifies the excellence of our law faculty, not only in making significant academic contributions, but also in building a community of scholars,” shared Verna L. Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law at the College of Law.

Awardees receive $1,000 in faculty development funding to expand their research efforts. This award is presented by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research.

Cincinnati Law Faculty Celebrated For Excellence In And Out Of Classrooms


Cincinnati, OH—Congratulations to Kristin Kalsem, the Charles Hartsock Professor of Law and Co-director, Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice; and Felix Chang, Associate Professor of Law and Co-director, Corporate Law Center! Both recently received the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious “Award for Faculty Excellence.”

The award recognizes exemplary faculty because of their exceptional and significant service, outstanding research, innovations and accomplishments.

“I’m excited for and proud of my colleagues,” shared Verna L. Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law. “This award reflects the incredible work they do. We are lucky that Professors Kalsem and Chang are part of our community.”

UC’s Offices of the Provost and Vice President for Research distributes the award annually. Honorees will receive $2,000 in faculty development funds to use to enhance their work at the university. 

Publication Date: April 19, 201

Cincinnati Law Professors Honored at University Faculty Awards Celebration


The University of Cincinnati presented its All-University Faculty Awards to 15 faculty members and one team in a celebration of teaching excellence on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Three College of Law faculty members were honored.

Professor Emily Houh, the Gustavus Henry Wald Professor of the Law and Contracts | Co-director, Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Presented with: the Distinguished Teaching Professor. This award represents the highest level of recognition for achievements and contributions in university teaching. It recognizes long-term commitment to excellence, and is awarded to instructors who represent the ideals of the educational profession and have made impactful contributions in teaching, curricular development, and the mentoring and supervision of students.

When Emily Houh, JD, first began teaching, her father, a university math professor known for his seemingly never-ending well of patience, offered her sage advice that’s come to be a guiding principal in how she approaches education.

In every class you teach, regardless of how good or bad a teacher you are, Houh’s father told her, there will be 10 percent of the class who will get the material and 10 percent who will not. The challenge, he said, is how to reach the 80 percent of students for whom it will matter how good of a teacher you are.

“You have to pay attention to the students at the ends, but you’ve got to pitch mostly to those in the middle, and it’s really challenging to do all three of those things simultaneously,” said Houh. “That advice carries me through in all of my teaching. That’s how you reach the most students.”

Reaching students across the spectrum has never been a challenge for Houh, say her students, who consistently give her among the highest teaching ratings and thrice awarded her the college’s Goldman Prize for Teaching Excellence. Two students even asked Houh to officiate their weddings.

Beyond the classroom, Houh works tirelessly to bring innovative programming to campus and create unique professional opportunities for students through her role as co-director of the college’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice.

Colleague Professor Kristin Kalsem, whose office is next to Houh’s, sees the dedicated law professor’s commitment to student success on a daily basis in the hours she spends with students — both current and former — discussing papers, exams, careers or just life.

“Professor Houh does much more than share her knowledge; she shares herself,” said Kalsem. “She is outstanding in the classroom, but truly extraordinary outside it.”

 

Janet Moore, Associate Professor of Law

Presented with: Mrs. A.B. "Dolly" Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award recognizes individuals committed to excellence in teaching, demonstrating creativity, respect for diverse opinions and experiences, and provides an atmosphere that fosters self-confidence, positive self-concept and mutual respect.

When the UC College of Law first asked Janet Moore, JD, to teach classes, the capital defense attorney and policy advocate decided to test a hypothesis: “Would I be able to accomplish more system change from this position than I was doing by case-by-case litigation or policy research and advocacy?”

It wasn’t long before Moore, now a law professor at UC, had her answer.

“I still get to do that policy-oriented research and advocacy, but now I get to teach it,” she said. “It’s such an honor to be a part of raising up the next generation of change-makers.”

For Moore, it’s that tireless dedication to pursuing justice that’s earned her a reputation as an exceptional educator who devotes an incredible amount of her time both in and outside of the classroom to ensure student engagement and success.

Students regularly say that Moore’s classes are among the most challenging — and memorable — of their law school careers.

Students prosecute houseplants and question stuffed animals on the witness stand. Lesson plans are supplemented with vintage film clips, card games and the opera Don Giovanni. Classes sing the Federal Rules of Evidence recorded to the tune of nursery rhymes.

Last year, Moore allowed first-year law students to work with her on an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, which cited the brief in its majority opinion — an experience the jubilant students described as “surreal,” “profound,” and the “highlight” of their year.

“Janet is a professor who sets high expectations for her students, balancing both joy and rigor in the classroom. Her classes reflect the kind of deep learning that represents the highest standards of teaching,” said Verna Williams, the college’s interim dean and Nippert Professor of Law.

 

Professor Michael Solimine and Professor Emily Houh

Inductees: Fellows of the Graduate School

Professor Michael Solimine, the Donald P. Klekamp Professor of Law, and Professor Emily Houh also were inducted as Fellows of the Graduate School. This honor recognizes distinguished researchers and scholars from across the university. In addition to their outstanding individual accomplishments, Fellow are among the most accomplished graduate-student mentors at UC.

 

Writer: Rachel Richardson, UC Public Relations

Perspective: My Time with Judge Shira Scheindlin


Want to hear more from Judge Scheindlin? Check out the video

Before attending law school, I asked every lawyer I met what to expect. Nobody could condense the experience into one conversation, but one UC Law graduate’s words stuck with me. “Learning the law,” he said, “is like learning a whole new language. It’s a different world.” That has been the most apt description of my experience so far. Law school is a whole new world, one full of dense and oftentimes dissonant concepts that students must grow to not just understand, but synthesize and draw upon to form our own arguments. Immersing myself in these new concepts has been rewarding, but has left me feeling somewhat disconnected from the “real” world. Judge Scheindlin’s visit was a much-needed reminder of what brought me to law school, and what is waiting on the other side.

I was fortunate to attend several of Judge Scheindlin’s presentations. She, along with Judge Michael Barrett, explained to the first-year Lawyering classes what federal district judges look for in advocates. The judges both pressed the importance of brevity when discussing the commonalities of great briefs. Briefs, they explained, are 75% of an advocate’s argument—by the time oral arguments take place, it can be difficult to shift a judge’s mind. Great briefs are simple, clear, and organized. Great advocates speak slowly, answer the question asked, and never show disrespect to opposing counsel.

The traits both judges placed the most importance on helped me to understand the reality of the courtroom. As a 29-year old first-year, I am well acquainted with the working world. Still, listening to these judges discuss what they value in their courtrooms gave me a sense of awed recognition, akin to the feelings evoked by a photo of Mila Kunis buying ice cream at midnight—Stars! They’re just like us! Being thoughtful, succinct, and respectful will serve me as well in the courtroom as it has in every other position I’ve held. “Trust what you know,” one of my professors often says, and it seems that will hold true in all areas.

The judges, while eminently respectable, were also disarmingly candid. They shared tips for conquering nerves (write your argument longhand; practice in the mirror until you can’t stand the sight of yourself) and relatable stories from their own law school days (Judge Barrett, like most of us at UC Law, has been known to head straight to Woody’s after an exam). As a layperson, I’d always considered judges one step below deities in their power and presence. Spending time with Judges Scheindlin and Barrett wasn’t just a welcome glimpse of judges’ humanity, but also a reminder that I could be sitting in their seats one day. They have been where I am, they told me, and I can make it to where they are now.

Judge Schiendlin also gave a presentation to my civil procedure class regarding electronic discovery. I came into law school certain I wanted to work in the criminal field, and though I’ve enjoyed my civil procedure classes, it’s not a topic that has particularly moved me. Judge Schiendlin’s revolutionary work in the field of electronic discovery was riveting, and that is not an overstatement. She fleshed out a case that my class had extensively studied—a case that she presided over! In Zubulake, Judge Schiendlin was able to propose new standards for electronic discovery. Learning about the plaintiff’s indefatigable spirit in her search for justice in this sexual harassment case gave civil procedure a human face, and helped me to understand how these wordy, circuitous federal rules truly affect people’s lives. Because the plaintiff in Zubulake was able to provide countless examples of intentional withholding of discovery on the part of the defendant, Judge Schiendlin decided to sanction the depriving party. Her insistence that the discovering party act in good faith, as well as the new proportionality analysis Judge Schiendling included in the scope of discovery standard, ensure that weaker parties will be offered protection by the FRCP, and that the interests of justice are truly served.

The final and most fascinating presentation given by Judge Scheindlin was centered on her most famous court case, Floyd v. City of New York, or simply the “stop and frisk” case. Even before entering law school, I had heard about this case, and the famous final ruling. Judge Scheindlin offhandedly mentioned the death threats that were made after her ruling, but still cited this case as the most important and fulfilling moment of her career. Throughout the presentation, she skillfully led her listeners through 250 years of American history in order to illustrate how race has defined so many people’s relationships with law enforcement, for good or ill.

The uncontested facts of Floyd v. New York showed that over 8 years, the NYPD made 4.4 million Terry stops. 52 percent of those stopped were Black, 31 percent were Hispanic, and 10 percent were White. In 2010, New York’s population was 23 percent Black, 29 percent Hispanic, and 33 percent White. No further law enforcement action was taken in 88 percent of stops. Between 2004-09, when further action was taken, Black people were 30 percent more likely to be arrested than Whites, for the same suspected crime. In this same period, with all else equal, the odds of further enforcement actions were 8 percent lower if the person stopped was Black than if the person was White.

Analyzing the facts in this case, Judge Scheindlin found clear proof that unconscious racial bias, as opposed to objective facts, often dictates the decisions made by police officers or citizen watch committees. To remedy this, Judge Scheindlin imposed several regulatory actions, such as requiring officers to wear body cameras; improving training regarding stop and frisks; and keeping better records of stops, as well as ensuring oversight of those records. After Judge Scheindlin’s ruling, unlawful stops decreased by 96 percent, while crime statistics remained unchanged. Judge Scheindlin called for law enforcement agencies all across the country to closely examine their policing, and to weed out the unconscious racial biases that permeate many police officer’s actions.

Judge Scheindlin’s actions and final ruling in the Floyd case affirmed everything I had hoped law school could be. Though all lawyers follow their own paths, it remains true that each of us chose law school in order to change other people’s lives. Judge Scheindlin’s path may not be typical—she raised two children while attending law school, and most law students don’t have the honor of taking a class from Justice Ginsberg— but what binds lawyers together is not our real-world experiences, but our willingness to enter this intimidating new world, and leave it as a fierce advocate. I signed up for this, I often say to myself when faced with an unending collection of impending deadlines, and Judge Scheindlin’s visit reminded me why I did, and what I can accomplish once I finish.

By: Rachael Herrle, Class of 2018

College of Law Receives $103K Gift to Target Gender Equality


Cincinnati, OH—Thanks to an anonymous donor, future University of Cincinnati College of Law students committed to working toward gender equality will benefit from a new scholarship fund. This most recent planned gift of $103,000 is the third significant contribution to student scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year, enabling the law school to continue to attract, encourage, and support a diverse student body. This donation is the College’s first scholarship specifically dedicated to addressing gender barriers.

“We deeply appreciate this alumna’s gift,” said Verna Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law. “Recent headlines make crystal clear that much work remains to eliminate gender bias in society. This scholarship will enable the College to prepare the next generation of leaders who will dismantle the many ways traditional notions about men and women constrain all of us.”

The new scholarship will support students enrolled in the Joint Degree program in Law and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, as well as those who plan to study or address gender barriers to full participation in society.

The College of Law provides multiple opportunities for students to explore the interaction of gender and the law. Its Joint Degree program launched in 1995, the first of its kind in the nation. It provides students a unique opportunity to engage in a rigorous, interdisciplinary, and feminist study of law and social justice and remains on the cutting edge in the studies of gender, sexuality, race, and social justice. Students also may explore gender issues through the College’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice, which provides experiential learning, research, and other opportunities across disciplines to have an impact in this arena.

“This latest gift enhances the ability of the College of Law to support students seeking to make a difference,” said Thomas Giffin, Senior Director of Development at the law school.

About the University of Cincinnati College of Law

As the fourth oldest continuously operating law school in the country, UC’s College of Law has a rich history. Its distinguished alumni include a U.S. president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and six governors. The College cultivates an intimate learning experience with a 9:1 student to faculty ratio and offers a wealth of resources, such as more than 40 student organizations, five journals and seven centers and institutes. For more information, please visit www.law.uc.edu. Date: April 9, 2018

Cincinnati Law, KMK Law Launch First Law School Diversity Case Competition


Cincinnati, OH (April 9, 2018)—The Center for Professional Development at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and Cincinnati law firm Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL have partnered to create the first ever Diversity Case Competition for minority law students. The competition, targeted for law students in the Greater Cincinnati region, will be held in early 2019.

“This competition is likely the first of its kind in the law school arena and promises to become the gold standard for inclusion activities in the legal career space,” said Mina Jones Jefferson, Associate Dean, Chief of Staff, and Director of the Center for Professional Development (CPD) at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. “We’re excited to a part of this innovative initiative and look forward to seeing its growth for years to come.”

Jefferson first pitched the idea to KMK Law because the firm was seeking a creative way to recruit diverse legal talent. As one of the key players in the legal talent field and a former president of the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), Jefferson remains on the forefront of the industry.

This inaugural competition will provide a premier learning experience through a challenging case competition. In addition, participants will have opportunities to network and connect with legal and non-legal professionals from around the Greater Cincinnati area. The program will include students from the following law schools: University of Cincinnati College of Law, University of Dayton School of Law, the University of Northern Kentucky Salmon P. Chase College of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and the University of Kentucky College of Law. Additional information about the program will be available in Fall 2018.

“Becoming a truly diverse and inclusive law firm is a journey,” said Bethany P. Recht, KMK Partner and Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “We hope that this program will not only reflect KMK’s ongoing commitment to the journey, but also support the growth of diversity in the legal profession.”

About the University of Cincinnati College of Law

As the fourth oldest continuously operating law school in the country and a top 35 public law school as ranked by US News & World Report, UC’s College of Law has a rich history. Its distinguished alumni include a U.S. president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and six governors. The College cultivates an intimate learning experience with a 9:1 student to faculty ratio and offers a wealth of resources, such as more than 40 student organizations, five journals and seven centers and institutes. For more information, please visit www.law.uc.edu.

Elif Dalboy Learns About US Law As First Law Student at Hamilton County Legal Help Center


At many universities in this country, opportunities for international students can be hard to come by. Fortunately, Cincinnati Law’s LLM program encourages and enables its students from around the world to gain practical experience in the American legal system. One such student, Elif Dalboy, has become the first LLM student to volunteer at the Hamilton County Municipal Court Help Center.

Dalboy was raised in Izmir, Turkey. She is a graduate of Dokuz Eylul University, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Law. She is now pursuing her Masters at Ankara University, focusing on private international law, particularly where it pertains to conflict-of-law issues, refugee law, and citizenship law.

She is now here at UC to learn more about the American legal system.

The Help Center was established in fall 2017 in order to provide more access to the legal system for low-income Cincinnatians who cannot afford expensive legal advice. It has already provided cost-free assistance to thousands.

Dalboy speaks directly to these citizens-in-need, ensuring that they are given the proper paperwork. She learns from the center’s director, attorney Rob Wall (a Cincinnati Law graduate). Most of the cases Dalboy deals with involve landlord-tenant disputes and small claims.

Dalboy calls her experiences in the Help Center “eye opening.”

She says, “as a foreign LLM student I chose to volunteer at the Help Center to learn the judicial system firsthand. I can now confidently say that I know how to file a small claims complaint, I know the main steps of an eviction, and I’ve learned other procedural issues and some details that you cannot learn at law school.

At the Help Center, Dalboy has the opportunity to speak directly to citizens in need of assistance, ensuring that they are given the proper materials or paperwork to address their questions. She works closely with Rob Wall, learning the intricacies of the law. Most of the cases Dalboy handles involve landlord-tenant disputes and small claims. "I encounter a wide range of legal issues and have a chance to see real-life legal disputes. I prepare written informational resources that deal with a wide range of legal issues. I provide forms and help self-represented people understand and easily navigate the complex court system.

Overall, I highly recommend volunteering at the Help Center for future LLMs.”

She was once asked to sit with a magistrate and observe a proceeding. She notes that in Turkey, "we don't have that much leniency. You cannot just go and sit next to the judge."

Once she has completed the LLM program, Dalboy has her eyes set on making major inroads in the legal field. She plans to stay in the United States, preferably in New York City. She would like to practice American law and is also interested in providing legal advice to startups and businesses involved with venture capital.

Her expertise in international law, studies here at Cincinnati Law, and experience in the Help Center have readied her and will certainly give her an advantage!