Toggle menu

From a Small Town in India to Bustling Cincinnati, Pradeep Kandambath Continue to Pursue a Legal Career

From the small town of Payyanur in a region of southern India known for its long, sandy beaches, coconut trees, monsoon rains, and exotic spices, Pradeepkumar Kandambath moved to the United States looking to pursue a legal career.  That was over 12 years ago. His circuitous journey, however, brought him to the College of Law as a student in the LLM program.

Kandambath attended Payyanur College (which is affiliated with Calicut University) and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history.  He then went on to attend Symbiosis Law School in Pune, a university town not too far from Mumbai.  Not done with academia yet, Kandambath also received a diploma in electronic commerce in Bangalore from Asset International, an institute renowned for its programs in e-commerce and computer and information technologies.

“I was, in fact, born in a family of lawyers! My father, the late K.U. Narayana Poduval, was a civil lawyer and freedom fighter who began his practice in the 1940’s with former state minister of law and education K. Chandrashekharan. My uncle, the late K.U. Kunhikrishna Poduval, and my elder brother, the late Jagdishchandran, were also lawyers who have inspired me to take the legal profession with utmost seriousness and a sense of dedication,” Kandambath said.

From 1997 to 2002, Kandambath practiced in the areas of property law, employment law, and company law in a small firm at Kochi and at the High Court of Kerala.  At Kochi, he had the opportunity to intern with former Judge of the Supreme Court of India and world renowned human rights activist, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, which he considers to be a milestone in his career.

“Cincinnati looked almost unreal to me when I first arrived,” said Kandambath.  He contrasted Cincinnati with what he knew about urban life in India, where poverty, noise, and pollution are integral parts of urban life.  “One thing noteworthy about the Cincinnati is that it is a bustling cosmopolitan city like any other major city in the U.S.,” shared Kandambath, “except for the rush and difficult commutes.” 

Having never cooked before moving to the U.S., cooking is now one of Kandambath hobbies along with travelling and music.  A notable difference culturally, Kandambath shared that the cooking back home was usually done by servants.   “It may sound strange to a Westerner” he laughed. “I had not even seen the whole kitchen in the house I was born in and lived at for more than 25 years!”

Having established his life in Cincinnati, Kandambath admittedly had almost given up his goal of establishing a legal practice here.  When he moved to the Queen City years ago, no LLM program existed, and impracticalities and cost prevented him and his family from moving to another city.  Then when he was online searching for short-term courses in law, he discovered UC Law’s new LLM program and jumped at the opportunity to pursue his dream.  “I always wanted to have a post graduate degree in legal studies,” he said.  “The LLM program has been the most exciting thing that has happened to me since I came to the United States.” 

Now nearing graduation, Kandambath hopes to work with a law firm or business establishment where he can utilize his unique, multinational educational background.  “I have benefitted immensely by doing the LLM program at UC,” he said.  “I would strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in any career path in the legal field.

Faculty members at UC have extensive experience in legal practice and bring outstanding scholarship and teaching experience to the class. I would advise every student to take full advantage of this as well as the career support at the university.”

3L Caroline Hyatt Wins Second Place in National Writing Competition

Congratulations to third year law student Caroline Hyatt who placed second in the 2013-2014 Louis Jackson National Memorial Student Writing Competition in Labor and Employment Law for her paper, “The Legal Enforcement of 'Proper' Gender Performance Through Title VII.” 

The competition is sponsored by the national labor and employment law firm Jackson Lewis in memory of Mr. Jackson, one of the firm’s founders. The competition has been administered by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law’s, Institute for Law and the Workplace.  Her essay will be published on the Institute for Law and the Workplace website and she will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Hyatt, a native of Cincinnati, is a graduate of the university with a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with certificates in Asian Studies and in International Human Rights.

What have been some of the best experiences at the law school and why?

“In the summer following my first year of law school, I worked at the EEOC in the Office of Federal Operations in Washington D.C. Federal employees with discrimination complaints go through a longer administrative process before they have the option of going to federal court and this office is responsible for the appellate decisions of these claims. About a month before I started working there, they issued an exciting decision in Macy v. Holder. This case established that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on gender identity. Following this monumental decision, the EEOC had a panel that summer to discuss the impact of the case that I got to attend. This discussion triggered the nagging question in the back of my mind that eventually led to my MA/JD final project.

“That fall I started researching the topic of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and the extent to which it might be protected under Title VII with the help of my MA/JD final project committee, made up of Professors Deb Meem from Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Sandra Sperino and Chris Bryant from the law school. Working on that project, a paper that utilized the theoretical concepts that I learned in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies MA program and applying them to a legal problem in a new and unique way, made my 2L year the most challenging and rewarding year of my academic career. The work I did with the EEOC and on my paper also led me to the specialty I plan to practice in when I graduate: LGBT employment discrimination.”

How did you get involved with the writing competition?

“When I finished the paper I wrote for my MA/JD final project, I knew that I wanted to rewrite it in a form that focused on the legal aspect of my work so that I could get the ideas out there in the legal field. While there have been huge gains in protecting the LGBT community from employment discrimination, there is a lot of work still to be done, and my research can help ensure that that work creates real change instead of just the appearance of change or even reinforcing the very societal norms that we are trying to shift. Professor Sperino recommended places to submit my work and all of my committee helped me edit and prepare my paper. I submitted my paper to the writing competition this past January and was just so excited to find out that my paper, “The Legal Enforcement of “Proper” Gender Performance Through Title VII,” had won second place!”

How will this experience help in your career?

“The opportunity to become so deeply knowledgeable in one area of law through the work I did on my article, which I spent a whole year on, has helped me focus my experiences toward a specialty in LGBT employment discrimination. This area of law is new and changing and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

Participating specifically in the writing competition and in winning second place puts my work and my ideas out there on a much larger scale. It’s accessible online to anyone who wants to see it and I hope that it can contribute to a larger conversation, in legal academia and among practitioners, about the direction the law is moving.”

Last Question: what did you think when you heard you won?

“I was so excited! I didn’t know when to expect an answer, so I was completely caught off guard. It was a great feeling after working so hard on something for so long to have that work recognized on a national scale.”

Hyatt plans to work in employment discrimination, doing litigation on behalf of employees, and specializing in working to protect the LGBT community from discrimination.



Bulgarian LLM Student Yana Kostova Shares Thoughts on the City, Working at the Mayor’s Office, and Cincinnati Red’s Opening Day

UC Law’s nine-month LLM program is designed to introduce internationally trained lawyers to the U.S. legal system.  One of the reasons the program is so attractive to many students is because of its flexibility. Some students can take advantage of a number of practical experiences with the various centers and institutes at the college and throughout the city.  That was a bonus for current LLM student Yana Kostova.

Kostova grew up in Bulgaria, where she lived and studied through high school.  When she turned 18, she moved to England, studying law at the University of the West of England in Bristol, working toward an LLB degree. Her focus was commercial law.  Kostova gained experience working in the legal department of the Bank of Ireland before making the decision to move to the United States.

While she considered moving to California where her sister lived, Kostova ultimately decided to begin her journey in Ohio.  “It is not the biggest city, but at the same time it gives you a lot of the things to do that you can do in bigger cities like New York or Chicago,” she said about the Queen City.  Kostova added that the people are very nice here and the weather is a bit better than what she experienced in England.  In her spare time, she plays tennis with UC’s club team.  She played professionally as a child and is happy she is able to keep tennis as a hobby while in law school.

Prepping to Study US Law

While Kostova did not study law in her native Bulgaria, the transition to studying the field in the US was easy because of the similarities between English and American law, she commented.  She also honed her skills reading and speaking English while in England, preparing her even more for studying in this country. After earning her LLM this spring, Kostova plans to continue to practice in the commercial law field in New York as she did while in England.  But her time at the college has opened her eyes to other possible avenues for her career. 

Kostova is currently interning with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s office.  “I wanted to work on establishing contacts and to develop my networking and interpersonal skills,” she shared of her goals with her internship.  “But since working there, I have begun to find an interest in civil rights.”  She noted that this area of law, in particular, is much different than her prior experiences. The internship also surprised her by introducing her to her first Opening Day parade.  “It was my first parade – I had no idea what I was supposed to do,” she explained with a smile and a laugh.  Kostova has also developed an interest in public interest work. She feels that it affords attorneys the opportunity to establish a work-life balance as opposed to some firm jobs where attorneys may work twelve-hour days. 

Kostova offered some advice for students considering the LLM program in the future:  “If you are unsure of what you want to specialize in, this is a good problem to have.  The LLM program can be tailored to what you are interested in, and the externship programs allow you to get some practical experience to help you decide.”

Catalina Roa Pacheco Talks About the Socratic Method, the LLM Program, and Cincinnati Traffic

Catalina Roa Pacheco, formerly a practicing attorney in Colombia, will be graduating this spring with her LLM degree. Originally from Bogotá, Roa Pacheco moved to the United States in 2012 with her husband.  Though she was working as an attorney in Colombia, Roa Pacheco was unsure of whether she would continue with the legal profession in Cincinnati.  Her husband, who is completing his residency at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, recommended that she check out UC Law and the LLM program. In fact, she had the opportunity to participate in a program to learn more about UC Law, the LLM program, and the city of Cincinnati.  “Working with the LLM Admissions Office made the process very easy,” she shared.  “Seeing how easy it was to apply and that I was able to get a scholarship made my decision easy.”

In her spare time, Roa Pacheco shared that she enjoys watching movies, particularly documentaries, for some respite from the classroom and library.  She also enjoys living downtown and taking walks around the heart of the city.  “Cincinnati is completely different from Bogotá,” said Roa Pacheco.  “But I have really enjoyed my time here.  The people are amazing.” While Cincinnati is a smaller city, it still has much to offer, she believes. One difference she shared might surprise Cincinnatians: Roa Pacheco  says that the traffic here is much better than in Bogotá.  (Keep this in mind on your next commute through the orange cone maze!)  Cincinnati also showed her snow for the first time; and Roa Pacheco finds the springtime here to be beautiful. 

The Challenges of Different Legal Systems and the Socratic Method

Like many other internationally trained lawyers, pursuing her LLM degree is the first time Roa Pacheco has really engaged with a common law legal system.  Not only is the legal system different and challenging to learn, but the classroom experience is also different. She remarked that the Socratic method was a bit intimidating at first (something most law students and UC Law alums can relate to).

Roa Pacheco has been able to gain additional practical experience outside the classroom with an externship at ProKids, a nonprofit agency that provides advocacy for abused and neglected children in Hamilton County.  This sort of public interest work has struck a chord with her, and she plans on practicing in this field when she returns to Colombia in a few years.

Ukranian LLM Student Marina Nemirovska has Found Her Niche in Immigration Work

Marina Nemirovska grew up in Ukraine, living in Kiev, the capital of the country. There, she earned her master’s degree in engineering as well as her master’s degree in law.  While she worked briefly in the engineering field, she opted to pursue a legal career.  For 14 years Nemirovska practiced law in Ukraine.  Initially she worked as a corporate lawyer, dealing with customs and contracts.  After eight years of corporate work, Nemirovska opened her own firm to work as a private notary.  “Instead of mainly witnessing signatures, a notary in Ukraine works in a broader area, preparing all sorts of legal documents,” she explained about the nature of her work.  She did this work for six years before moving to Cincinnati. 

It was meeting her husband that fueled her decision to move to the United States. Nemirovska moved with her daughter and pets (including a big Newfoundland named Bronya) and a “bunch of luggage.”  Once here in Cincinnati, she started her education at the university, graduating with a paralegal studies degree.  When she heard about UC Law’s LLM program, Nemirovska initially wanted to investigate it for her daughter.  “My daughter received her law degree in Ukraine, but we moved shortly after she graduated,” explained Nemirovska.  “I thought the LLM program might be a good avenue to start to her career in the US.  Little did I know I would end up entering the program myself!”

Life in Cincinnati…and Kiev

Cincinnati is much different from her life living in the capital of the Ukraine. She noted that life in Cincinnati is much different than in her homeland.  “Here, if you want to work, you have to drive,” she stated.  “Back in Ukraine, I largely relied on public transportation to get around.”  But even though Cincinnati is very different, Nemirovska does like the area—well enough to stick around and establish her legal career in Ohio.  After she graduates this spring, she plans to take a bar prep course and then the Ohio Bar Exam. She is, admittedly, nervous about the prospect.  “The law here is very flexible,” she said, “whereas back home we have only the code, and that is it.”  She also commented that though studying the U.S. legal system a bit later in life coupled with the fact that English is not her native language may have contributed to the difficulties of studying law here, it was the transition from civil law to studying common law that has challenged her the most. 

Interestingly, Nemirovska’s time in the U.S. has changed her interests in the law.  She has developed interests in both immigration law and intellectual property.  In December, Nemirovska became a U.S. citizen and, when taking into account the current events in Ukraine, she does not plan on returning to the country where she spent the first chapters of her life. 

In fact, Nemirovska expressed an interest in opening a type of “center” for immigrants and international students.  She has found that, even being here for years, it is difficult to learn how to find a job, how to get a driver’s license, and how to meet people, among other things.  Commenting that there are very few Russian-speaking attorneys in Ohio, Nemirovska feels that this is one way that she can combine her life experiences with her legal training—both here and in the Ukraine—to help others.

UC Law Announces Partnerships with Business Incubators; Local Entrepreneurs Benefit

The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic at the College of Law cultivates new partnerships to provide legal assistance at local business incubators while giving students much-needed client counseling experience.

Cincinnati, OH—The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC) at the University of Cincinnati College of Law has launched new partnerships with two local business incubators, delivering legal services to local entrepreneurs and providing law students with opportunities to use and enhance their lawyering skills.

“We’re excited to announce that the ECDC has now partnered with the Hamilton County Business Center, one of Ohio’s best startup incubators, and First Batch, one of the tri-state’s newest business accelerators,” said Lew Goldfarb, Director of the ECDC at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. “Partnerships like these are great for the community. Businesses benefit from critical legal services they may not otherwise be able to afford and students develop their legal skills. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation.”

The program, which launches in June and runs through August, connects incoming third year law students with small businesses at the Business Center and First Batch. The students, working under the supervision of a practicing attorney, are licensed to practice law under a “legal intern license” issued by the Supreme Court of Ohio.  In addition to providing legal services to local start-ups, the students will be able to participate in some of the business training that is offered by the Business Center and First Batch.

During the inaugural year, the programs will be combined, so the same UC law students will serve clients at both business hubs. Thereafter, the plan is for the programs to run separately with students at each location. “Combining the programs during the inaugural year gives us a chance to assess the amount of and type of work each location requires so that we can determine how to best staff the programs in the future,” said Goldfarb.  

"Throughout our history, the Hamilton County Business Center has benefited from an extensive relationship with the University of Cincinnati,” said Patrick Longo, the Business Center director. “By adding UC’s clinic on-site at the Business Center, it allows our clients to access quality legal advice from up-and-coming UC law students.  As a full-service business incubation program, the Business Center is always looking to add program components that will give our clients a competitive advantage as they launch and grow their ventures.”

The Business Center, the longest-running and most successful business incubator in Southwest Ohio, helps entrepreneurs launch innovative businesses. In operation over 24 years, the Business Center has a long and successful track record of supporting and graduating innovative companies that strengthen the local economy and add jobs to the community. The Business Center provides office space, business services, coaching, mentors, shared services, connections, and access to capital to 65 tenant-businesses at its Norwood location.

"We're excited to be partnering First Batch manufacturing entrepreneurs with talented UC law students,” said Matt Anthony, co-founder of First Batch. “Minimizing liability risks and protecting intellectual property are important objectives for any innovative startup, but there are a number of unique challenges with manufacturing start-ups that the law students can help them overcome. Having direct access to legal advice is unusual for a young company, so this partnership will be invaluable to our First Batch program participants in their quest to scale their businesses."

First Batch, a four-month accelerator program located in Over-the-Rhine, identifies young designers with finished product prototypes, provides them with commercial space and support, and pairs them with local manufacturers with the goal of completing their first batch product run by the program’s end. First Batch was created to showcase Cincinnati manufacturing and highlight an untapped resource in the tri-state’s start-up culture, as well as boost the area’s economic activity, leverage local talents, and grow creative enterprise efforts.

 “Cincinnati is quickly becoming an entrepreneurial hotbed,” said Goldfarb about the local impact of this type of program. “The more partnerships we can form to provide resources for startups, the more companies will want to come here. That’s critically important for the local economy.”


About the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic at the College of Law

The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic partners local law students with small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, representing them on transactional legal issues critical to their success. Client services include assistance and counseling on entity selection and formation, regulatory compliance and licensing, advice on trademark and copyright protection, and lease and contract review, negotiation, and preparation. Through its work, the ECDC hopes to give students a tremendous learning experience and to contribute to the economic development and revitalization of Cincinnati and surrounding communities.

Pete Manso('82) named to BioFlorida Board of Directors

West Palm Beach, March 28, 2014 – Pete Manso ('82), a partner in Edwards Wildman’s Intellectual Property group and a veteran of technology-related law, has been named to the board of directors of BioFlorida, a statewide trade association for the bioscience industry.

As a board member, Manso will work to promote continued strong growth of the state’s bioscience, pharmaceutical and medical device industries via a series of networking events and educational programs.

Manso brings broad experience to the BioFlorida board.  He’s nationally recognized as a thought-leader in the pharmaceutical industry and a lifecycle management (“LCM”) and Hatch-Waxman/Orange Book specialist. Manso currently serves as intellectual property counsel to a number of leading domestic and foreign pharmaceutical companies. In addition, his patent strategy and litigation experience across life sciences technologies has earned accolades for savvy management of the intellectual property life cycle and creating significant value for new and aging pharmaceutical assets.

Manso has developed LCM strategies for Rx and OTC drugs that have earned in excess of $2 billion annually in gross sales in the U.S. alone.  During the course of his career, Manso has analyzed and/or created LCM strategies for well over 150 pharmaceutical assets in the oral, topical, rectal and injectable fields.

A former pharmacist, Manso received his undergraduate degree at Florida State University, his pharmaceutical degree at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and his law degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

About Edwards Wildman

Edwards Wildman is a full-service, international law firm with 600 lawyers in the US, Europe and Asia. We have market-leading capabilities in private equity and venture capital, complex litigation, insurance and reinsurance, IP and technology, and corporate and public finance. We have more than a century of experience as business-minded legal counsel. We share our clients'

entrepreneurial spirit and understand their industries, and we succeed because we add value to our clients’ business. We have offices in Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Morristown (NJ), Miami, New York, Orange County, Providence, Stamford, Tokyo, Washington, DC, and West Palm Beach.

About BioFlorida

BioFlorida is the statewide trade association for the bioscience industry, providing companies with the necessary resources to succeed, and a strong marketing presence both locally and internationally. The organization serves its membership by providing a network to exchange information and discuss issues related to the field. Regional and statewide industry-specific programs, educational forums, as well as a variety of networking opportunities address important and timely issues.

Sam Ginocchio ’15 Shares Thoughts for Small Business Owners

Sam Ginocchio ’15 is a former owner of A Tavola Bar and Trattoria, a Tri-state hotspot located in the revitalized downtown Over-The-Rhine community. He shares his thoughts on why law school is important for small business owners.

As a small business owner you can have a great idea, entrepreneurial drive and a willingness to work long hours, but to succeed you need to couple those with an understanding that you're operating in a larger world. It’s a world where there are many competing interests - from other businesses, suppliers, government entities and the larger community as a whole. Besides the traditional legal fields of property, contracts, and commercial transactions, law school trains you to ask questions that you might not have realized were a part of your business vision, and develops collaborative problem solving skills which hopefully enhance whatever practical abilities and gut instinct you bring to your business. My goals haven't changed as much as they've been refined; I still believe small businesses are key for our city's vibrancy and an important engine for Cincinnati's growth.

University of Cincinnati's Office of General Counsel welcomes back Karen Kovach '92 as Deputy General

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 14: The Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel is pleased to announce that Karen Kovach has been appointed as Deputy General Counsel of the University of Cincinnati's Office of General Counsel. Kovach's appointment becomes effective on April 7, 2014. This appointment marks a homecoming for Kovach, who received her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Cincinnati, as well as her juris doctor from the University of Cincinnati Law School.

Kovach will be responsible for managing the daily operations of the Office of General Counsel and overseeing outside counsel. In addition, Kovach will serve as principal liaison between the University and Office of General Counsel and numerous other state and federal agencies.

Since 2010, Kovach has been General Counsel and Secretary of PNG Telecommunications, Inc., a telecommunications and technology company that is a global provider of communications solutions located in Cincinnati, Ohio. As General Counsel, Ms. Kovach is a member of the executive management team and manages all legal affairs for PNG. Previously, Ms. Kovach served as Associate General Counsel to PNG for 7 years where she handled a wide variety of legal issues including the negotiation and drafting of complex commercial contracts and IP licenses. As well, she managed the legal staff responsible for handling the legal affairs of the various business units. Prior to her position as Associate General Counsel, she held the position of Magistrate in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in Cincinnati, Ohio for 9 years where she conducted adjudicatory and dispositional trials and hearings and was part of a team that designed and implemented the Dependency Mediation and Drug Court programs.  She was previously an attorney in the law firm of Conway & Hall in Dayton, Ohio.

Kovach brings over 20 years of legal experience in both the public and private sector where she worked proactively and collaboratively with people from all walks of life. We look forward to Kovach bringing these skills to University of Cincinnati to help continue the transformation taking place and all the expertise she will bring to the Office of General Counsel. The University of Cincinnati community is pleased to welcome her back.

Alum takes position as Executive Vice President of External Affairs at Corinthian College

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Nasdaq:COCO) announced today that Anthony Guida Jr. will join the company as executive vice president of external affairs effective February 20. Guida, 52, will be responsible for initiatives related to public policy, government affairs and regulatory compliance.

Guida will report to Jack Massimino, Corinthian’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“With his extensive experience in government affairs and public policy, and in-depth knowledge of post-secondary education, Tony will effectively represent the interests of Corinthian’s students and schools,” Massimino said.

Guida is a 15-year veteran of the proprietary education sector. Prior to joining Corinthian, Guida served as senior vice president, external affairs, for Education Management Corporation (Nasdaq: EDMC), one of the largest providers of post-secondary education in North America. He previously served as chief financial officer and general counsel of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, a Pittsburgh-based culinary school.

Guida began his career as a lawyer. He was a partner at Pittsburgh-based Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, where he practiced for more than a decade. He earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and a B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of Dayton.

About Corinthian

Corinthian is one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. Our mission is to change students’ lives. We offer diploma and degree programs that prepare students for careers in demand or for advancement in their chosen fields. Our program areas include health care, business, criminal justice, transportation technology and maintenance, construction trades and information technology. We have 107 Everest, Heald and WyoTech campuses, and also offer degrees online. For more information, go to the official website.