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.
From 1997 to 2002, Kandambath practiced in the areas of real estate, employment law, and arbitration in a small firm at Kochi and at the High Court of Kerala. When he moved to the US in 2002, Kandambath spent just over a decade working in the banking industry here in Cincinnati. Last year, however, he decided it was time to return to the legal profession. His first step was discovering and then joining the LLM program at UC Law.
“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.”
Professor Solimine’s Article Cited by the US Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion January 21, 2015 in Gelboim v. Bank of America Corp. On the last page of the Court’s opinion, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you will find the following reference to authority: "See generally, Solimine, Revitalizing Interlocutory Appeals in Federal Courts, 58 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1165 (1990)."
Congratulations, Professor Solimine.
Professor Arthur Miller to Speak at Law School
Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Time: 12:15 p.m.
Location: Room 114
This event is sponsored by the American Constitution Society.
Title: Are They Closing the Courthouse Doors?
When the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were promulgated in 1938, they reflected a policy of citizen access for civil disputes and sought to promote their resolution on the merits rather than on the basis of the technicalities that characterized earlier procedural systems. The federal courts applied that philosophy of procedure for many years. However, the last quarter century has seen a dramatic contrary shift in the way the federal courts, especially the U.S. Supreme Court, have interpreted and applied the Federal Rules and other procedural matters. This shift has produced the increasingly early procedural disposition of cases prior to trial. Indeed, civil trials, especially jury trials, are very few and far between today.
Professor Miller cautions that some restoration of the earlier underlying philosophy of the Federal Rules is necessary if we are to preserve the procedural principles that should underlie our civil justice system and maintain the viability of private litigation as an adjunct to government regulation for the enforcement of important societal policies and values.
About the Speaker
Professor Arthur Miller is a leading scholar in the field of American civil procedure, a University Professor at New York University, and Chairman of The NYU Sports & Society Program. Prior to that, he was the Bruce Bromley Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Miller is a co-author of Federal Practice and Procedure, which is often considered the most notable source for practicing in the federal courts and is an essential reference for judges and lawyers worldwide. Miller is also one of the nation’s most distinguished legal scholars in the areas of civil litigation, copyright and unfair competition, privacy and, most recently, sports law. He has authored more than 40 books and numerous scholarly articles, including The Assault on Privacy: Computers, Data Banks, and Dossiers (University of Michigan Press, 1971) and Miller’s Court (Plume, 1983).
Miller has argued cases in all of the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and several before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has served as a Member and Reporter for the Advisory Committee of Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. President Gerald Ford also appointed Miller as commissioner of the United States Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works.
Professor Miller is the recipient of many honors, including six honorary doctorates, three American Bar Association Gavel Awards, and a Special Recognition Gavel Award for promoting public understanding of the law. In 2011, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed on him the prestigious honor of Commander of the Order of the British Empire. A renowned commentator on law and society, Miller has also moderated several acclaimed PBS series, including “The Constitution: That Delicate Balance,” “Managing Our Miracles: Health Care in America” and “The Presidency.” He won an Emmy Award for “The Sovereign Self.” He further served for two decades as the on-air legal editor for ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Stephen Rost Hones Professional Skills with Corporate Externship
Originally from Madeira, Ohio, Stephen Rost ’15 has enjoyed studying law close to home. After graduating high school, however, he left the familiar surroundings of Cincinnati to attend St. Louis University, where he studied political science and theology. He went on to earn his master’s degree in political science and then returned to his hometown, working as an aide to Cincinnati Councilwoman Amy Murray.
“When I decided that it was time to return to the classroom to pursue a law degree, Cincinnati was an easy choice,” explained Rost, noting that proximity to friends and family was a factor he considered. At UC Law, his favorite class has been Corporate Transactions, and he is the editor-of-chief of the Freedom Center Journal. Now Rost is beginning his final semester at the law school, and he is looking forward to the next steps of his career.
Gaining Corporate Experience
Through the externship program at UC Law, Stephen worked for a semester with d.e. Foxx & Associates, Inc. A parent company encompassing three brands (Foxx Construction & Facility Management, XLC Sercies, and Versatex), d.e. Foxx & Associates has been based out of Cincinnati for over 30 years. A tour of the city will lead one past several of the projects Foxx Construction has worked on, including Great American Ball Park, the Horseshoe Casino, and UC’s own Shoemaker Center. Further, XLC Services provides manufacturing services and warehouse management, and Versatex provides procurement and supplier management solutions. This breadth of areas was part of the draw for him as he considered where he wanted to extern. “I noticed the structure of the company,” he said, “and I saw the opportunity to work in multiple areas through one externship.”
With d.e. Foxx & Associates, Rost gained a variety of experiences. He drafted several contracts, worked on compliance matters concerning job application disclosures, and attended various meetings and events including bidding meetings and mediations. Among the many things that he learned during his externship, one thing that struck him as significant is the importance of legal research skills outside the classroom. “In drafting construction contracts and working on compliance in employment matters, I really utilized the research skills I have learned as a student,” he shared. “As the company does work in numerous states, I looked into state minimum wages and contract law. Such broad research projects can be quite the undertaking, and having a solid foundation of legal research skills is a very valuable tool to have.”
In reflection on his experience, Rost noted that a diversity of experiences and a focus on practical classes is key in succeeding in a corporate setting. “As in-house counsel, you may be asked to do any number of projects encompassing a variety of legal concerns. Having a broad base of knowledge and experience can prove useful.” As his final semester begins, he will continue to broaden and hone his skill set to prepare for the bar exam and beyond.
Externship at Fifth Third Bank Helped Kyle Miller Build Professional Skills
In his second year of law school, Kyle Miller ’16 gained experience in the corporate world by way of a legal externship through the law school’s externship program. It was recommended to him that he apply to extern with Fifth Third Bank; after taking that advice, Miller has gained valuable experience to carry forward through the rest of his education and into his career.
Originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan, Miller attended Miami (OH) University where he studied marketing. Although the plan was always to ultimately end up in law school, he worked for a couple of years with a startup IT consulting company after receiving his bachelor’s degree. When it came time to return to the classroom, he found the College of Law to be the right choice – an affordable and high quality education not far from the connections he made while at Miami. At the law school, Miller is a corporate law fellow, a member of Law Review, and a Structured Study Group leader. Now halfway through his legal education, he looks to build off of the experiences he gained as an extern this last semester.
Now, About That Externship
Fifth Third Bank is a regional banking corporation, headquartered in Cincinnati. It employs over 20,000 people. Miller spent a semester externing with Fifth Third, and found himself working on a variety of things. Compliance work, research for litigation, oral argument preparations, drafting contracts, and working on mergers and acquisitions are some of experiences he had.
As one of his first experiences doing legal work, he gained valuable skills in his time as an extern. “I learned that the process of legal research can be applied in a similar manner in a broad variety of contexts,” Miller shared. “One day I was conducting research concerning a merger, the next I was looking up contract and compliance issues. Having a research method that can be applied in these different areas is extremely useful.”
He also had the chance to attend a Cincinnati Reds game and a golf outing with the company – who says that there are no perks in being an extern?!
To current and prospective students who think they may be interested in entering the corporate world, his advice is to take advantage of UC Law’s externship program. “Definitely do an externship,” he said. “While I could have chosen to wait another semester, I learned a lot from my time with Fifth Third. The practical experience is invaluable. It supplements the academic aspect of your legal education quite well, and vice versa.” Now with his externship completed, Miller is looking forward to the challenges of the second half of his time as a law student.
For more information about the externship program, contact Karla Hall, the program director.
How Practical Experience and an Instinct for Challenges Helped Raul Rosado Build a Career
Originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, Raul Rosado ’88 came from a bit further away than most students at the College of Law. Rosado had always wanted to attend college in the states, preferably at a smaller school where the difficulties he anticipated facing with his limited English would be mitigated. When his father was transferred to Toledo, OH for work, Rosado saw southwest Ohio as a suitable place for his studies. He attended Xavier University for his bachelor’s degree and then jumped to crosstown rival UC to study law. Among his involvements at UC Law, he was active in the Student Bar Association and in Student Court.
Rosado did not always plan to work as a corporate lawyer. In fact, he originally thought that litigation was where he would make his career. His first position out of law school was with the Ohio Attorney General’s office. “I found it to be a great place to start as a new lawyer,” he said. “I was given my own workload, did my own writing, and argued my own cases, including two at the Ohio Supreme Court. This experience and the excellent advisors I worked with really helped me learn how to be an attorney.”
After several years with the Attorney General’s office, Rosado sought to change gears and went into private practice with Manley, Burke & Fischer, a law firm here in Cincinnati. He did litigation work, including a lot of zoning and eminent domain work. While he found the work interesting, he was becoming more and more interested in finding an in-house career. “Corporations really need attorneys that have some practical experience,” Rosado explained. “As I had been practicing for several years, I felt that I was finally ready to jump into an in-house position.”
Jumping Into the Corporate World
His first corporate position was with LensCrafters. He entered the company in the Gvernment Relations section of the legal department, but additionally worked in the areas of labor and employment as well as commercial law. He took a year off from practicing law to run the charity at LensCrafters, but then decided to return to practice. Rosado then found a role as an Assistant General Counsel with Cognis, a global specialty chemicals manufacturing company with North American headquarters here in Cincinnati. After about four years, he was promoted to General Counsel. “This is when things really got interesting,” he said. “As the General Counsel, my job responsibilities included a little bit of everything. That is what I love about this type of work – every day is different. While it perhaps is not for everybody, I have truly enjoyed the work, becoming a ‘jack of all trades’ and learning to work on a broad spectrum of legal problems.”
After 12 years with Cognis, the company was acquired by a larger company and Rosado found himself needing to move on to another company. “It is the downside—what I call an ‘occupational hazard’—of working in the corporate realm. You are always one acquisition or one divestment away from potentially being cut or replaced!”
Creating a Global Footprint
After doing some consulting work for smaller companies for about a year, Rosado then landed his current position with Formica. He is the North America and Europe Chief Legal Counsel, and he again works in a variety of areas – compliance, mergers and acquisitions, commercial, and environmental. He also travels a lot for work, and it is an aspect of his job that he truly enjoys. “It is important in a company that has a global footprint to engage internationally on a personal level,” said Raul. “I’ve had to learn about customs in different countries, how the laws apply to our business, and I’ve also had to work really hard at building business and personal relationships, which is critical in this role.” Though he sometimes finds the international aspect of his work challenging, it is a challenge he enjoys facing.
Rosado advises that having a broad range of experiences can help those interested in a career similar to his. “At the end of the day, it is important to remember that a law degree is unique in that your platform is so wide that you can end up doing any number of things after graduation. There is not one specific path to take to get to the position of your dreams. Take the opportunities as they come along, try different things, and do not be afraid of change.”
Diane Dix’s Career Is a Story of Flexibility, Change, and Success
Diane Dix ’93 was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in Huntington, WV. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northern Kentucky University (NKU), and spent six years away from the classroom in various sales positions before coming to the College of Law. Having majored in literature and language at NKU, her love of writing nudged her towards pursuing her J.D. Further, her experience in the world of business prior to law school helped Dix decide to set out on a career path leading into the corporate realm. So, three years after she was the very first person called upon in her first-year class, Dix’s post-law school career began.
Dix spent two years in a clerkship with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. “It was in my time as a clerk that I became particularly interested in insolvency and restructuring,” she shared. “I wanted to explore this area after I left my job with the Court.”
Her next step was to take a position with Thompson Hine, where she was able to focus on the bankruptcy work she was interested in, but also do work in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and finance. Her time at the law firm reinforced the idea she had going into law school — she wanted to do corporate work.
Dix entered the corporate realm for the first time as a lawyer doing mergers and acquisitions for GE Aviation and served in that capacity for 18 months. “The work was challenging, but at that time, GE Aviation was not doing many acquisitions,” she explained, “so I began looking within GE for other opportunities and found an excellent role with GE Equity.” A part of GE Capital, GE Equity was Dix ‘s workplace for four years. While she gained valuable experience doing dozens of private equity transactions, she was juggling work and a commuting relationship with her husband who was working in Cincinnati while she worked in Connecticut. Interested in returning home after four years away, Dix once again kept an open mind about her next GE opportunity and found another position at GE Capital as general counsel of a business within the consumer finance division. “Though I had no real consumer finance experience, I was able to convince myself (and the company) that I could learn the substance and adapt to this unfamiliar setting,” said Dix. “It was a leap of faith, both for me and the company.”
Dix spent the next eight years in Cincinnati as the general counsel for the business. When she started in the role, the business did $200 million in net income, and within several years it had tripled to $600 million. While there were only three attorneys working under her to start, that number ballooned to as many as fifteen as the business grew. “My role grew as the business grew, and I found myself in a pretty significant general counsel role within GE Capital fairly quickly,” said Dix. “It goes to show that you need to be flexible in your career. When I started there I was learning as I went, and ultimately this is where I learned to become a general counsel for a business.”
Impact of the Financial Crisis
The financial crisis brought about, largely, an end to the growth of GE Capital. Continuing to consider career advancement, Dix saw that the future growth was on the industrial side of the corporation, and she sought to return to her industrial GE roots. Once again, she left Cincinnati, but this time for a temporary assignment with GE Oil & Gas in Houston. The position was truly a global assignment, and Dix found herself conducting business with people from all corners of the globe. Although the assignment was temporary, it enabled her to round out her experience with its industrial and international focus. Leveraging this focus after the 18-month assignment ended, she was able to return to Cincinnati and begin working in her current position as general counsel for Distributed Power, a company within GE Power & Water.
Distributed Power sells power generation equipment for use at or near the point of need. The company employs about 4500 people, does about $6 billion in revenue, and does business in over 100 countries around the world, including in emerging regions like Libya, Egypt, Honduras, Mexico, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Papua New Guinea, just to name a few. Dix finds the international aspect of her work to be interesting. “I work with ministers of electricity, ministers of defense, and legislators in many different countries, and I am always learning and working within a unique and culturally diverse setting,” she said.
The Career Hazard of Stubbornness
In reflection on the path she took to her current position (including 16 years with GE), Dix noted that a stubborn approach is not the best strategy. “As a lawyer whose career has been largely in-house, it has served me well to be open minded and flexible,” she explained. “Don’t expect each opportunity to take you up the ladder,” she advised. “I’ve taken some lateral moves, and over time it has helped me climb.”
Additionally, she explained, a broad skill set is vital in her line of work. “On any given day I could have 30 different matters on my desk, and each one can be in a different area,” she said. “The ability to change gears quickly and to pull from a broad array of experiences and expertise is invaluable.”
Solimine’s Article Now in Print
Professor Michael Solimine’s article, The Fall and Rise of Specialized Federal Constitutional Courts, is now in print in17 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 115 (2014).
2015 Stanley M. Chesley Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law
Criminal Law as Regulation
Date: Monday, February, 23, 2015
Time: 12:15 - 1:15 p.m.
Location: College of Law, Room 114
by Professor Rachel E. Barkow, Segal Professor of Law and Policy, New York University School of Law
In her lecture, Criminal Law as Regulation, Professor Barkow will argue that the criminal justice system should be seen as a regulatory system. She will give clemency as an example of an area that could be improved by applying the insights of administrative law and policy.
Barkow’s scholarship focuses on applying the lessons and theory of administrative and constitutional law to the administration of criminal justice. She has written more than 20 articles, recently joined the leading criminal law casebook as a co-author, and is recognized as one of the country’s leading experts on criminal law and policy. She received the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013 and the Law School’s Podell Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007. In June 2013, the Senate confirmed her as a member of the United States Sentencing Commission. Since 2010, she has also been a member of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Policy Advisory Panel. After graduating from Northwestern University (BA ’93), Barkow attended Harvard Law School (’96), where she won the Sears Prize. She served as a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the DC Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court. Barkow was an associate at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel in Washington, DC, before joining the NYU Law faculty.
About the Stanley M. Chesley Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law
The Stanley M. Chesley Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law was endowed by Mr. Chesley in 2006 to bring outstanding legal scholars of national and international prominence in all areas of law to the College as visiting professors. Mr. Chesley, a 1960 graduate of the College of Law is a longtime supporter of the law school and the University of Cincinnati.
Professor Sperino's Article Published in OSU Law Journal
Professor Sandra Sperino’s Let's Pretend Title VII is a Tort is now in print at 75 Ohio State Law Journal 1107 (2014).