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A Message From Dean Jennifer S. Bard


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As Thanksgiving approaches, we have a lot to be thankful about at Cincinnati Law. Last week it was my privilege to see 67 of our students sworn in as members of the Ohio State Bar. Following up on our number one status in the February bar, the class of 2016 had an exceptionally strong bar passage rate in Ohio and around the country. Please have a look at the chart to see just how much our students are outperforming higher ranked schools.

Our entering class not only brings us back to our historic ideal—125 students—it also reflects a continued diversification of the law school community. At a time when you may read of law schools compromising on quality or rigor, you can rest assured that admission to Cincinnati Law remains highly selective and competitive. We do not admit any student who we think is unable to succeed in the classroom, pass the bar, and participate in professional development activities leading to a first job. You may be interested to know that today’s admissions process also includes an initial character and fitness screening. Although we cannot look into anyone’s heart or soul, we do require disclosure of past events that would cause concern to an interviewing committee.

We are thankful for the generosity of alumni like Bruce and Ginny Whitman who have established a fellowship to create opportunities for our students to have meaningful work experiences before they graduate. Through the newly-established Whitman Fellowship, students will receive a stipend to work for an employer specializing in representing individual plaintiffs and their families in personal rights litigation, tort and employment law. The Whitman’s mission is to help find and train a cadre of students who want to champion the needs of the “little guy.” This is a great way to start!

While attending the annual dinner for the fellows of the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry a few weeks ago, I was struck with the thought that our students benefit greatly from an institution that allows them to have such different and varied real world work experiences. The Weaver fellows were also:

  • working in private law firms,
  • interning with federal judges, and
  • participating in clinics like the Innocence Project, the Indigent Defense Clinic, the Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic, and the Urban Morgan Institute.

All without interrupting their academic studies. Indeed, these experiences are incorporated into their daily program. Because of our location, so near to many legal work opportunities, our students don’t have to choose between the classroom and experiential learning opportunities.

Finally, I remain impressed and grateful for the dedication of our faculty and staff. In reviewing teaching evaluations at the end of each semester, I am delighted by the fact that every professor here has student evaluations declaring him or her a “favorite” teacher or “the best” we have. All of them. Given the high scholarly productivity of our faculty and their considerable involvement in a wide array of professional and community activities, their obvious dedication to teaching and mentoring individual students is something special to this law school.

I hope this letter finds everyone enjoying the start of a happy and healthy holiday season. Please note the two admissions events we will be having over the next weeks, an open house for prospective students on November 18th and a smaller event on November 23rd to share information about Cincinnati Law with students home from college. If you know someone considering law, invite them to one of our open house events. Or, they can RSVP online: DeanOpenHouse

With Warm Best Wishes,
Jennifer