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JD-MBA Student William Volck Focuses on Career as In-House Counsel


William Volck ’14 has contemplated a number of legal career paths in the last two years. At first he considered sports law and becoming a sports agent. He flirted with the idea of litigation, aided in part by his summer work experience with a local judge. Now he is geared toward an eventual career in house. Regardless of where he ends up and what type of law he ultimately practices, Volck has not strayed from his initial goal as a college freshman of going to law school and working towards a JD.

Volck was born on a Navajo reservation in Northern Arizona but moved to his father’s hometown of Cincinnati at age five. After attending St. Xavier High School, Volck headed to Indiana University. He knew when he arrived at college that he was likely going to pursue a law degree, regardless of his major. Volck ultimately earned a BA in Communications from IU with a minor from the Kelley School of Business in 2011.

During his senior year at IU, Volck interned at a pair of local law offices in Bloomington, Ind. One person who was especially supportive of this decision was Volck’s uncle, a sole practitioner in Baltimore whose legal career was a primary motivation for Volck opting to pursue law in the first place.

After a tough decision, Volck opted to return home for law school, enrolling in the College of Law’s Class of 2014. In the last couple years, he has become especially interested in business law, in part due to his minor at IU, while also influenced by many of his college friends who studied business and now work in the field. As a result, he is now pursuing a joint JD/MBA. Typically, students attend a year at the College of Law while spending the second year out of four at the UC Lindner College of Business. However, Volck is taking a different route by loading up on credits this semester. He will then take a few business courses during his traditional 3L year, sit for the bar with this class, and then spend the 2014-15 year at the business school.

Externships Provide Lots of Opportunity

While Volck is currently preparing for a career as in-house counsel, his experiences last summer externing for Magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz ’84 at the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, opened up his eyes to litigation. “For a 1L summer, I had a really excellent experience,” Volck said.

Throughout the summer, Volck worked with Magistrate Judge Litkovitz’s clerks – College of Law graduates Erica Faaborg '06 and Laura Ahern '85 – in helping draft various opinions before the judge made her corrections.  “(Magistrate Judge Litkovitz) has final say over absolutely everything, but I felt involved with the whole process,” Volck said.

Volck noted his 1L civil procedure and research and writing classes were especially valuable during his summer, but his research and writing skills especially improved as he was “doing it every day.”

The current 2L was appreciative of Magistrate Judge Litkovitz bringing him into settlement conferences, hearings, and other proceedings to observe and take notes. Other judges were also very welcoming, including Chief Judge Susan Dlott. At the end of the summer, Judge Michael Barrett ’77, United States District Court of the Southern District of Ohio, held a mock trial for all the judges’ externs, which allowed Volck to argue in front of Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman and a live jury.

“That’s when I really discovered I liked litigation,” Volck said, noting the “competitive edge” involved.

This summer, Volck will be working in New York with Bruce Eichner ’69 and The Continuum Company. Volck is the 2013 Eichner Fellow. “I’m really excited about that. I have never been to New York before,” he said, who pursued this experience for the opportunity to work with in-house counsel and gain experience in business development.

Volck is a member of the Moot Court Program and also a Tenant Information Project volunteer. Last semester, he and 3L Casey Kirchberg participated in an ABA Negotiations competition at Cooley Law School in Michigan. Professor Marjorie Aaron, director of the Center for Practice, and adjunct professor Jim Lawrence of Frost Brown Todd coached Volck and Kirchberg, as well as another pair from the College of Law.

In his free time, Volck enjoys doing outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, and fishing. He also enjoys attending Reds games and listening to live music.

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13