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Sarah Sijelmassi’s Attraction to Cincinnati Law’s LLM Program


SarahSarah Sijelmassi grew up in a place many people think of as a luxury vacation destination: the South of France. But these days, she’s more interested in soaking up legal knowledge in Cincinnati than sunshine in Toulouse.

Sijelmassi’s initial attraction to Cincinnati Law was the LL.M. program’s tailored approach. “The classes were so specific to what I wanted to learn,” she says, including courses in Copyright Law, Patent Law and Patent Office, Computer and Internet Law, Trademark and Unfair Competition Law, and Advertising Law. She also found the faculty roster at Cincinnati Law impressive, including Professor Timothy K. Armstrong, whose teaching and research interests focus on copyright and other intellectual property law.

Having graduated with a master’s degree in intellectual property law from Université de Montpellier in 2014, Sijelmassi wanted to deepen her knowledge and skills from a US perspective. The goal: To be able to practice IP law anywhere in the US or Europe.

“I wanted to be a doctor, but I couldn’t because I’m super bad at math,” she says with a laugh. Instead, Sijelmassi hopes she can contribute to the world of medicine using her legal savvy and passion for science—either at a US or EU-based pharmaceutical or medical research company.

Having spent a few months post-graduation living with family in Washington, DC, she improved her English and got the chance to observe how the American legal system works. “The atmosphere is very different,” she says, comparing the collaborative, team-based approach she witnessed in DC versus the more individual process of law firms where she worked in France.

Sijelmassi plans to finish her LL.M. studies at Cincinnati Law in May 2017. She’d like to stay on while preparing for her bar exams—potentially in both Ohio and New York—before making the next professional move. “Cincinnati is the perfect size. It’s a human-sized city,” she says. 

Drew Lehmkuhl’s 8 Year Journey to Law School


Drew“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

2017 Judge in Residence Program featuring Hon. Bernice B. Donald


Date: February 20-22, 2017

Schedule of Events

School Wide Talk: “Undermining Democracy through Felony Disenfranchisement Laws”
Date: February 20, 2017
Time: 12:10 p.m.
Location: Rm. 114

Check out photos from her visit:  Judge Donald:

See the interview: (coming soon)

About the Speaker
Judge Donald was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by President Obama in 2010 and was confirmed by the Senate in September, 2011, becoming the first female African-American judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Donald served on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, where she was appointed by President Clinton in December 1995. Judge Donald served as Judge of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee from June 1988 to January 1996, where she was the first African American woman to serve as a federal bankruptcy judge. When she was elected to the General Sessions Criminal Court in 1982, she became the first African American woman to serve as a judge in the history of the State of Tennessee. Judge Donald received her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law where she has served as an adjunct faculty member. Judge Donald was born in DeSoto County, Miss., in 1951, the sixth of 10 children of a domestic worker and a self-taught mechanic.

Judge Donald has lectured and trained judges around the world. She frequently serves as faculty for the Federal Judicial Center and the National Judicial College. She has taught at international programs in Romania, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Bosnia, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Russia, Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, Armenia, Jamaica, and Manila. In 2003, Judge Donald led a People to People delegation to Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa and traveled to Zimbabwe to monitor the trial of a judge accused of judicial misconduct.

Judge Donald has served as secretary of the American Bar Association (the first African-American woman to serve as an officer in the history of the association) and President of the American Bar Foundation. A longtime champion of civil rights and inclusion, she also chaired the ABA Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession, where she established the Spirit of Excellence Award. She also has served as President of the National Association of Women Judges, President of the Association of Women Attorneys, co-chair of the Task Force on Implicit Bias and Diversity for the ABA Section of Litigation, and co-chair of the Diversity Committee for the ABA’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. In 2013, Judge Donald was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society.

Judge Donald has been the recipient of over 100 awards for professional, civic, and community activities, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Memphis, the Martin Luther King Community Service Award, and the Benjamin Hooks Award presented in 2002 by the Memphis Bar Foundation. During the 2013 annual meeting of the National Bar Association, Judge Donald received the William H. Hastie Award, which recognizes excellence in legal and judicial scholarship and demonstrated commitment to justice under the law. In 2013, Judge Donald also received the Difference Makers Award from the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division of the American Bar Association, and the Pioneer Award from her fellow classmates at East Side High. In 2014, Judge Donald received both the University of Virginia’s Justice William Brennan Award and the American Bar Association’s John H. Pickering Award of Achievement, which recognizes dedication to the cause of equal justice for all and the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in the law.

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


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

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

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

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

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

30 Day Snapshot @ Cincinnati Law


The Ohio Innocence Project hosted Jennifer Thompson, the co-author of the memoir Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption. Picking Cotton is the true story of the friendship that developed between Jennifer Thompson, a rape victim, and Ronald Cotton, the accused rapist, who was wrongly convicted. 9/8/2016


The Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and the College of Law’s Master’s in Law Program for Foreign Trained Attorneys co-sponsored a visit by guest scholar Dr. Ildiko Szegedy-Maszak, affiliated with Universidad Pontificia Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia University. Dr. Szegedy-Maszak discussed the significance of the Colombian peace process, which was the result of four years of negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). 9/14/16


The Student Bar Association hosted former Ohio Governor Robert Taft at the law school. Governor Taft, who began his career in public service as a volunteer teacher for the Peace Corps in East Africa, served Ohioans as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, as a Hamilton County Commissioner and as Ohio’s Secretary of State. 9/15/2016


The Constitution Day lecture featured the Honorable David F. Hamilton, Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Hamilton’s lecture, Liberty, Politics, and Human Nature; Protecting the Constitution and the Rule of Law, delved into our constitutional form of government—with its divided powers, checks and balances, and commitment to the rule of law— and how it might be easy to take for granted in the 21st century. He discussed how frustration with political outcomes and stalemates, and temptations inherent in human nature, put constant pressure on the vital constitutional protections of our liberty. Those protections require constant attention and enforcement, for without them, we risk losing the liberties we have inherited. 9/16/2016


The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice co-sponsored a movie screening of the documentary Race to Execution. This documentary explores the deep and disturbing link between race and the death penalty in America. Following the stories of two Death Row inmates—Madison Hobley of Chicago, Illinois and Robert Tarver of Russell County, Alabama—the film wove their compelling personal stories together with groundbreaking scholarship on the racialized carceral state. The screening was followed by an insightful panel discussion, with representatives from the Ohio Innocence Project, the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, an OIP exoneree, and the filmmaker. 9/21/2016


The Ohio Innocence Project hosted an event at the House of Blues (Cleveland, Ohio), featuring the Exoneree Band, a touring group of wrongfully convicted prisoners-turned-musicians. Band member and OIP exoneree Raymond Towler shared billing with local musical groups composed of judges and attorneys. The next day the John Carroll University chapter of OIP-u hosted band members and others for a panel discussion on wrongful conviction.9/22/2016


The Master’s in Law Program for Foreign Trained Attorneys (LLM program) hosted Olivier DuBos, Professor of Public Law, University of Bordeaux and Sciences Po Bordeaux (France) and Jean Monnet Chair, for a weeklong visit at the law school. In addition to attending classes, Professor DuBos toured various law school clinics and the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office, as well as observed Indigent Defense Clinic students in court. 9/26/2016


The Ohio First District Court of Appeals held oral arguments at the College of Law. Afterwards, the judges and lawyers discussed the cases and spoke with students. Visiting judges include the Honorable Patrick Fischer, the Honorable Patrick DeWine, and the Honorable Russell Mock. 9/27/2016


The American Bar Association’s Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GPSolo) hosted a panel discussion at the College of Law, where the discussion centered on “How to Become Practice Ready as a Solo or Small Firm Attorney.” The panelists—representing area small firms—shared their experiences, provided advice and answered students’ questions about solo life. 9/29/2016


The Federalist Society hosted Professor Derek T. Muller, Pepperdine School of Law, who led the discussion “Can Trump or Clinton Graduate from the Electoral College?” Professor Muller talked about the Electoral College and ways it might thwart both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, if legislatures and electors so desire. Commentary was provided by the College of Law’s Professor Michael Solimine. 9/29/2016


The College of Law hosted the inaugural Bearcat Dash and Bash Race to benefit the OIP and the university’s Athletics Department’s scholarship fund. Nearly 2,000 runners and walkers crisscrossed campus and the surrounding community for the race. The OIP to date has helped 23 individuals obtain freedom, many of whom were on-hand to participate in the Freedom Walk on the university’s campus. 10/2/2016


The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice co-sponsored the panel “Department of Justice Report on Policing: What it Means for Cincinnati.” After fatal police encounters with Black citizens sparked a national conversation on the state of American policing, the U.S. Department of Justice prepared reports on policing practices in Baltimore and Ferguson. These reports described patterns of unfair treatment of citizens, particularly against poor and Black citizens. The panel discussed the reports and how the findings from these reports can be used to create a more equitable society, particularly in the city of Cincinnati. 10/4/2016


The Ohio Innocence Project celebrated International Wrongful Conviction Day at the law school and at OIP-u events across the state. Events included discussion groups about wrongful conviction, incorporating the Netflix series “Making a Murderer”; developing information tables to promote awareness among university students about wrongful conviction and the OIP; and the lighting of Cincinnati’s Duke Energy Building in the colors symbolic of the wrongful conviction movement. 10/4/2016


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


The University of Cincinnati College of Law stands out as a consistent leader providing quality affordable legal education.  Cincinnati Law has earned A- level recognition as a “Best Value Law School” by National Jurist magazine for the fourth consecutive year and preLaw magazine for the third consecutive year. This is the second highest Best Value ranking by the magazines.

Ranked #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 86% of first-time takers passed the July 2016 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.  

 

Fulbright Scholar Joins Cincinnati Law’s LLM Program


NatiaNatia Mezvrishvili wants to bring two things back to her native country of Georgia when she finishes the LL.M. program at UC Law in May 2017: a better understanding of the US criminal justice system, and new teaching methods for her own classroom.

Prior to being selected as a Fulbright Scholar (UC Law’s first), Mezvrishvili spent most of the last decade working for the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia. She also taught classes in criminal law at several universities, including as an assistant professor at East European University in Tbilisi, Georgia. She hopes that this year-long program in Cincinnati will give her new insights and skills to use back home—as a supervisor of prosecutorial work (“quality control”) and law professor.

“The US and Georgia criminal justice systems have a lot in common,” she says. Her country’s interrogation procedures, jury selection, plea bargaining, and more are based on the US system. “That’s why I’m here,” she adds.

While Cincinnati hadn’t been on her radar before, Mezvrishvili now considers her Fulbright placement a fortuitous one. “I’m glad to be here, because the school is so practical-oriented and focused on working with students individually,” she says.

Though getting a master’s degree in the US might seem like a nice break from her full-time job, this is no carefree “year off” for Mezvrishvili. “It’s difficult being the student again,” she says, after spending so many years working and teaching others. Add the complexity of English as a second language (she also speaks native Georgian, Russian, and French), to absorbing all the case law background needed for US legal practice, and she feels like she’s working harder than ever. 

Living in the US takes some adjustment, though the people and programs at Fulbright and UC Law have helped prepare Mezvrishvili well, she says. Having visited and lived in various parts of the US previously, this time around she’s fairly acclimated to life in America. “Everyone here is so open and willing to help you,” she says, from the dean to her fellow students.

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


Bar Pass

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.