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Professor Darrell Miller…Not so New Kid on the Block…

Professor Darrell MillerFrom the small town of Anderson, Indiana where he grew up and attended college to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he attended law school at one of the most prestigious institutions in the nation, to Oxford, England, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar and Columbus, Ohio where he litigated cases for five years, Professor Darrell Miller has made his mark. Now, he is making his mark right here at UC Law where he recently began his second year of teaching.  Miller teaches Civil Procedure I and Civil Rights Litigation in the fall and will teach Civil Procedure II during the spring semester. Following a year of commuting from Columbus for his Civil Procedure classes, Miller officially made Cincinnati home in May and has enjoyed his time so far at the law school. “I did more ‘reading’ with books on tape than I have in years,” he joked of his car rides between Columbus and Cincinnati. After conquering the Harry Potter series at the suggestion of his wife, he enjoyed a few books about medieval history and strongly recommends Peter Ackroyd's biography The Life of Thomas More, a historical account detailing the life experience of Thomas More, a lawyer who became a saint.

From Buckeye to Bearcat…

“I like the size of the classes here,” Miller commented about his experience at UC. “They are smaller, so there is more intimacy and immediacy.” Miller, who served as an adjunct faculty member at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law from 2005 - 2006, taught Negotiations and Appellate Advocacy while working as a litigation associate with Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP in Columbus. Though he enjoyed his work in appellate advocacy and complex commercial litigation at Vorys, Miller admitted that he has always wanted to teach. “You get to the point where you’re more interested in the ideas, doctrine, and policy that you’re reading as you work on a case for a client” he said.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Education from Anderson University, the transition from litigation to the classroom was natural. The small class sizes at UC remind him of his days at Anderson and Oxford Universities. “There is such a good working relationship between the students and the faculty,” he said of UC. “I love working with my colleagues as well,” he added. “I bug them about what I’m thinking about; even if it’s a random, hair-brained idea I have about a particular topic. The environment here really promotes and supports that type of interaction.” As a first year professor, Miller enjoyed a laugh with his students during the beginning of one of his classes. “I’m up there in my first semester of my first year trying to project this dignified, professorial demeanor and my students are watching my colleague Adam Steinman rap on YouTube.” Miller admits that he’s not much of a rapper himself.

Civil Procedure for Practice…

Miller noted that he is thankful that Civil Procedure is taught in two semesters at the law school.  While at Harvard Law, Miller completed Civil Procedure in one semester. “Trying to fit all of the vocabulary and nuances that are necessary to understand Civil Procedure is hard to do in one semester,” he commented. Miller tries hard to give students a foundation, not only for understanding, but for practicing in the area. “My philosophy on the way to teach Civil Procedure is that I’m trying consciously to give students the practical tools, to the extent I can, of what it means to litigate a case and also to understand it on a high theoretical level,” he said.

Miller’s joint BA and MA in Modern History & English from Oxford University make him well-equipped to teach Civil Rights Litigation this semester. “Everything about the civil rights statutes is placed against a background of history,” he explained. “The question is, what relevance this history has to some of the existing statutes we have now.”

Personally speaking…

In his free time, Miller enjoys spending time with his wife Karyn and two children Sophia and Iris, ages 5 and 3 respectively. This past month, he spent time watching the Olympics and enjoys dining out with his wife who is a former pastry chef. “I did recently buy a portable Playstation,” he added. Although he does play quite a bit of chess on his new toy, Miller admitted that he does play his fair share of Mortal Kombat, a less academic game of strategy where players control martial arts warriors in a fight of good against evil with a supernatural twist.