Law

Leadership

Welcome from Dean Verna Williams

Welcome to Cincinnati Law! Thank you for choosing to explore the nation’s premier, small, urban, public law school. As the country’s fourth oldest continuously operating law school, we have a storied history of preparing legal professionals to be business and governmental leaders, champions of justice and responsible global citizens.

You can join them.

Nestled within the University of Cincinnati, a top-tier public research university with more than 40,000 students across three campuses, our law school community is close-knit and focused on action.

Our accepted student population totals fewer than 400 students, allowing for an enviable 8.4 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Our first-year sections are among the smallest in the nation.

Our faculty includes renowned scholars and practitioners whose work is recognized globally and praised in academia as well as the judiciary and the practicing bar—and the public. I encourage you to meet our leadership. Cincinnati Law faculty and staff specialize in providing personal and individualized attention.

The success of our curriculum is evidenced by the success of our students. Our students pass the bar at higher rates than Ohio’s average, and on top of that, xxx are employed in law-related fields within x months of graduation.

It's Great to be a BEARCAT

The Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area is home to 2 million people, more than 800 law firms, and serves as headquarters for 10 Fortune 500 companies. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and U.S. District Court for Southern District of Ohio are both located in downtown Cincinnati, a mere two miles from the law school, allowing for expansive and distinctive practical experiences that round out a rigorous academic curriculum.

Along with opportunities for employment with law firms and corporations, every year Cincinnati Law students get hands-on legal experience through hundreds of externship opportunities that put them to work in government entities, non-profit organizations and judicial offices.

We’re also proudly Cincinnati, a Midwestern city consistently ranked highly for its quality of life, strong professional networks and start-up communities as well as its affordability. In fact, Forbes ranked Cincinnati as one of America’s “Best Bargain Cities.”

Cincinnati Law’s distinctive Centers and Institutes also provide valuable learning experiences. Consider:

  • Our Urban Morgan Institute is the first center at an American law school dedicated to the study of international human rights.
  • The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice is home to the highly acclaimed Ohio Innocence Project at Cincinnati Law. OIP, which welcomes undergraduate as well as JD-candidate students in its work, has already helped exonerate 24 wrongfully convicted inmates since its founding in 2003.
  • The Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice, of which I am the co-director, puts academic theory into action as we prepare students to take the lead in advancing justice.

With approximately $2 million awarded annually in scholarships, consistently high bar passage results and below average student loan debt figures, a Cincinnati Law degree provides a solid return on your investment.

I hope you enjoy exploring our website and learning more about the exciting opportunities here. Come for a visit and learn even more, or start your application now.

Verna L. Williams

Interim Dean and Judge Joseph P. Kinneary Professor of Law, Co-director, Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Leadership

Headshot of Verna Williams

Verna Williams link

Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law, College of Law

200A College of Law Building

513-556-0121

Professor Williams joined the College of Law in 2001 after practicing many years in the areas of civil and women’s rights. With Professor Kristin Kalsem, she co-directs the university’s joint-degree program in Law and Women’s Studies, a signature program of the College of Law. Professor Williams teaches in the areas of family law, gender discrimination, and constitutional law. In 2004 and 2011, she received the Goldman Prize for Teaching Excellence.
Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Williams practiced law in the private and public sectors. She was Vice President and Director of Educational Opportunities at the National Women’s Law Center, where she focused on issues of gender equity in education. During her time at the Center, Professor Williams was lead counsel and successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, which established that educational institutions have a duty to respond to and address complaints of student-to-student sexual harassment. She also practiced at the Department of Justice and at Sidley Austin LLP. Professor Williams began her legal career clerking for the Honorable David S. Nelson, U.S. District Judge for the District of Massachusetts.
Professor Williams’ research examines the intersection of race, gender, and class in education law and policy. She has presented papers at numerous conferences, including meetings of the American Association of Law Schools, the Association of Law, Culture and the Humanities, and the Latina/o Critical Race Theory Conference. Professor Williams also has served as a consultant for the Ford Foundation; in that capacity, she chaired the convening of a national conference at UC entitled Women Coming Together: Claiming the Law for Social Change.
This year, Professor Williams was listed in The Women's Book (2012 Cincinnati edition), which includes profiles of a diverse range of women who are succeeding in their careers and giving back to their communities.
Education

BS, Georgetown University

JD, Harvard Law School

Preferred Information

Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law,

Headshot of Bradford Clayton Mank

Bradford Clayton Mank link

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, James B. Helmer, Jr. Professor of Law, College of Law

425 College of Law Building

513-556-0094

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Mank teaches and writes in the areas of environmental law and administrative law.  A prolific scholar, he has authored many articles and book chapters on environmental justice, regulatory reform, standing, and statutory interpretation. He also has worked with the City of Cincinnati on a number of environmental ordinances and implementation matters, including climate change, environmental justice, recycling, and air pollution issues. 
 
He was named the James B. Helmer, Jr. Professor of Law in 2001 in recognition of his scholarly and teaching accomplishments. Professor Mank’s has also been honored with the 2004 Harold C. Schott Award and in 2001 with the Goldman Prize for Teaching Excellence. He was also awarded the Dean’s Award for Faculty Excellence in 2016.
 
Before joining the College of Law faculty in 1991, Professor Mank served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut.  He also was an associate with the Hartford, Conn., law firm of Murtha, Cullina, Righter and Pinney, where his emphasis was environmental law. 
 
Professor Mank received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University and his J.D. from Yale University where he served as the Editor of the Yale Law Journal.  After graduation, he clerked for Justice David M. Shea of the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Education

BA, Harvard University

JD, Yale University

Preferred Information

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, James B. Helmer, Jr. Professor of Law,

Headshot of Stephanie McMahon

Stephanie McMahon link

Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Law, College of Law

430 College of Law Building

513-556-4206

Professor McMahon teaches courses in tax law and legal history, and her research often combines her interest in these areas.  Professor McMahon’s scholarship focuses on the historical relationship between taxation and the public’s perception of taxation and, from that relationship, discovers lessons for improving today’s law.  In particular, Professor McMahon’s work has explored how women have been, and continue to be, affected by taxation, and how women have used issues of taxation to further their own rights.  Her writings have been published in peer-reviewed journals, Florida Tax ReviewLaw and History Review, and Pittsburgh Tax Review, as well as student-reviewed journals, Northwestern Law ReviewHarvard Journal of Law and GenderJournal of Legislation (Notre Dame), Nevada Law JournalWisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society and blogs, The Hill.
A summa cum laude graduate of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA (BA), a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, and a graduate with a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, Prior to joining the academic world, Professor McMahon spent several years practicing in the tax field.  She worked as a tax attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York and at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, also in New York. A former Samuel I. Golieb fellow, during graduate school, she worked at Nixon, Peabody LLP in Washington, D.C.  
Education

BA, Oglethorpe University

JD, Harvard Law School

MA, University of Virginia

Ph.D., University of Virginia

Preferred Information

Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Professor of Law,

Headshot of Joel Chanvisanuruk

Joel Chanvisanuruk link

Assistant Dean for Academic Success and Bar Programs, College of Law

201 M

513-556-3531

Headshot of Mina Jones Jefferson

Mina Jones Jefferson link

Associate Dean, Chief of Staff, and Director of the Center for Professional Development, College of Law

201 K

513-556-0075

Headshot of Staci Rucker

Staci Rucker link

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Diversity, College of Law

200 C

513-556-0065

Headshot of Nora Burke Wagner

Nora Burke Wagner link

Assistant Dean for International Student Programs & Director, LLM Program, College of Law

201 F

513-556-0801

Headshot of Al Watson

Al Watson link

Senior Assistant Dean, Admissions and Financial Aid, College of Law

201 B

513-556-0078