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Recognized as a Best Value Law School, College of Law Receives A- Grade

University of Cincinnati College of Law cited by two publications for affordability, employment outcomes, and other factors.

Cincinnati, OH—The University of Cincinnati College of Law stands out as a consistent leader providing quality affordable legal education. Cincinnati Law has earned an A- level recognition and listing as a “Best Value Law School” by National Jurist magazine for the fourth consecutive year and preLaw magazine for the third consecutive year.

UC Law ClassroomRanked #60 by U.S. News & World Report—positioning it among the top 50 public law schools in the nation—Cincinnati Law’s “Best Value” accomplishment is indicative of the exciting changes happening at the law school. Notably, this fall first year enrollment saw a 26% increase over 2015, which had a 38% increase in enrollment. The college’s Ohio Innocence Project/Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice recently received a $15 million gift from benefactor Richard Rosenthal, the largest for the college and any innocence program in the country, which will provide for the program in perpetuity. And the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved monies to fund a concept design for a new building, development of a probable cost for new construction and a relocation study while construction is underway.

“Our consistent recognition as a top 40 “Best Value” law school reflects a Cincinnati Law degree’s high return on investment,” says College of Law Dean Jennifer S. Bard, Nippert Professor of Law. “Our students succeed at the highest level in passing the bar and in getting good jobs while at the same time enjoying low debt levels that reflect our affordable tuition and the low cost of living in our region. We are honored to be recognized and proud of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. We are also fortunate to be part of such a successful research university which enhances the value of our students’ education.”

How the ranking is determined:
Each year, the magazines release rankings of law schools across the nation, identifying those schools where graduates have excellent chances of passing the bar and getting a legal job without taking on a significant debt. Rankings are based on several determining factors:

  • bar passage
  • affordability
  • employment success
  • tuition
  • cost of living in the surrounding communities

Looking at Cincinnati Law’s numbers, 80.7% of 2015 graduates obtained full-time, JD-required jobs within 10 months of graduation. The law school beat the state’s average, ranking second in Ohio as 88% of first-time takers passed the July 2015 Ohio Bar Exam; and ranking first in the state in the state as 76% of takers passed the February 2016 Bar Exam. And, the school has actively worked to reduce student debt by introducing a low tuition rate program ($24K), reciprocity programs with surrounding counties, and low non-resident tuition fees.

Several Cincinnati Law programs have been recognized for excellence:

  • Public Interest/Criminal Law. The law school is ranked an A- school for students interested in public interest law or criminal law, based on the depth of our curricular offerings.
  • Business/Corporate Law. The law school is ranked an A- school for students interested in business or corporate law, based on the depth of our curricular offerings.
  • Prosecutorial/Public Defender Work. Cincinnati Law was named among the top 20 schools for law students interested in prosecutorial/public defender work.
  • Prosecutor/Public Defender Careers. The law school was ranked third in the nation for prosecutor and public defender careers, based on the percentage of graduates who landed jobs in public interest and government positions combined.
  • Learning By Doing. For the third consecutive year we have been named a top school for practical training, a testament to the work and impact of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic.

Finding opportunity, growth and potential of living in Cincinnati

Betsy Emmert has deep Cincinnati roots and decided to stay here for her undergraduate and law school studies.

To be honest, my decision to stay in Cincinnati was probably predetermined for me. In true Cincinnati fashion, my parents are both from Cincinnati, and so are my grandparents – and their parents. The most exotic place from which my lineage draws back for 150 years is Bethel, Ohio.

I, too, fit the stereotypical mold in that I went to a private, all-girls high school, Skyline flows through my veins, and I say “Please?” instead of “Excuse me?” when I can’t hear what you just said. However, I would be remiss in saying I did not have the option to leave the city – for college and now for law school. I was tempted by scholarship dollars, the thought of warmer weather (or perhaps colder), and the glamour of big cities, yet my decision to begin and sustain my career in Cincinnati has evolved since I sent in my seat deposit for the University of Cincinnati in 2011.

Since high school, I have heard “I want to get out of Cincinnati” more times than John Matarese has told us, “Don’t waste your money,” on Channel 9 News. Some argue it is a “right of passage” to fly the proverbial nest and start an exciting journey at University of XYZ or take a job in Big City, USA. My reasons for staying in Cincinnati were not groundbreaking or earthshattering, and probably were more practical than they were strategic when I first entered the doors of the Lindner College of Business in September 2011. When I was 18, I chose to stay in Cincinnati for college to join the Lindner Honors-PLUS Program at UC, to be near my family, and to save money rather than venture out of state. As I look back on the past five years, I realize that staying in Cincinnati opened more doors and revealed opportunities I could never have imagined possible had I left the Queen City.

Cincinnati falls into that sweet spot. As a big small city, Cincinnati has the benefits of a larger city: sports and cultural attractions, research universities, great restaurants, outstanding parks, and strong business – without the overwhelming traffic, long commutes, high cost of living, or coastal snobbery. Most importantly, Cincinnati is resilient. Despite disappointing Bengals’ performances year after year, violent weather swings, and impossible hills, our city is proud, united and rejuvenating. Ask the “boomerang” Cincinnatians who did their five-year stints in Chicago or New York City. After living in a closet, riding the subway, and suffering from Skyline withdrawal, suddenly, Cincinnati doesn’t sound so bad after all. This is not to say that Cincinnati has it all figured out – far from it actually, but that’s why I want to stay here.

In Cincinnati, I see opportunity, growth, and potential. Behind our share of political and economic issues are leaders, professionals, and businesses united to propel Cincinnati forward. As I have learned through my co-op rotations, internships, and college courses, the necessary ingredient to our city’s future success is strong talent dedicated to the future of our city. Maybe it’s attributable to the German Catholic heritage or to the industrial roots, but nevertheless, Cincinnati welcomes and embraces natives and newcomers alike, to join a thriving community proud of its history and anticipating a bright future.

Mark Twain once said, “[w]hen the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years behind the times.” Despite whether or not this held entirely true in the context of 1883, Twain’s comment may explain the apparent stigma of staying in Cincinnati ad vitum. However, I am still confident with my decision to stay in Cincinnati ... that is, of course, until I get lost on the West Side and find myself in Indiana.

Editorial published in the Cincinnati Enquirer, May 2016.

26% Increase Returns Cincinnati Law to Historic Enrollment Levels

Cincinnati, OH— It’s official. This fall, first-year enrollment at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, among the top 50 public law schools in the nation, saw a 26% increase over last year.*  With a first year class of 126 JD students, not only is this group the biggest class entering the law school since 2010, it is also representative of a six percent increase in applications over the past year.

“I am very pleased to welcome a diverse and highly qualified class to join our law school community.   Our students come from 21 different states, 62 different colleges and 41 different majors.   In particular, I’m excited about our growing ties with the University of Cincinnati’s study body that has resulted in the enrollment of 25 “Double Bearcats” with two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and three “Triple Bearcats,” says Dean and Nippert Professor of Law Jennifer S. Bard.

In addition to the JD, the LLM Program, a year-long master’s degree program for internationally-trained attorneys and law graduates, continues to grow in size and in the quality and diversity of our students.  Now in its fifth year, this year the program has enrolled 18 attorneys from ten different countries including our first ever Fulbright Scholar. Since its inception, 50 attorneys from 23 countries have come to the law school to immerse themselves in the US legal system.

All of this positive enrollment news comes on the heels of recent notable accomplishments at the law school. The college’s Ohio Innocence Project/Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice has just received a $15 million gift from Richard Rosenthal, the largest for the College and any innocence program in the country, which will provide for the program in perpetuity.  The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees recently approved $1 million to fund a concept design for a new building, development of a probable cost for new construction and a relocation study while construction is underway.

“I attribute the increase in enrollment to an increase in awareness of the value of a Cincinnati Law degree,” explains Dean Bard.  “This is the third year in a row that we have been recognized as a best value school.  Employment outcomes continue to be strong; 80.7% of 2015 graduates obtained full-time, JD-required jobs within 10 months of graduation.  Moreover, our students are well prepared by our high quality faculty and our nationally recognized ‘learn by doing’ program.”

Indeed, for three consecutive years Cincinnati Law has been named a top school for practical training. The law school is ranked an A- school for students interested in public interest or criminal law, based on the depth of our curricular offerings. And, “the strength of our program is evident,” says Dean Bard. “Our high quality program reflects the strides we have made over the last several years in academic and career preparation. We are excited that others are also recognizing what is happening at Cincinnati Law.”

* Final enrollment numbers submitted for certification by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and the Law School Admissions Council as of October 5, 2016

The Ohio Innocence Project Honors International Wrongful Conviction Day

Tonight, October 4, 2016, the Duke Energy Building will be lit in the colors yellow and white in honor of International Wrongful Conviction Day.

Cincinnati, OH—The Ohio Innocence Project/Rosenthal Institute for Justice at the University of Cincinnati College of Law is celebrating International Wrongful Conviction Day by lighting up the city’s Duke Energy Building this evening in yellow and white—the colors symbolic of the wrongful conviction movement.  

In addition to the lighting event, OIP-u chapters throughout the state have hosted activities over the last few weeks to commemorate the day. Events included:

  • The John Carroll University chapter welcomed members of the Exoneree Band, a touring group of former prisoners-turned musicians, to participate in a panel discussion about wrongful conviction. Participants included Raymond Towler, an OIP exoneree, as well as exonerees from across the country.  
  • The University of Day chapter led a discussion by Dr. Melissa Berry about the causes of wrongful conviction, incorporating examples from the Netflix series “Making a Murderer” and the personal experiences of Ohio’s exonerees.
  • The Ohio State University chapter hosted an information table to promote awareness among students about wrongful conviction and the OIP.
  • And, the University of Cincinnati chapter assisted with the inaugural Bearcat Dash & Bash event.

OIP-u is a college network of innocence advocates that provides an avenue for Ohio undergraduate and graduate students to get more involved in the fight for freedom of wrongfully incarcerated people. Launched just last year, six OIP-u chapters have been created: John Carroll University, Ohio University, University of Dayton, the Ohio State University, Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati.

Today’s celebration and event comes on the heels of the successful inaugural Bearcat Dash & Bash, the OIP’s walk/run event to raise awareness and funds for the organization and for the university’s Athletics Department. The event, held Sunday, October 2, involved more than 1800 participants—with nearly 1400 in the 5K walk and nearly 500 in the 18.19K run. The 5K walk, which also included nine exonerees walking in the Freedom Walk, took participants through the university’s award-winning campus. The 18.19K run, which represents the average time that the OIP’s 24 clients spent in prison for crimes they didn’t commit, as well as the year of the University of Cincinnati’s founding, took participants through campus and the historic Clifton community.

International Wrongful Conviction Day recognizes the personal, social and legal costs associated with wrongful conviction. Launched by Win Wahren of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted and a small group of like-minded individuals, the day is dedicated to recognizing those whose lives have been adversely impacted by wrongful conviction as well as educating the broader community on its causes, consequences and complications. Recognizing that wrongful convictions are not limited to one jurisdiction or nation, the group sought to unite individuals and organizations around the world in the effort to eradicate wrongful convictions. 

Record-Breaking $15M Gift to Benefit the Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law

Richard Rosenthal’s $15M Gift is the Largest for the College and Any Innocence Program

Dick Rosenthal_Ricky JacksonCINCINNATI - September 13, 2016 – A $15 million gift from long-time Cincinnati benefactor Richard “Dick” Rosenthal to the University of Cincinnati College of Law will help free countless wrongfully convicted individuals. The Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) at UC’s Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice at the College of Law will use the generous gift – the largest ever for the college and any innocence program – to provide for the program in perpetuity.

“The Ohio Innocence Project has a laudable mission: to free every innocent person in Ohio. I’m proud to help ensure its life-saving work continues now and forever,” Rosenthal said. “Thank you to everyone who has helped make the OIP so successful in its mission – I’m inspired daily by the students, faculty and staff who work tirelessly in the pursuit of justice.”

“The University of Cincinnati is proud to be home to the world-class Ohio Innocence Project, where students work side-by-side with professionals to help free the innocent. Donors like Dick Rosenthal make this life-changing work possible, and we can’t thank him enough,” said UC Interim President Beverly J. Davenport.

Rosenthal’s investment will boost recruitment of top students and faculty, both nationally and internationally, and support vital programming at the OIP. In recognition of the monumental gift, the law school will add three Lois and Richard Rosenthal Clinical Professors of Law. Students will be identified as Rosenthal Student Fellows. Finally, the OIP will occupy custom-designed, named space in the new building with upgraded work spaces, offices and technology.

“The University of Cincinnati College of Law is deeply grateful to Mr. Rosenthal for his longstanding support of our faculty, staff and students who do such wonderful work addressing the injustice of wrongful convictions. This gift is the largest the law school has ever received,” said Jennifer S. Bard, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law at the UC College of Law. “The Ohio Innocence Project is an important component of our experiential, ‘learn by doing’ curriculum and by training the next generation of prosecutors, defense attorneys, legislators, and judges is already advancing one of our nation’s core Constitutional protections: the right to a fair trial.”

Founded in 2003, the OIP is Ohio’s only law school-based innocence organization dedicated to freeing innocent people in prison and preventing wrongful convictions. To date, the program has freed 24 people who combined served nearly 450 years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

“Student idealism and passion is the lifeblood of the OIP. The energy of our students gives us an advantage over other legal organizations, but it’s our generous donors who make their work possible,” said OIP Director Mark Godsey. “Thank you Dick Rosenthal for providing much more than financial support of the OIP. When John Cranley and I founded the organization, we were just a couple of young lawyers, but Lois and Dick knew how to build institutions. They had a vision, and helped teach John and me how to take our ideas and passion to the next level. From event planning, to public awareness, to fundraising, Lois and Dick taught us how to build a top-notch organization.”

“The Ohio Innocence Project has quickly become a national model for innocence organizations, and it has taken a leading role in expanding the movement internationally, assisting the startup of new programs across the globe,” said Barry Scheck, co-founder and director of the New York City-based Innocence Project. “Thank you to Dick Rosenthal for your incredible support of the innocent.”

Each year, about 20 students spend a full year working on cases, digging through files, interviewing witnesses, writing case briefs and applying their knowledge of forensic techniques like DNA testing. Through hands-on learning, they discover how to build a case and what can make a case go wrong, resulting in a tragic injustice.

“The incredible success of UC’s Ohio Innocence Project has been made possible through the vision and generosity of Dick Rosenthal,” said UC Foundation President Rodney Grabowski. “He has helped provide a life-changing service to our community and freed 24 individuals from wrongful imprisonment. We are forever grateful.”

In 2004, Dick and his late wife, Lois, gave $1 million to create and endow the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice. The primary component of the Institute is the OIP, which ultimately aims to free every innocent person in Ohio.


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 of educating and inspiring leaders who pursue justice and advance the role of law in society. Its ranks include many distinguished alumni including a U.S. president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and six governors. The college cultivates an intimate learning experience with an 8.6:1 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

About the University of Cincinnati Foundation

Established in 1975, the University of Cincinnati Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and is the private sector fundraising entity for the University of Cincinnati and UC Health. The foundation supports UC’s aspirations through philanthropic collaboration with the colleges, the Academic Health Center, UC Health and other units to maximize private support. The foundation’s advancement efforts promote the development of productive, enduring relationships with alumni, friends, colleagues, students, foundations, corporations and the Greater Cincinnati community. For more information, please visit

New School Year Begins as Cincinnati Law’s Enrollment Continues to Grow

New Year 2016Cincinnati, OH— Cincinnati Law launched the 2016-2017 academic year with one of its largest classes in recent years — 127 JD students enrolled as of August 22, 2016. This represents a 26% increase in class size over 2015. Not only is this group the biggest class entering the law school since 2010, it is also representative of a six percent increase in applications over the past year. Significantly, this year’s class includes a record number of students with degrees from the University of Cincinnati. In fact, the number of students matriculating from the university has doubled, compared to last year. Twenty-five are double Bearcats and three are triple Bearcats! In total, the first-year students represent 62 undergraduate institutions.

The LLM (master’s degree) program for internationally-trained attorneys and law graduates also continues to grow. Now in its fifth year, the LLM program boasts 18 attorney students, including several individuals who have returned for additional training and certificates.

A Look at their Backgrounds
Several are citizens of foreign countries: Canada, Colombia, and the United Kingdom. And, the class includes native speakers of Russian, Kurdish, Spanish, Telugu (language native to India) and Akan (language native to Ghana).

Though many are recent graduates from undergraduate institutions, some come to law school after careers in other impressive fields. One is a medical doctor, a farm manager, an NFL cheerleader, an environmental research engineer with the EPA, a (former) women’s pro basketball player in Europe, and a criminal justice professor. One is a former UC mascot, and another is an American Idol pre-show finalist!

They are veterans of the Armed Forces, including a Marine Corps Sergeant and a Corporal, and an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Some are college athletes, excelling in women’s soccer, women’s and men’s basketball, rugby, volleyball, dance and golf. And, they enjoy giving back to the community through service with Teach for America, International Justice Mission, the Ronald McDonald House, the March of Dimes, Relay for Life, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, among many other philanthropic organizations.

Most (59%) are Ohio residents; 41% are non-Ohio residents and come from 21 states. The Class of 2019 has spent significant time studying abroad and/or has international experiences in places like Vietnam, France, England, Tanzania, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland, India, Nicaragua, and Belize.

Law School Welcomes 18 LLM Students

The LLM program, Cincinnati Law’s master degree program for foreign-trained attorneys, continues to expand. This year’s participants come from 10 countries: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, India, Uganda, Estonia, France, the Republic of Georgia, Ghana, the Philippines, and China. The professional careers of the attorney students include positions as a lecturer in Saudi Arabia; an intern for the Supreme Court in Amman, Jordan; the president/CEO of Global One, Inc., an organization with links entrepreneurs in Africa with investors in the US; and judicial clerk for a senior judge at the Delhi High Court in New Delhi. And, this year’s class also includes the school’s first Fulbright Scholar.

Their areas of interest are varied and include criminal law, human rights, international arbitration, intellectual property law, and environmental and immigration law.

Introducing our Newest LLM Students


Islam AlbalawiSaudi ArabiaIslam obtained her LLB from King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  She received her LLM with us last year, and is currently working toward her Certificate in Fundamentals of US Law.  After this year, Islam plans to return to her position as a lecturer at Al Jouf University in northern Saudi Arabia.
Mubarak AldousariKuwait/Saudi Arabia/EgyptMubarak earned his LLB from Cairo University in Egypt.  Born in Kuwait, he grew up in Saudi Arabia in a family where two brothers entered the law profession before him.  After his LLM at UC Law, Mubarak hopes to work with multinational corporations that partner with humanitarian organizations. 
Turki AldousariKuwait/Saudi Arabia/EgyptTurki joins us for a second year and is working toward his Certificate in Fundamentals of US Law, having received his LLM last year.  Born in Kuwait but raised in Saudi Arabia, he obtained his LLB from Cairo University in Egypt and is interested in human rights law.
Ibtehal AlhoymelSaudi ArabiaIbtehal joins us from Princess Noura University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  She has a special interest in business law, and hopes to become one of the growing number of female university lecturers in law when she returns to her home country.
Abdulrahman AlmawishirJordan/Saudi ArabiaAbdulrahman comes to us from Saudia Arabia and completed his law studies at Philadelphia University in Amman, Jordan, where he interned with the Supreme Court.  He is a practicing lawyer in Saudi Arabia and plans to pursue his SJD in the US after his LLM.
Rawan AlsaeedSaudi ArabiaRawan obtained her LLB at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia., where she graduated with honors.  She is committed to making a difference in her community, and has volunteered extensively with various youth organizations, having even been awarded a medal of excellence for her volunteer work at KSU.  She hopes to start her own business in the future.    
Timothy AppiahGhana/USTim has lived in Ohio for several years, but is originally from Ghana, where he earned his LLB at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. He has extensive experience working in the financial sector and has a special interest in disability rights law.  Tim is the President and CEO of Global One Inc., which links entreprenueurs in Africa with investors in the US.
Kumari BansalIndiaKumari joins us from India. She obtained her LLB at Symbiosis International University Law School in Uttar Pradesh, where she developed an interest in intellectual property rights as well as media law.  She currently works as a judicial clerk for a senior judge at the Delhi High Court in New Delhi.   
Flavia IbyaraUgandaFlavia earned her LLB from Uganda Christian University in Mukono, Uganda, where she was President of the Human Rights Association, and won The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award at the Inter-University Human Rights Competition. She has special interests in human rights and international law, and plans to pursue her SJD in the future.
Ahmed KhodirEgypt/USAhmed has been a Kentucky resident for some time.  Originally from Egypt, he obtained his LLB from Alexandria University and studied international commercial law at the Lyon Law School in France.  He has experience as corporate lawyer in Alexandria, and hopes to practice law in the US in the future.
Natia MezvrishviliGeorgiaNatia comes to us as our first Fulbright Foreign Student grantee.  She joins us from Georgia, where she graduated with an LLB and Masters in Law from Tbilisi State University law school.  Natia is currently Head of the Department of Supervision over Prosecutorial Activities and Strategic Development in Georgia's Chief Prosecutor's Office.  She holds a special interest in human rights and criminal rights law and has represented Georgia in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 
Belinda SeruhereUgandaBelinda is a practicing lawyer in her home country of Uganda, and holds an LLB from Makerere University in Kampala, where she graduated with honors.  She also holds a post graduate diploma in legal practice.  At home, she is currently working as a legal assistant at a private law firm.  Belinda is especially interested in human rights law and advocacy.
Sarah SijelmassiFranceSarah received her LLM with us last year and is returning this year, pursuing a Certificate in Fundamentals of US Law.  She earned her Masters in French Legal Studies with a specialization in intellectual property law from the Université de Montpellier, and her License (LLB) at the Université Toulouse.  Sarah's area of interest while here at UC is intellectual property law. 
Aradhana SinghIndiaAradhana obtained her LLB from University Law College, Utkal University, in Bhubaneswar, India.  She has interned with the Orissa High Court, as well as with the Orissa Information Commission and the Orissa Human Rights Commission.  Aradhana is also a professional dancer.  Her area of interest is intellectual property law.
Franklin UwizeraUgandaFranklin joins us from Kampala, Uganda, where he earned his LLB at Uganda Christian University.  Known for his skills as an orator, his team twice won the Ugandan national moot court competition and went on to represent Uganda in international rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC.   His special interests include international arbitration, commercial and intellectual property law.  
Valeria VerroEstoniaValeria is a long time Cincinnati resident who comes to UC Law by way of Estonia and England.  Born in Estonia, she earned her LLB from the University of Leicester and her LLM in International Human Rights at Birmingham City University.  She currently works with Prime Home Care LLC in Maineville, Ohio.  Her special interests include human rights, environmental and immigration law.
Jenny WangChina/USJenny is a current Cincinnati resident, but is originally from China.  She received a Bachelor's degree in English from Xiamen University and a Master's of Public Administration from Renmin University, with a concentration in Human Resources Management.  Jenny earned her LLB from East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, where she focused on administrative law.  Before relocating to Cincinnati, Jenny worked with the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection, supervising the enforcement of regulations at air, sea and land ports in Shanghai.
Cora WrayPhilippinesCora is a longtime Cincinnati resident and received her BS in Commerce and her LLB at Xavier University of the Philippines Law School, in Cagayan de Oro.  She has worked in patent law with the legal department of Procter & Gamble since 2004. Her interests include international and business law. 
Christine WuChinaChristine joins us from China, where she earned her LLB at Beijing Forestry University and participated in their legal aid center.  Her most recent position was working as an investigator at the Copyright Protection Center of China.  She also has experience working with a legal aid team that provides legal assistance to female prisoners at Beijing Women's Prison.  Christine's areas of interest include criminal law and civil procedure.   

Cincinnati Law Student Working for Fair Labor

Cincinnati Law student Jackie Miller’s commute may simply be into downtown Cincinnati this summer, but she will be working on a national scale as part of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB is an independent federal agency which holds the power to protect employees’ rights to organize and have unions as a bargaining representative, and works to prevent unfair labor practices.

This opportunity will allow Miller to get her feet wet and use her “skills and desires for order and logic, but to also affect positive change”, a major component that propelled her to law school. Although she has a year before graduation, this summer will help her discover if she wants to continue pursuing work in labor law and government.

“I was looking forward to seeing what working for the government was like, to see what other people thought of it, and I’m always interested in real life experiences,” she said about this job. “You hear a lot of stories about workers, their employers, and their unions, and then you get to see how a government agency handles those cases according to its own statute and case law.”

Miller is doing more than simply watching from the sidelines. She is investigating her own cases regarding unfair labor practices under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). At work day-to-day, she is busy learning about the NLRA, taking affidavits, writing letters to attorneys and representatives, and researching issues that come up in the office that nobody is quite sure how to handle.

The NLRB is housed in the John Weld Peck Federal Building, giving Miller opportunities to learn about other agencies as well, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services. Although the knowledge she is gaining about the NLRA may be considered niche, it is absolutely useful for labor attorneys.

She noted the parallels to the classroom as well. “Real life experience is usually pretty great for putting schoolwork into perspective as well. You understand better why your professor emphasized what he or she did, and you become aware of new issues.”

For Miller, the most rewarding part of law school has been the challenges both in and out of the classroom, forcing her out of her comfort zone. “It’s not easy for everyone to be assertive, somewhat outspoken, manage time and work, maintain confidence, be resilient, and become smarter,” she said, pointing to growth she has seen in herself both personally and professionally.

Author: Michelle Flanagan, ‘18, Communication Intern

UC Mascot Pursues Legal Education at Cincinnati Law

MascotAdam Stickney knew he was going to attend the University of Cincinnati since he was 14 years old.

Growing up listening to his mom’s stories about her time at UC, he was already fond of the school. Then, when he stepped foot on campus - the first college campus he had ever been on - it was love at first sight.

Stickney decided on his college at a young age, and the decision about his career path followed in much the same way. Coming from a long line of doctors, it was never a question whether Stickney would pursue a professional school. After ruling out the medical world during high school, he knew he wanted to become a lawyer.

To go to law school, however, he needed to decide on an undergraduate degree. While he intended to use a degree in engineering as a stepping stone, he quickly discovered that that was not the route for him.

After re-evaluating his options, Stickney chose to pursue his interest in the Marine Corps. Stickney declared a criminal justice major, which he felt tied into the military, and intended to go to law school after his four years of service.

Although he planned to attend officer candidate school with the Marines, his extracurricular activities prevented that dream from being realized. A member of the cheerleading team, Stickney injured his shoulder and required multiple surgeries, causing him to become disqualified from the program.

As a result, he applied early-decision to Cincinnati Law during his senior year of his undergraduate education. At that time, Stickney was dead set on practicing criminal law, whether it was defense or prosecution.

“I thought criminal justice was the best degree I could have had. But hindsight’s always 20/20,” Stickney said, referring to his evolving plans. After talking to professionals and continuing research since his acceptance, he has also become interested in corporate practices.

Even so, his background in criminal justice and familiarity with the law in general may give Stickney a boost during his first year of law school.

Lovin’ that Bearcat Life
Despite his time as a cheerleader - and UC mascot - disrupting his plans for the military, Stickney loved the experience.

“It’s incredibly fun [being the mascot], honestly,” he said. “And it’s hot. Wherever you are, it’s 50 degrees hotter inside the suit,” he laughed.

Performing in front of thousands of students and fans never made Stickney nervous. Because there are multiple Bearcats, audiences can never be sure who is in the suit. He explained that being behind the mask provides a certain sense of security, emboldening wearers to act a little extra spirited.

Unfortunately, because of his surgeries, Stickney was unable to perform at many of the school’s sporting events, his only regret. Most of his time as the mascot was spent at social and extracurricular events, one of his favorites being a wedding in Hyde Park.

“They were both UC grads, so I ran around, I danced with the bride for a song, and I danced with some little kids. Basically, I goofed around trying to entertain people. And I took pictures a lot,” said Stickney.

Getting Focused
As for the fall, Stickney is excited to focus on school. He admits that during his undergraduate career he had to force himself to buckle down and do the work. Whether that was because he wasn’t in the right program, or because he works better under pressure, he isn’t sure. Now, he’s even eager to start the summer reading list.

This excitement started the day he was accepted to law school. When he received his acceptance notification, he stopped being able to focus on work, and had to leave early.

“I just needed to get out of there and run around,” Stickney remembered about that day.

Although he applied early-decision, there was a technological error in his application, resulting in a delay in his acceptance.

“I ended up making a massive annoyance of myself to Dean Watson… I think he finally decided I was too pesky and just told me I was in,” laughed Stickney.

Stickney is excited to continue on at the University of Cincinnati. A fan of both the university itself and the surrounding area, he could not be happier to call it home.

“Anyone who’s coming to UC, they have everything to look forward to.”

Author: Michelle Flanagan, ‘18, Communication Intern

Triple Bearcat Begins 8th year, 3rd Degree at UC

“It’s not about what brought me here, it’s about what kept me here,” said triple Bearcat Drew Lehmkuhl about his decision to pursue three separate degrees at the same university.

Lehmkuhl, who will be a 1L this fall, is entering his eighth year at the University of Cincinnati. He earned his undergraduate degree in neuroscience, and recently completed his master’s degree in experimental psychology, defending his thesis at the end of June.

Growing up in Northern Kentucky as the son of a University of Cincinnati graduate, Lehmkuhl was always a huge fan of UC sports. Even so, attending UC was not the original plan. Set to start school at the University of Louisville, he changed his mind at the last second.

“I took a leap of faith,” he stated, recalling his last-minute decision to attend a school where he wouldn’t know anyone. After leaping, however, he landed on his own two feet.

Lehmkuhl knew that he had made the right decision when he realized that what Cincinnati boasts about is true: a big school, but a tight-knit community. After becoming involved on-campus, particularly in the “unbelievable research” and interdisciplinary collaboration that was available as an undergraduate student, he felt right at home.

Four years simply was not enough time, and Lehmkuhl found himself wanting to continue on in the science field and to become more involved in research. He credits the university with focusing on practical skills to complement textbook learning, a balance that assured him UC was the right place for his graduate education.

Although the setting was the same, there were major differences between Lehmkuhl’s undergraduate and graduate education. Many of his peers had not attended the university for undergraduate, and he described showing them around campus as “being with a bunch of older freshmen.” A thirst for learning was more obvious in these “freshmen” than many of those with whom Lehmkuhl had entered UC, however.

Many undergraduate students, particularly in the beginning of their higher education careers, are more focused on passing a general education class or earning a specific grade on an exam than truly learning and absorbing the information presented to them. In graduate school, Lehmkuhl noticed, mindsets shifted towards truly learning materials in order to later apply them to practice. “It was awesome having a close group of driven students around me who are very passionate about what they do in their fields,” he said.

As a graduate student, Lehmkuhl was able to take a more involved role in research, and work more closely with faculty members. Between his undergraduate and graduate degrees, he has been able to work in many areas, including psychology, biology, and neurology, and worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the area of human genetics.

Even with a positive atmosphere and attitude, eight years of continuous schooling, with three more to go, can seem daunting. But not to Lemkuhl.

Since he has had the past year and a half off of classes, working 40 hours a week on intensive research programs, Lemkuhl is ready to be a student again. “When you’re working, it doesn’t feel like school,” he said. “I think this break time, though, has served a purpose. I love being in the classroom and can’t wait to get back.”

In addition to his work, Lemkuhl has taught classes the past six semesters, most recently research methods and statistics in behavioral sciences. Whether it was seeing concepts click into place, or the journey from glassy-eyed at the start to engaged and excited at the end, he enjoyed his stint as a teacher, and would absolutely do it again in the future.

For law school, Lehmkuhl’s area of interest lies in intellectual property. This stems from his experiences at UC, where he worked with individuals who inspired and amazed him each day.

“I want to continue working with brilliant people,” Lehmkuhl asserted. “I want to be a facilitator, a legal advocate, for these brilliant people who are doing work like this, who have brilliant ideas. And I want to protect those ideas.”

Author: Michelle Flanagan, ‘18, Communication Intern