Charlotte Eichman Provides Legal Research Used to Help Draft Sex Abuse Legislation in Ireland
Charlotte Eichman '13, research assistant for Professor Jim O'Reilly, provided helpful background research for the Irish Parliament in its consideration of controversial new legislation. Following a major scandal concerning clergy sexual abuse in a Catholic diocese in Ireland, the Irish parliament debated a new law that would force priests who learn of child sexual abuse to report that abuse to police. Ireland previously had followed Catholic Church law on the "confessional privilege" under which disclosures made during a religious counseling session would be shielded from legally compelled disclosure. In the U.S., various states have followed five major models of such legislation, balancing secrecy for religion under the First Amendment with the need for detection of sexual abuse cases. Eichman is one of several researchers working for Professor O'Reilly for his 45th textbook, Legal Issues in Clergy Sexual Abuse. Her analysis examining how state legislatures balanced the conflicting demands of religion and child protection was submitted to aid the crafting of the legislation in Ireland by the Prime Minister's office. Professor O’Reilly’s book will be published in early 2012 by Oxford University Press.
Attorney Keneilwe Modise from Botswana Visits UC Law to Conduct Research on Domestic Violence
Once again this fall, a new class of students began at the College of Law – each coming from diverse backgrounds and experiences. But another new face inside the College of Law this semester is that of Keneilwe “Kenny” Modise, a practicing attorney from Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana.
Modise arrived in August and is involved with the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic, as well as the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. “Besides that, I am also doing research, but it is also on domestic violence,” Modise said in a recent interview. “I am going to do research that, hopefully by October or November, I am going to share with the Human Rights class.”
Modise – who flew in via a connection from New York, by way of her Botswana’s neighboring country, South Africa – is getting her first taste of the United States in Cincinnati.
She had been in town for just two weeks at the time of the interview, but now that she has been in Cincinnati for about a month, she is starting to get more acclimated to her new surroundings and all the city has to offer.
Modise came to UC Law as part of an exchange program involving the Honorable Unity Dow, a retired judge, human rights activist and novelist from Botswana. Justice Dow, who opened Dow & Associates in her homeland in early 2010, has been affiliated with the College of Law for the past 23 years. She is on the Urban Morgan Institute’s advisory board, while Professor Bert Lockwood, director of the Institute, has been sending Urban Morgan fellows to intern with Dow each summer.
In addition to working with Professor Lockwood, Modise spends much of her time downtown at the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, which houses the domestic violence clinic. She has been assisting clients and working closely with Kenyatta Mickles, a visiting professor of clinical law and the supervising attorney of the clinic. “With Kenyatta, it’s been a really extensive training for the domestic violence clinic,” Modise said. “She’s really been helpful with getting to know the differences in the law in the two countries, Botswana and America, specifically the Ohio law in domestic violence.”
Modise became interested in domestic violence because it is a “pretty new concept in our country,” she said.
Modise will be at the college until December 10, before returning to Botswana where she will “try to share what I have (learned) with people back home,” she said, later noting that her nation has struggled to implement the concepts of domestic violence and legal aid through its judicial system. Working with Professors Mickles and Lockwood has been helping Modise to further her goals.
For Modise, a 2009 graduate of the University of Botswana’s five-year law program, law has not always been her sole focus. Until she opted to come to the United States, she played rugby. “I was actually the national team captain,” Modise said.
But while it has been “law and rugby” in the past, Modise says she will continue to focus on her law career when she returns to Botswana at the end of the year.
She is considering a return to the United States, hopefuly at the Georgetown University Law Center Domestic Violence Clinic for a master's degree in human rights. Of course, for the time being, Modise will continue to make the most of her opportunity to be in Cincinnati and at the College of Law.
“So far it’s been great,” she said.
By: Jordan Cohen, ‘13
Marilu Gresens ’10 Supports Human Rights Work in Gaborone, Botswana
One of the biggest decisions for most out-of-state students attending the College of Law is whether to take the bar exam in Ohio or back home. Marilu Gresens ’10, who grew up in a small town in upstate New York, faced that same question and ultimately opted to take the New York State bar exam.
But Gresens is not working in her home state – in fact, nowhere even near New York.
Instead, she is working as an associate attorney at Dow and Associates, a human rights-focused law firm in Gaborone, Botswana. “Generally, I assist with the firm’s cases, and also get to work on test litigation cases having to do with women’s rights and human rights generally,” Gresens said. “Most recently, we’ve taken a case that we hope will advance children’s and mother’s rights in Botswana in regards to child support.”
Another aspect of Gresens’ job is managing the partnership between Dow and the College of Law, which sends interns to the firm each summer – and this is how she got connected with Judge Unity Dow in the first place.
Gresens’ path to Gaborone began in the small town of Poestenkill, N.Y., where she and her younger sister – and many pets – were raised. She has fond memories of being on the campaign trail with her late grandmother, Lois Fisher, who became the town’s first female supervisor. “I think it was from her that I gained a fiery sprit, and learned that if you don’t like what’s happening in the world, then don’t sit around – go out and try to change it,” Gresens said.
Gresens graduated from SUNY College at Plattsburgh in 2007, with degrees in political science and women’s studies. She then was off to law school – something Gresens had anticipated since she was eight years old. “I’ve always been a driven and passionate individual, with a strict sense of justice,” she said. “Most people who knew me when I was younger are not surprised that I grew up to become a lawyer.”
Gresens was set on attending George Washington, but the decision to attend the College of Law became a no-brainer when she visited the campus. Two main attractions for Gresens, a “huge animal lover” and vegetarian, were the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic.
But it was even before attending UC Law and getting involved with those programs that Gresens knew she wanted to work in Africa. In fact, she recalls speaking with Al Watson, Senior Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, about the possibility of working in Africa after her 1L year. Indeed, Gresens went to Africa and clerked for (then) Judge Dow, the first female judge on the High Court of Botswana, through the Urban Morgan Institute.
She worked at a small law firm her second summer, Sirkin, Pinales & Schwartz, and later clerked for Gerhardstein & Branch. Gresens completed an externship with Chief Judge Susan Dlott, United States District Court for then Southern District of Ohio during her 3L year.
Meanwhile, Judge Dow stepped down from the bench in Botswana and opened her firm in Gaborone. Gresens, who was graduating from the College of Law around that same time, maintained contact with Judge Dow. “I made it no secret that I wanted to join the firm, and she eventually extended me an offer,” she said. Gresens is now firmly situated at Dow and Associates and is enjoying her job. “I see it as an exciting opportunity to advance and promote the enforcement of human rights in a country whose political and judicial leaders are receptive to progressive development,” she said.
The New York native, who “fell in love with Botswana” when she first came in 2008, said she is hoping that her current job will “lead to a career in international human rights law.” But Gresens presently has no intentions on going anywhere. “I love Botswana and I have no plans to leave anytime soon – so I hope to be doing this for some time,” she said.
While Gresens is far removed from the corner of Clifton Avenue and Calhoun Street, she spoke fondly of her time at the College of Law, as well as those who supported her and inspired her along the way – specifically, Professors Margaret Drew and Bert Lockwood.
When asked about what she misses the most about Cincinnati, friends, Graeter’s ice cream and “weekend movies at the Esquire,” came to mind. Gresens now spends many of her weekends taking the opportunity to travel, which recently included a trip to Botswana’s well-known Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta.
“It was beautiful,” she said. “We saw some amazing wildlife, including some giraffe and zebras grazing on the side of the road.”
Clearly, a degree from the College of Law can take you places.
by Jordan Cohen '13
Jenna Washatka ’12 and Professor Jim O’Reilly Combine Efforts to Support Creation of Land Bank
For many people July 13, 2011 was a historic day in Hamilton County with the front-page Cincinnati Enquirer coverage of the official creation of the first public land bank in southern Ohio. UC Law student Jenna Washatka ’12 and Professor Jim O’Reilly had an important had in its development.
Blighted properties that are virtually abandoned and out of the commercial market can be acquired by the new county entity and "banked" until redevelopment possibilities allow the property to be redeveloped or the house to be resold. During the interim the land bank preserves the value of the property, if any, and supervises the removal of weeds and junk.
Rising 3L Washatka took on this independent research project, interviewed the leaders and lawyers behind the concept, and prepared a lengthy analysis for the First Suburbs Consortium. Her paper was distributed to the appropriate county officials and the county treasurer as the legal basis for adopting the pioneering concept. Professor O’Reilly testified at the county hearing in support and offered Washatka's findings to county officials. This month’s adoption is the culmination of the work of public officials, nongovernmental organizations, and Washatka's outstanding efforts.
Congratulations to all!
Three UC Law Students Awarded Equal Justice Works Summer Fellowships to Serve Those in Need
Cincinnati, OH—What are your plans for the summer? A family vacation at camp or the beach? Relaxing at home? For three UC law students, summer has brought an opportunity for career exploration. They’ll be getting a jumpstart on their legal careers as participants in the Equal Justice Works Summer Corps Program. The third-year law students will gain valuable legal experience by devoting their summer to serving those in need. UC Law students Guy Cardamone ‘12, Johnathon Marvel ‘12, and Anna McGahan ‘12 were three of 700 students selected from nearly 1900 applicants from more than 150 law schools from across the country to participate in the program.
The largest program of its kind for law students, each Summer Corps member will receive a $1,123 education award upon completion of 300 hours of service as well as gain valuable first-hand legal experience in areas ranging from client intake and representation to legal research and writing.
Cardamone has taken a position with the Office of the State Appellate Defender in Chicago, IL. Marvel is working at the Mecklenburg County Public Defender Office in Charlotte, NC. And, McGahan has taken a position at Farmworker Legal Services in Kalamazoo, MI.
This year, Equal Justice Works Summer Corps members will serve at non-profit organizations in 44 states and the District of Columbia. They will be engaged with a broad range of issues, including civil rights, community economic development, death penalty, disability rights, housing, domestic violence, education, public benefits, and workers’ rights.
Two UC Law Students Receive Community Awards
Bobbi Dillon ‘13
Rising 2L Bobbi Dillon was recently awarded the 2011 Montgomery County (Dayton) "Young Democrat of the Year" award. Given yearly, the award recognizes a member of the Montgomery County (Dayton, OH) Young Democrats who is active in the chapter and dedicated to the party.
“Bobbi’s enthusiasm for the group and her efforts to promote the message and to always look for ways to represent the organization were key reasons she received this award, said Gen Murphy, executive director for group. “In 2009 she worked very hard on Rhine McLin’s mayoral race. And in 2010, before coming to law school, she led the membership recruitment efforts, signing up 75 people as new members of the group.”
Joseph Zoimen ‘12
Joseph Zoimen, a rising 3L, will be honored on May 25, 2011 by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati as “Volunteer of the Year.” This award will be presented based on his work as a volunteers and programs he runs at Congregation Zichron Eliezer.
- Commented Rabbi Meir Minster, “Yosef (Joseph) has initiated many programs for our congregation. When he takes on a project, he sees it through to the end, motivating others to get involved. His vision goes beyond our congregation and encompasses the entire community.”
Congratulations to Bobbi and Joseph!
Celebrity Golf Scramble
Sponsored by the Sports & Entertainment Law Society
Date: Saturday July 16, 2011
Time: Beginning at noon
Location: California Golf Course (5924 Kellogg Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45228)
Cost: $150 Single Player, $70 Student
Includes: Sponsored Lunch and Complimentary Drink Tickets; Awards Banquet with Catered Dinner and Cash Bar; Silent Auction
Registration Deadline: July 6, 2011 (Register here for the golf scramble)
What is it?
Join us as we combine our passion for Sports, Entertainment, and the Law to benefit Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. We’re bringing together local attorneys, celebrities, alumni, administrators, and students for a day of food, golf, and philanthropy, while coming together on behalf of a common cause.
Format: Four-person best ball scramble
12:00 p.m. Registration & Lunch
1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start
5:30 p.m. Awards Banquet & Silent Auction
Prizes So Far…
Brand New Nissan from Busam Nissan
$4,000 Awards Banquet Sponsor
* Invitation for 4 to awards banquet
*Invitation for 4 to golf & lunch
*Corporate banner displayed at banquet
$3,000 Lunch Sponsor
*Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet
*Corporate banner displayed at lunch
$1,500 Cart Sponsor (15 Carts)
*Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet
*Corporate literature in carts
*Corporate logo on all cart signs
$800 Score Card Sponsor
*Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet
*Corporate logo on all score cards.
$750 Foursome & Hole Sponsor
*Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet
*Sign on designated hole
$600 Foursome Sponsor
*Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet
$300 Hole Sponsor
* Sign on designated hole
Brad Blevins at 330-540-0571 or email@example.com with any questions or to make a donation to the Silent Auction.
Celebrity Golf Scramble
Sponsored by the Sports & Entertainment Law Society Date: Saturday July 16, 2011 Time: Beginning at noon Location: California Golf Course (5924 Kellogg Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45228) Cost: $150 Single Player, $70 Student Includes: Sponsored Lunch and Complimentary Drink Tickets; Awards Banquet with Catered Dinner and Cash Bar; Silent Auction Registration Deadline: July 6, 2011 What is it? Join us as we combine our passion for Sports, Entertainment, and the Law to benefit Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. We’re bringing together local attorneys, celebrities, alumni, administrators, and students for a day of food, golf, and philanthropy, while coming together on behalf of a common cause. Tournament Specifics Format: Four-person best ball scramble 18 holes Event Schedule 12:00 p.m. Registration & Lunch 1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start 5:30 p.m. Awards Banquet & Silent Auction Prizes So Far… Brand New Nissan from Busam Nissan Cash prizes Sponsorship Opportunities $4,000 Awards Banquet Sponsor * Invitation for 4 to awards banquet *Invitation for 4 to golf & lunch *Corporate banner displayed at banquet $3,000 Lunch Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Corporate banner displayed at lunch $1,500 Cart Sponsor (15 Carts) *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Corporate literature in carts *Corporate logo on all cart signs $1000 Score Card Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Corporate logo on all score cards. $750 Foursome & Hole Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Sign on designated hole $600 Foursome Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet $350 Hole Sponsor * Sign on designated hole Contact: Brad Blevins at 330-540-0571 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to make a donation to the Silent Auction.
CPD Launches Catalyst Program
On February 25, 2011, the College will launch the Catalyst Program, a micro-mentoring program designed to fold students into the lives of attorney volunteers. The Catalyst Program, which will be administered by the Center for Professional Development, increases the opportunities for students to interact with the local bar. What is a Catalyst? A catalyst is usually defined as a substance or agent that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction. Similarly a catalyst can be defined as a person or thing that precipitates an event or change. Almost 60 students registered and the volunteer response from the local bar to serve as Catalysts has been equally enthusiastic. Each Catalyst will bring wisdom, experience and unparalleled professionalism to benefit law students’ professional journey. The interaction between each student and Catalyst will provide students with a filter for their experiences and help them marry those experiences to their unique ambitions and expectations.
2012 Charity Golf Tournament
Sign up today to win great prizes including a new Cadillac!
Date: April 13, 2012
Time: 12:30 (registration)
Location: Glenview Golf Course, located at 10965 Springfield Pike
Cost: $90/attorneys; $40/students. (Cost includes course fees, golf cart use, lunch, dinner, and entry for all prizes and games.)
This is a four-player best ball scramble at Glenview Golf Course. Sponsored by the Student Bar Association (SBA), this event will raise monies for the Summer Public Interest Fund (SPIF).
In addition to the best ball scramble, there will be proximity games and other contests as well as the ability to purchase mulligans.
12:30 p.m.: Lunch & Registration
1:30 p.m.: Shot Gun Start
Attorneys are encouraged to sign up with other players; however SBA would like to combine your teams with law students. Teams will be assigned at random, though handicaps will be taken into account. For more information: email email@example.com.
Become a Tournament Sponsor
Your tax-deductable donation of $300 will make you a tee-sponsor and allow your organization to advertise to over 140 tri-state area attorneys, judges and other legal professionals. Read more information here.
What’s Summer Public Interest Fund? Want to know what SPIF is all about? Find out more here.