From Broadcasting to Law—Alex Doyle Plans on Career as a Prosecutor
Alex Doyle arrived on campus at UC in September 2006. Six and a half years later, she’s still here. Doyle, a native Cincinnatian, graduated with a degree in Electronic Media from the College Conservatory of Music in 2010 and, in two months, she will earn her JD from the College of Law.
“Being at UC for seven years has been the best experience possible for someone like me,” Doyle said. “I love UC and Cincinnati, and I would not have changed my time here for the world!”
Doyle grew up on the West Side and attended St. Ursula Academy, where she excelled both in the classroom and in the swimming pool. Doyle chose to attend UC, where she was offered a swimming scholarship, although she opted for a more traditional college life after one year of swimming for UC. She joined a sorority, became the president of UC’s student television station and even interned at CNN in Atlanta, where she managed social media networking for “CNN Newsroom with Rick Sanchez.”
Doyle’s interest in law school was first piqued by an undergraduate media law course. She was passionate about media and law had always interested her, so she jumped at the opportunity to take the course. In the end, it helped lead her toward law school and, ultimately, at UC.
“I have always been a homebody and being lucky enough to have a highly ranked law school in my hometown was a great coincidence for me,” said Doyle, who complimented the Admissions staff that made her feel welcome and accepted before she even submitted her application.
When Doyle began law school, she thought about focusing on media law and possibly continuing to pursue a career as a news anchor. However, she has since fallen in love with prosecution.
“I think I have always had a mind that is geared toward prosecution, and being in a courtroom most of the day and getting to meet lots of people is something that is right up my alley,” she said.
Doyle’s working experience and a College of Law clinical experience have certainly helped in her potential pursuit of a career inside the courtroom. After working with a Northern Kentucky attorney during the summer following 1L year, Doyle spent this past summer clerking for Judge Robert P. Ruehlman of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.
Last semester, she enrolled in the College’s Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic. Doyle utilized a legal intern certificate to litigate in front of magistrates and judges, and advocate for victims of domestic violence. This semester, she is participating in an independent study project with Hamilton County Prosecutor David Prem, through which she has been able to research, write briefs and memoranda, and shadow the prosecutor.
“The most meaningful classes have been the practical experiences, by far,” said Doyle, who also externed last spring with UC’s Intellectual Property Office. “In my three years at UC Law, I have worked at a small firm, completed research for a professor (James O’Reilly, Volunteer Professor of Law), worked at the Hamilton County courthouse for a judge, participated in the externship program and the DV clinic, and participated in an independent study. I feel like I have had the opportunity to be introduced to almost everything offered at UC Law.”
Doyle has also been involved with various activities at the College of Law, including serving as the current vice president of the Student Bar Association.
Outside of school and studying, Doyle enjoys participating in various running and swimming events. Last spring, she ran the full Flying Pig Marathon and plans to run the half marathon this year, on May 5, with her fiancée. Last October, Doyle finished first in her age group in the Great Ohio River Swim, while she has also twice run the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World (wearing a pink tutu), among other events.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
A Parisian’s View: Meet Fanny Delaunay
Fanny Delaunay ’14 loves it in Cincinnati. The second year law student currently resides on the West Side with her husband, having also recently lived near campus, in Dayton, and in Florence, Ky. For all the moves Delaunay has made in the last five years, however, none was bigger than the one in 2008.
While Delaunay currently lives just miles from the banks of the Ohio River, this is vastly different from her hometown of Montpellier, France, a city of about 250,000 people along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Delaunay was born and raised in Montpellier, which is several hours south of Paris, but just two hours from Spain and four hours from Italy. She began her college education in 2005 at Montpellier III, where she studied business and foreign languages (English, German and Chinese). Delaunay grew especially fond of German and, as a result, opted to study at Germany’s Ruprecht Karls University for a year, at age 17.
“I worked there, I volunteered, went to school – the whole thing – and, then, there I met someone from Cincinnati,” Delaunay said. “He was an exchange student too, we were both there studying German, we were in class together.”
Delaunay began dating this American exchange student, Travis Burke, who not long after his return to the United States began classes at the College of Law in the fall of 2007. Delaunay had another year of school left, although French students only need three years to complete a bachelor’s degree, so she returned to France. Delaunay knew she wanted to come to the United States after graduation to be with Burke, but to do so she realized she would need to earn some money first.
“I got a job at the (Montpellier – Méditerranée) Airport because it was one of the only places where I could do the first shift,” she said. “I was working from 5:00 in the morning to 1:00 (p.m.), so then I took all my classes in the afternoon. I had a full-time job, 40 hours a week, and then, on top of that, I went to school full time. But I just took all my classes in the afternoon, so that I could save enough money to pay for Xavier.”
Coming to America
After completing her education in France, Delaunay obtained a one-year student visa and came to Cincinnati to be with Burke and improve her English through classes at Xavier University. Delaunay was supposed to stay for only one year, but five years later she is still here and now married to Burke, a 2010 College of Law graduate.
This was clearly a significant move for Delaunay, who not only had never been to the United States, but did not even know precisely where her future home was actually located within the country. “When I moved here, I don’t think I knew where it was on the map,” she said.
Delaunay began taking English classes at Xavier through the English as a Second Language, or ESL, program. While in this Intensive English Program, Delaunay was told her English skills were good enough and that she would benefit by taking “normal [regular] classes.” Thus, she began taking business courses, but immigration issues arose as her one year student visa was set to expire.
She and Burke were married on October 18, 2008, so Delaunay was allowed to stay in Cincinnati, but she was not initially allowed to work. A year after her husband earned his law degree from UC, Delaunay enrolled in the College of Law’s Class of 2014, after flirting with the prospect of pursuing an MBA.
Life in Cincinnati
Having recently completed her third of six semesters at the College of Law, Delaunay has enjoyed her law school career to date.
“I love it,” she said. “I think I like the second year better than the first year; just the fact you can choose your own classes makes it a little more interesting. “
Looking forward, Delaunay is not extremely interested in working at a large law firm, although the idea of working as in-house counsel is appealing to her. Delaunay also enjoyed her Federal Income Tax course in the fall semester and is considering taking more tax classes. Last summer, Delaunay worked downtown at the Attorney General’s office, while also doing some in-house work at a printing company in Indianapolis.
When not studying or working, Delaunay enjoys trying “real U.S. food” around town.
“For example, Rookwood Pottery has the best hamburgers ever,” said Delaunay, whose review of Skyline Chili was not nearly as favorable.
While she often cooks her own French food, Delaunay does go to some of the local French restaurants, perhaps her favorite being Jean-Robert’s Table. Delaunay also enjoys painting anything – whether that is more traditional art or the upstairs of her house.
The second year law student is an only child and is hopeful that her parents also make the move from France to Cincinnati.
“They love it,” Delaunay said, noting that they go on big trips when her parents are in town, and she has now been to 28 states.
“Last year we went to the Grand Canyon,” she said. “It feels kind of like you’re in a movie. You cannot see it anywhere else.”
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
From Publicist to Future Attorney: Jacklyn McGlothlin Shares Her UC Law Experience
When Jacklyn (Johnston) McGlothlin ’13 was younger, she jokingly told her father, an attorney, that she was creating a list of reasons why she did not want to become an attorney. Flash forward several years and McGlothlin is just three months from graduating from law school and beginning her preparations for the Ohio bar exam.
While McGlothlin did not always intend to pursue law, both as a child and even initially after graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., in 2007, she is very happy with where she is today.
McGlothlin is originally from Pittsburgh, but her father’s work led the family to Atlanta while she was in high school. The oldest of four siblings – sister to Jake, Anna and Zeke – McGlothlin began college at Belmont in 2003, a place where she could potentially pursue musical theater and medicine. She wound up in the journalism program, however, which kick-started her first career in publishing.
“It’s kind of a backwards way how I got there, but it ended up working out really well because they have a great journalism program,” McGlothlin said. “I could not have planned it better if I tried.”
Upon graduating, McGlothlin worked at Thomas Nelson, a major publishing company recently purchased by HarperCollins, where she did publicity and marketing for its children’s and specialty books. An internship obtained through the journalism program helped McGlothlin get her foot in the door, and she enjoyed her three years working at the Nashville-based company.
“I was working with journalists, which I loved, telling a story, which I loved, just through a different medium,” she said. “What my job basically was, when we got to the marketing side of things: talk with the authors, come up with the marketing and publicity plan and then carry it out through regional and national media. Once those got booked, I would then travel with them to all the interviews and all that kind of stuff.”
McGlothlin enjoyed her job, which including working with some interesting authors (Tim McGraw, Jack Hanna and George Foreman, among them), but there were aspects of the job that were not so glamorous. McGlothlin began discussing career plans with her friends and family, including her father, the latter whom encouraged her to consider her strengths and passions, as well as what she liked about her existing job. After talking with some other attorneys and finding out that law was something she truly wanted to pursue, she made the leap to law school.
“It was terrifying going from no debt and a job to taking that on, but I’m really, really glad that I did,” McGlothlin said.
The Pittsburgh native had been accepted at a law school back in the “Steel City” but decided to look at the College of Law, not far from where her college boyfriend (now husband), Ben, grew up in Mason.
“I had never been on UC’s campus to know they had a law school,” McGlothlin said. “I came to visit and absolutely fell in love with it – the students I met, the professors I got to talk to in the hallways. It just felt like a place I would be comfortable for three years and enjoy.”
After being waitlisted and planning on heading elsewhere, McGlothlin received a call in August from John Stiles, Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, who told her she had been admitted – albeit one week before classes were to begin at UC. McGlothlin had an apartment ready and had done all her reading for the other law school, but she was on her way to Cincinnati.
Following 1L year, McGlothlin worked at the Children’s Law Center in Northern Kentucky. She took advantage of the judicial externship program as a 2L, working for Judge David L. Bunning from the Eastern District of Kentucky that fall. McGlothlin also began working with the UC Law admissions staff, putting in 10 to 18 hours per week the last three, going on four, semesters. This past summer, McGlothlin was a summer associate with Graydon Head & Ritchey, where she will be working after law school in its Labor and Employment division.
After getting married last fall, she and Ben put off their honeymoon until the last week of the College of Law’s winter break. They travelled to San Francisco. Now that she and Ben – who is taking classes at UC, ultimately hoping to enroll at the UC College of Medicine – plan to stay in Cincinnati, McGlothlin is looking forward to continuing to explore Cincinnati. She and her husband began picking new places in town to visit each week during the summer and became especially fond of many of the local haunts in OTR.
“I really like (Cincinnati),” McGlothlin said. “There’s enough Southern flair, I guess I’ll say, to make me still kind of feel like I’m in Nashville, but Cincinnati feels a lot like Pittsburgh at the same time. It reminds me a lot of the cities that I love all in one place.”
McGlothlin also enjoys reading as well as running in her free time, although Nashville was much flatter than the notoriously hilly Queen City.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
Weaver Fellowship Provides Opportunity and Insight into Law and Psychiatry for Amberle Houghton
As an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University, Amberle Houghton ’13 majored in strategic communication with an eye towards a career in public relations. After a few internships in the field, however, Houghton “quickly realized” a career in PR would not be a good long-term fit.
“At that point, I knew I wanted to change my career path and decided to pursue law school because it was something I have always wanted to do,” Houghton said.
So Houghton, who grew up in Cuyahoga Falls (just north of Akron), continued her path down I-71 South to Cincinnati, where she began at the College of Law in the fall of 2010.
At the College of Law, Houghton was an associate member of the Law Review and is vice president of Advocates for Children. The 3L has also been involved as a Fellow with the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry.
An Introduction to Law and Psychiatry
In addition to majoring in strategic communication at OSU, Houghton minored in both business and legal foundations of society. It was the latter minor that first exposed Houghton to the intersection of law and psychiatry.
“I have always had an interest in the social sciences and was immediately drawn to the Weaver Institute for this reason,” Houghton said. “I think that, at times, law school can become consuming and I felt it was important to interact with professionals both inside and outside of the law school. The Weaver Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to learn about and discuss serious legal issues with non-lawyer professionals who often view legal topics very differently than I do.”
Houghton noted the Weaver Fellows have participated in numerous discussions, mock hearings and classes with mental health experts and attorneys, focusing on the various legal issues faced by each in practice. The opportunity to learn from these professionals has been an invaluable experience for Houghton.
“Although we are taught to ‘think like a lawyer,’ I truly believe that the Weaver Fellowship has taught me to approach legal issues from many different perspectives. And I hope that this will be help me to be a more cognizant and understanding attorney in the future,” she said.
Outside of the Weaver Institute and her school work and activities, Houghton also mentors a sixth grader through the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and works part-time for an estate planning and probate attorney during the school year. She has also gained working experience each of the last summers, first as a law clerk for the Honorable Timothy S. Horton of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (Summer 2011) and then as a summer associate at Crabbe, Brown & James, LLP in Columbus, OH (Summer 2012).
After graduating this coming May, Houghton would like to work in the public sector before transitioning to a private sector firm in a few years, she said. Later in her career, Houghton would like to become a mediator or spend some time working in alternative dispute resolution.
In her free time, Houghton enjoys trying new restaurants, reading, watching OSU football and spending time with family and friends.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
Weaver Fellow Mark DeYoung Pursues Law Degree Following Careers in Radio, Ministry
Mark DeYoung ’13 called it “a little daunting,” coming back to school in 2010. It was in the fall of that year that DeYoung, now a 3L, began at the College of Law, following careers in both radio and ministry.
DeYoung, who grew up in West Chester – albeit a much different West Chester than the one he and his family call home today – graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1992. There, DeYoung double-majored in religious studies and philosophy. Upon graduating, he landed a job in radio management in the Nashville area and later co-hosted a Top 10 morning show.
In 1997, DeYoung’s radio career moved to Kansas, where he was a producer and on-air talent for Metro Networks. Meanwhile, he was pursuing and ultimately received his masters of divinity from the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., in 2001. “I felt a really strong ‘calling’ to go into ministry,” DeYoung said. “It was interesting how things fell into place for me to get a full-ride (scholarship) in seminary, and land a job in the Kansas City area. We moved out there on faith.”
Faith is His Foundation
After graduating, DeYoung helped start a new church, the GracePoint Church in Shawnee, Kan. In 2004, DeYoung became the senior pastor at the Fairmeadow Community Church in Munster, Ind., part of the metro Chicago area. He stayed there until 2010, before deciding to attend law school in Cincinnati.
“I decided that I could use my communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills in a way that might help people outside of the politics of the church. I found some of what goes on in religious institutions very frustrating, to the point that I decided I’d rather make a positive impact outside of full-time ministry,” DeYoung said of his transition from church to the law. “Of course, I am still in ministry on a part-time basis with a brand new church in Loveland called Branches Church.”
After opting to attend the College of Law instead of a school in Chicago, DeYoung returned to his hometown about 20 years since he left. DeYoung, who said he “missed Skyline and the Reds mostly,” noted the unrecognizable parts of West Chester, as well as praised the growth downtown, including The Banks.
Transitioning back to school, with a wife and three children, was challenging for him, DeYoung said, personally and not just academically. But near the end of his 1L year, DeYoung was accepted into the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry, and has enjoyed his experience to date.
“It’s been very interesting,” DeYoung said. “The fellowship is in the midst of some changes. It was primarily centered around course work and writing a lengthy paper in the past. Now we are putting on more events for the law school, and getting involved in a mental health court. Some of it is still in the works.”
DeYoung said the primary course work has been Mental Health Law I and Mental Health Law II, taught by A.J. Stephani. “I can’t say enough about how good those classes are,” he said. “They are small, basically just the law Fellows and two psychiatry Fellows. A.J. is one of the best professors I have had here, or anywhere, for that matter.”
Getting Experience in the Law
Outside of school, DeYoung worked at Graydon Head and Ritchie as a summer associate in 2011. This past summer he clerked for a judge in Warren County’s domestic relations court, which he has continued to do on a part-time basis during the school year.
“Domestic relations is a really interesting field, and it’s something I may pursue,” DeYoung said. “Frankly, my only goal is to get a satisfying job where I can support my family and use my skillset productively.”
DeYoung, who has also been a research assistant for Professor Ronna Schneider, continues to enjoy music outside of the law. The West Chester native and resident has long enjoyed the guitar, as well as biking long distances when he has the chance.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
A Passion for Politics and Government Led Matt Wiseman ’14 to UC Law
While many have grown tired of the almost constant political advertisements shown on TV and on the radio, “political junkies” like Matt Wiseman ’14 are enjoying campaign season.
“It’s interesting to see what (Governor Mitt) Romeny says in his commercials, what’s (President Barack) Obama saying in his commercials, what they are trying to do, who are they trying to reach,” Wiseman said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
It was Wiseman’s interest in politics and government that led him to law school. The 2L from Findlay, Ohio considered engineering up until his senior year of high school, but high school classes made Wiseman move towards politics and history.
It was during his undergraduate days at Ohio Northern University, where the 2011 graduate majored in history and political science, that Wiseman got to experience his passion first-hand.
In August 2008, prior to his sophomore year, Wiseman got to take part in the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Wiseman and seven classmates joined a political science professor for a couple weeks at the DNC working in various jobs.
“I worked with Rock the Vote for a couple days and that was basically your grassroots volunteering, handing out flyers kind of stuff,” said Wiseman. “And I got to work with the Latin American economic policy forum … that was really interesting.”
Then, from September through December 2010, Wiseman worked somewhat concurrently with Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto Law Offices and the National Whistleblowers Center in Washington, D.C. This for-credit internship during his senior year allowed Wiseman to do “a lot of interesting work,” including some legal work.
This work involved policy research on the Dodd-Frank Act and other substantive legal research and writing for the law firm, while researching issues for grant writing and drafting press releases and organizing press and media events for the National Whistleblowers Center.
“It’s a really great town, especially for young professionals” Wiseman said about D.C. “A really vibrant city for our age group.”
After graduating from Ohio Northern, Wiseman came to the College of Law, seeing law school as an opportunity to pursue his interests. “I thought the best way to kind of do something practical in the realm of politics, law, (or) government would be to go to law school and kind of figure it out,” Wiseman said of his earlier decision to attend law school.
Wiseman said he was looking for a law school with a strong public interest side and that was also a strong school overall. For him it was UC. The prospect of working for the Ohio Innocence Project was also attractive to Wiseman who, sure enough, spent this past summer and is currently working with OIP this semester.
“I came into law school thinking there was no way I was going to do certain things. I was never going to go into family law, I was never going to go into criminal,” Wiseman said. “I think that’s the big change so far, the criminal law aspect. Working with the Ohio Innocence Project has really changed that. I love what we do there.”
The second-year student said he still has “a strong passion for politics,” though he is happily undecided on the career path he ultimately might take.
Outside of school, Wiseman said he often runs, enjoys following the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Reds, and he also enjoys reading non-legal books on breaks.
This past summer, while in town working for OIP following a busy 1L year, Wiseman enjoyed getting a chance to experience Cincinnati for the first time. Granted, he was a Skyline fan long before he enrolled at the College of Law.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
Politics Has Played a Big Role in Caitlin Graham's '14 Life
While she might not be pursuing a career in the field, politics has played a large role in Caitlin Graham’s adult life: a summer internship in college, multiple post-graduate positions locally and in Washington, D.C., and she is currently the Law Republicans president at the College of Law.
Graham, a 2L from the Kenwood-area in Cincinnati, had her first exposure to politics while attending Ohio University. The summer prior to her sophomore year, Graham interned with Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, working closely with Schmidt’s communications director in Cincinnati.
After earning her degree in journalism in 2009, Graham began working for Senator George Voinovich’s Cincinnati office – though Graham knew she wanted to pursue a law degree at some point.
“Senator Voinovich was retiring the following year, so, as people moved around in that office, I had the opportunity to move up through the ranks,” Graham said.
After working as staff assistant/assistant to the state director in the Cincinnati office from Sept. 2009 to Feb. 2010, Graham moved to Washington D.C., in early 2010 to become a staff assistant in Senator Voinovich’s office there. In this position, Graham took on various administrative tasks, while also researching a variety of issues, which included developing briefs on the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan.
After holding this position for several months, Graham became a legislative correspondent in the fall of 2010.
“As a legislative correspondent, you interact a lot with constituents, you meet with people. You’re doing, basically, the legislative agenda for the Senator,” Graham said. “Towards the end of the year, since he was retiring, everybody in the office was looking for a job, so we campaigned pretty hard for all the Republicans in Ohio.”
Graham, knowing she wanted to attend law school the next year and ultimately wanting to practice in her hometown, moved back to Cincinnati. She spent the first several months of 2011 as a press assistant for Congressman Steve Chabot in Cincinnati. Then, in August, she began classes at the College of Law.
“I really wanted to be a lawyer as long as I can remember, (but) the reasons have changed over the years,” Graham said. “It was a big goal of mine. I knew it was something I wanted to do down the road and I like to say I took the scenic route to eventually get here. “
Like many native Cincinnatians, Graham noted, she got out of town for a little while but was drawn back to her hometown. With a goal of practicing in Cincinnati, attending the College of Law seemed like the obvious choice.
Following her first year of law school, Graham spent this summer at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, where she “really fell in love with litigation.”
At school, Graham is a judge on Student Court, a member of the Honor Council, and a legal research assistant for associate professor Sandra Sperino – in addition to her aforementioned Law Republicans role.
Outside of school, Graham enjoys reading and exploring various activities in town. “I love Cincinnati and, having been in D.C. and exposed to the different museums and activities that D.C. has to offer, I realized when I moved back, the City of Cincinnati has a lot of those same things,” Graham said. “So every time the Cincinnati Museum Center has an exhibit I go see it. I love to go to the art museum (and) I have season tickets to Broadway Across America at the Aronoff Center.
Graham is also training for a half marathon for one of her friend’s upcoming wedding.
By Jordan Cohen ‘13
Chelsea Brint ’13 Receives Moyer Fellowship
The Ohio State Bar Association recently selected Chelsea Brint ’13, as one of the first two recipients of the inaugural Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Fellowship. The fellowship was designed to honor Chief Justice Moyer’s commitments to improving access to courts, advancing civility and ethics, working with national and international organizations to promote the rule of law, and promoting civic education. With her strong interest in international human rights law, Brint was able to merge her interests and fellowship with a summer internship focusing on this issue.
A native of Wellington, FL, and a graduate of Florida State University, Brint has always had a strong interest in human rights. In fact, one of the reasons she chose UC Law for her legal education was because of the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, the first human rights institute in the nation. She plans to focus her career on international human rights law. “My affiliation with the Institute has afforded me invaluable opportunities…particularly pursuing internships and coursework that incorporate human rights law.”
This past summer she was able to work “on the ground” with a summer internship with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland. Specifically, she worked with the Asia-Pacific Section. This experience dovetailed nicely with her fellowship, noted Brint. “My work is promoting his [Chief Justice Moyer’s] initiative of working with national and international organizations to promote the principles of judicial independence and the rule of law within the United States and throughout the world.”
In her role as an intern with the Asia-Pacific Section Brint provided support to human rights officers assigned to specific countries throughout the region--which spans from Iran to Fiji. She said, “One component of my work is to examine ways to promote independence for the judicial structures of the countries I am focusing on and to also analyze the current human rights mechanisms that those countries have submitted themselves to be governed by like treaties and regional commissions that adjudicate claims of human rights violations so that both domestic and international law can be better utilized to provide protections to those countries' citizens. I anticipate my internship with the OHCHR will be a stepping-stone for my career in international human rights law and being a recipient of the Chief Justice Moyer Fellowship makes pursuing these kinds of opportunities possible.”
Though her focus is international human rights law, Brint does see connections to challenges in the United States, particularly Ohio. “My intention is to incorporate the lessons I have learned through this internship to address some of the human rights abuses in Ohio with organizations that are working on issues such as trafficking in persons and the rights of children.
“My experience with OHCHR has shown me how crucial the judiciary is in protecting human rights by providing a mechanism for victims of human rights violations to bring their claims and hold the perpetrators of those accountable for their actions. In countries that do not have tribunals where these claims can be brought, the victims are largely left without redress and the culture of impunity for aggressors only encourages more violations. Hopefully through my work in Ohio and abroad I can continue to promote Chief Justice Moyer's initiative long after my internship with OHCHR has concluded.”
Rex Marvel ’12 Named Public Defender Corp Fellow
After three years in Cincinnati, (Johnathon) Rex Marvel is off to the other Queen City – Charlotte, N.C. Marvel, a recent graduate of the College of Law, will spend the next three years at the Mecklenburg County Office of the Public Defender, as part of the 2012 Class of Public Defender Corps Fellows.
Marvel is one of 19 recent graduates selected into the second ever class of Public Defender Corps Fellows, which was created by Equal Justice Works and the Southern Public Defender Training Center. The fellows will spend the next three years committed to changing the standard of practice for defendants who are caught in the criminal justice system and can’t afford an attorney.
Marvel and the other fellows were chosen from 75 finalists, a group selected from the more than 450 initial applicants from across the country. In addition to North Carolina, fellows will work in Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
“It basically starts the day after the bar exam,” said Marvel, who has been studying in Cincinnati. “I have to drive to Birmingham (Ala.). They call it boot camp and I’ve heard somewhat about it. It’s basically every day of the week, 12 hours-plus days. You don’t get to start working as a public defender until your bar results are back, but you are a fellow once the training starts.”
Marvel came to the College of Law from Florida State University, where he earned a degree in political science and religion in 2009. At FSU, Marvel’s main focus was in human rights, and he also earned a certificate from the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights (CAHR), which is led by another UC Law graduate, Terry Coonan ’95. “He is the only reason I considered applying to anywhere outside of good weather,” Marvel said.
While an undergraduate student, Marvel had the opportunity to attend a conference at FSU with members of the International Criminal Tribunals of Rwanda and the Rwanda president. Also attending the conference was the College of Law’s Professor Bert Lockwood, director of the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. “I was able to meet him and it kind of sold me on UC Law,” Marvel said.
Although he will soon move to Charlotte, Marvel has enjoyed his time in Cincinnati – the largest city in which he has ever lived. Marvel, who grew up in Wichita, Kansas but finished high school in North Florida, has been surprised by the amount of culture in town and has enjoyed some of the festivals that take place in the warm weather.
Understanding His Drive for Justice
The recent graduate also had a positive experience at the College of Law, where he was an Urban Morgan fellow and later a book reviews editor for the Human Rights Quarterly. The summer after his 1L year, Marvel worked as a law clerk with the Botswana Court of Appeals through the Urban Morgan Institute. While Marvel noted that the judges in Botswana “did their best to preserve justice,” he was deeply troubled that there was no the right to counsel in Botswana. This led to many appellants struggling to defend themselves against the State, he noted.
Marvel’s experience in Botswana, coupled with family experiences involving a public defender, helped shape his interest in public defender work. “I come from a blue collar background. I lived in a couple of trailer parks growing up and a couple members of my family have had public defenders represent them. Most recently it was my mother in my 1L year,” he said. “The public defender really invested a lot of time in her case and really helped her out of a very difficult situation.”
Moving forward into his own career as a public defender, Marvel has been inspired by something said to him by Coonan, his mentor. “He told me to ‘find something you’re passionate about, make a niche of it and of kind of become an expert,’” Marvel said. “I really want to focus on helping people from very difficult backgrounds … I’m trying to get an understanding of the person and not just the problem.”
Life Away from UC Law
Although Cincinnati offers less warm weather than Florida, plus the fact that studying has kept Marvel very busy the last three years, he very much loves being outside. In fact, he and his wife, Bonnie, were members of the FSU Rowing team and were “on the water every single day” while in college. One hobby Marvel has picked up while in Cincinnati is brewing beer, which compliments his passion for cooking.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13
Anna Lammert Wants to Fight for Social Justice…in Her Own Backyard
Early in her law student career, St. Louis native Anna Lammert ’12 focused on international law. Today, however, the recent College of Law graduate is back home studying for the Missouri bar, which is just one more step in the process of beginning a career in criminal defense.
Lammert graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO in Dec. 2008, where she earned a political science degree and minors in French and women’s studies. From January to July 2009, Lammert taught English in China before returning to the States to pursue a law degree that fall.
“Initially I was attracted to the joint degree program at UC, primarily the women’s studies program,” Lammert said. “Although I did not end up pursuing a joint degree, UC has a very strong social justice program and I have not been disappointed with my decision.”
After her 1L year, Lammert clerked for a judge at the High Court of Botswana through the Urban Morgan Institute. It was this experience abroad, which included visits to “some of the poorest areas of South Africa and Botswana,” that marked the start of Lammert’s interest in indigent defense, she said.
“I realized that I don’t have to travel around the world to fight for social justice. In fact, I realized that many areas of St. Louis have been ravaged by racism, poverty, aggressive policing and over-incarceration and something just clicked for me,” Lammert said. “I knew I needed to be back in St. Louis and I knew that I could combine my intrinsic interest in the law and criminal defense with my passion for social justice – and even if I could help even one person, the effect of my assistance could be infinite.”
Since her trip to Africa, Lammert has been involved with and worked in a number of positions reflecting her interests. At school, she worked as a research assistant for the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice and helped host a number of the Center’s events. In fact, she says her favorite event was “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,” featuring former federal prosecutor and current George Washington University Law School’s Professor Paul Butler. Lammert spent months preparing for this event, and her parents even came in from St. Louis to attend, she said.
After her 2L year, Lammert interned with the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic (DPLC) in Kansas City, MO, a habeas corpus firm. “DPLC is like OIP (the Ohio Innocence Project), except all of the clients have already been found guilty, sentenced to death and do not dispute their convictions,” she said. “Rather, attorneys at the DPLC look through the client’s trial and appeal records and investigate mitigating evidence in order to commute death sentences to life sentences.”
For most of her final year at the College of Law, Lammert had an “informal” internship at the Hamilton County Public Defender’s Office. She also worked with the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in Kenton County during her final semester on campus.
“In all three states (Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri), I have limited practice licenses and have really enjoyed appearing for clients and representing their interests in court,” Lammert said.
After completing the bar exam, Lammert said she would “love” the opportunity to work in the Missouri Public Defender System, particularly in her hometown of St. Louis. “Either way, I definitely plan on being a public defender,” she said.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13