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).
Mark L. Newmann named as 2015 Ohio Super Lawyers
CINCINNATI, OH( December 03, 2014)-The law firm of Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer Co., L.P.A. (BPBS) is pleased to announce that Mark L. Newman, a resident of Symmes Township, has been recognized as 2015 Ohio Super Lawyers®. This recognition continues the tradition of Super Lawyers designation for the attorneys of BPBS.
Ohio Super Lawyers showcases outstanding lawyers in Ohio who are recognized by their peers for professional accomplishments. Only five percent of Ohio lawyers are chosen as Ohio Super Lawyers. In selecting this year’s group of honorees, candidates were evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.
For over 20 years, Mark Newman has devoted his practice to helping injured and disabled individuals pursue claims related to workers’ compensation and social security disability. Mark Newman was named an Ohio Super Lawyer in 2006, 2011 and now again in 2015 for Workers’ Compensation area of practice. Mark is an Ohio Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist.
Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. Only five percent of Ohio lawyers are chosen as Ohio Super Lawyers.
About Barron Peck Bennie & Schlemmer, Co., L.P.A.
With offices in Oakley, Over-the-Rhine and Northern Kentucky, BPBS provides comprehensive legal services for individual and commercial clients in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. For more information on BPBS’s attorneys, practice areas and specific services, visit www.bpbslaw.com or call 513-721-1350.
Kathryn J. Bross '14 hired as associate by KMK Law
Cincinnati (November 11, 2014) — The Cincinnati law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK Law) has recently hired four new associates: Kathryn J. Bross, Meaghan K. FitzGerald, Shannon D. Lawson and Sarah A. Vonderbrink.
Kathryn J. Bross practices in the firm’s Real Estate Group. Bross’ practice includes a variety of real estate transactions, including the disposition or acquisition of real property and lease transactions of commercial or residential property. Before joining KMK Law, Bross worked for GE Aviation where she performed research, contract revision and drafting in several corporate transactional areas. Bross earned her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2014, where she was a Notes and Comments Editor of the Cincinnati Law Review and was selected as a participant in the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic. Prior to attending law school Bross worked for an international non-profit as a site coordinator and project manager. She earned her B.A. from The Ohio State University in 2010. Bross is admitted to practice law in Ohio.
Meaghan K. FitzGerald practices in the firm’s Litigation Group. Prior to joining KMK Law, FitzGerald served as an intern in the Office of Congressional Affairs of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) in Washington, D.C., designing and compiling databases for the candidate selection process of the First Responder Network Board. She also researched and prepared materials for Assistant Secretary of NTIA to use when testifying before Congress. FitzGerald earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2014, where she served as a Mentor in the Law and Leadership Program and as a Moritz Admissions Ambassador. She earned her B.A. from Duke University in 2011. FitzGerald is admitted to practice law in Ohio.
Shannon D. Lawson practices in the firm’s Business Representation & Transactions Group. He focuses his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and business planning. Lawson earned his J.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2014, where he was a member of the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture & Natural Resources Law and served as vice president of the Black Law Student Association. While in law school, Lawson worked as a law clerk for Landrum & Shouse in Lexington, Kentucky, where he drafted motions for summary judgment and performed legal research. Prior to law school, Lawson worked several years as an internal auditor for Ashland Inc., where he led an array of financial and operational audits. He also worked as an internal auditor for E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., a Fortune 100 company, and was a corporate accountant at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, now a part of Pfizer. Lawson is a certified public accountant (Delaware, 2009). He earned his B.S. from Delaware State University in 2001, cum laude. Lawson is admitted to practice law in Ohio.
Sarah A. Vonderbrink practices in the firm’s Litigation Group. Prior to joining KMK Law, Vonderbrink was a co-mediator for the Family Alternative Dispute Clinic, Mediation Center of Charlottesville, Virginia, where she co-mediated parental disputes regarding custody, visitation and child support. Vonderbrink earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2014. While attending law school, she spent her summers working at the Kentucky Court of Appeals and at regional law firms researching legal issues on appeal from Kentucky circuit courts and gaining experience in the legal skills of mediation, deposing parties, attending motion hours and trials. She earned her B.A. from the University of Richmond in 2010, cum laude. Vonderbrink is admitted to practice law in Kentucky.
About Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL
The law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK®), based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a nationally-recognized law firm delivering sophisticated legal solutions to businesses of all sizes — from Fortune 100 corporations to start-up companies. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers® 2014 recognized KMK as a leading law firm in Ohio in Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions, General Commercial Litigation, and Bankruptcy & Restructuring. KMK earned three national rankings in Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Venture Capital Law and 37 metropolitan rankings in the 2015 “Best Law Firms” report by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. Founded in 1954, KMK has approximately 110 lawyers and a support staff of 150 employees. Additional information is available at www.kmklaw.com.
Oliver S. Howard '79 named 2015 Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" for Appellate Law in Tulsa
Gable Gotwals shareholder Oliver S. Howard was recently named as 2015 Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" for Appellate Law in Tulsa.
Howard received his JD from the University of Cincinnati in 1979, his PhD from Hebrew Union College in 1978, his masters from Abilene Christian College in 1970 and his BA from Oklahoma Christian College in 1967.
Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers.
Honorees are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during peer-review assessments. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same community and practice area for ability, professionalism and integrity.
GableGotwals is a full-service law firm of more than 90 attorneys representing a diversified client base in Oklahoma, the Southwest and across the nation.