Kari Jones Talks About Giving Back to UC Law
Originally from “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” (aka Minnesota) Kari Jones ’04 moved to Northern Kentucky before attending the University of Kentucky for her undergraduate studies. As a UK student, Jones studied journalism and advertising. After graduating, she considered law school, but when she married her husband and started a family, she chose to put her legal aspirations on the back burner. In the interim, Jones worked for 12 years with a software development company in Blue Ash.
“I always had a plan to return to the classroom to study law,” she shared, and she did so in 2001. She enjoyed her experience as a law student, during which she was a member of Law Review and involved in the Student Bar Association. After working with Ulmer & Berne LLP as a summer associate during law school, Jones continued on with the firm after graduation in 2004. As an associate, she was on the civil litigation team working on a variety of cases, including those involving medical malpractice, construction defects, and personal injury. “The variety and activity of working in litigation was something that I enjoyed,” she shared. “While it was still very much an office-setting job, I enjoyed the opportunities outside the office, whether it was at court or taking depositions or visiting clients. You’re never really sure what you’re going to encounter.”
Jones resigned her position with Ulmer & Berne LLP with the arrival of her next child, and spent several years at home. She picked up the hobby of running and ran in several half-marathons. After five years at home, Jones was back in the job market and noticed a job opening with the College of Law. “I had always thought to come back to UC Law,” she said. “My time at the law school had been truly enjoyable, and to be able to come back and contribute once again to the law school community was an opportunity I could not pass up.” Now, Jones is an associate with the Office of Academic and Student Affairs. She works with both the law school’s Registrar’s Office, assisting with requests and reviewing files, and the Admissions Office, talking with prospective students and handling marketing and outreach work.
Jones Shares How to Excel at Work and Life
“Find your passion,” advises Jones. “Don’t do something just because it is the only thing you think you can do.” There is no denying that there can be a lot of pressure on law students, and she readily acknowledged that; however, she also has seen what a little patience and drive can lead to. “I’ve seen my friends and classmates go out and do so many different things since we graduated, and it has really stood out to me that those who have found what they love doing are excelling in work and in life.”
Kate Christoff Joins the CPD Team; Shares Tips for Career Success
“I’ve always had an affinity for legal education and I appreciate the opportunity to help guide the future leaders of the legal profession,” said Kate Christoff ’08, Private Sector Coordinator and Counselor for the Center for Professional Development. As a CPD coordinator and counselor, she will provide career counseling to students and alumni, coordinate on-campus interviews with local and national law firms, and compile employment statistics for submission to multiple national reporting entities. In her new role Christoff will be able to draw from a variety of experiences she has gained since earning her law degree.
Originally from Lima, OH, she attended Miami University (OH), studying finance and international business. While in college her business skills were honed when she took advantage of the chance to study internationally – at the Institute of Business Studies in Moscow, Russia; at the Miami University Dolibios European Center in Differdange, Luxembourg; and at the Australia National University & University of Queensland, in Canberra and Brisbane, Australia. She also interned at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. Of these opportunities, Christoff said she learned how to build relationships with different people and how to work in cross-cultural environments.
Following graduation, Christoff worked as an aide for State Representative Sally Conway Kilbane, former Ways and Means Committee Chair, of the Ohio House of Representatives, on tax reform legislation and constituent issues. But coming from a family of attorneys—her father, John Christoff, was a law professor for 30 years at Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law—she had always planned on attending law school. “My father and his work ethic left a deep impression on me,” she said. “I remember many dinner time conversations between my dad and law students as they discussed current issues. My dad was so dedicated to his students and their success that he had no problem going the extra mile. In fact, he was with a student when she gave birth--in the delivery room!”
The time came for Christoff to return to the classroom to seek her degree in 2005. While at the College she was involved in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Black Law Students Association, and Law Women. In addition, she gained significant professional experience working as a summer associate at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP and as a law clerk at Beckman Weil Shepardson LLC.
Upon graduation from UC Law, Christoff returned to Lima, clerking with Hunt & Johnson. After admission to the Ohio Bar, she became an assistant city prosecutor. Later, she returned to Cincinnati, working 15 months at brand design agency Libby Perszyk Kathman as a project leader, serving as the first point of contact with multi-billion dollar, multinational clients, drafting proposals and contracts, and handling various management responsibilities. In 2012, Christoff moved to Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL, conducting electronic document reviews associated with complex litigation matters. Most recently, she worked as Director of Community Engagement in the Office of City Councilmember Yvette Simpson (a 2004 UC Law graduate) and as a CLE programs assistant with the Cincinnati Bar Association. She has amassed significant professional experience since leaving the College, which she looks forward to drawing upon while working with students and alumni.
“Today’s young adults change jobs more often than in the past. In fact, I’ve read that they’ll change jobs three to four times in 10 years,” said Christoff, noting the difference from previous generations. With that in mind, she commented, the best equipped students will prepare themselves for this new world of multiple career opportunities, by creating the best professional armor for whatever may come.
Putting Your Armor On: Kate’s Tips for Career Prep for Law Students
- Always remember: classmates will be your colleagues and potential referrals for clients.
- Look people in the eye; stand tall; give a firm handshake.
- Attend events. Be engaged!
- Don’t just network when you’re job searching. Maintain relationships throughout your career.
- Know that faculty and staff are here to help.
Christopher Varner, '96 Elected Tennessee Bar Foundation Fellow
Christopher T. Varner has recently been elected a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation, an association of 801 attorneys across the state. Invitations to membership, which is a position of honor, were extended to 29 attorneys this year by the Board of Trustees. The introduction of new Fellows took place at the annual Fellows' Dinner in Nashville.
The Bar Foundation's purpose is two-fold: to honor attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the profession and to administer a grant making program. That project, known by its acronym “IOLTA” (Interest On Lawyers' Trust Accounts), has awarded grants in excess of $20,000,000 to law-related, public interest projects throughout Tennessee.
Mr. Varner is a partner in the firm of Evans Harrison Hackett, PLLC and has been practicing law in Chattanooga, Tennessee for 19 years. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and of the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Alum and Brinks Attorney Rashad L. Morgan, '06 Joins The National Black Lawyers–Top 100
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—Rashad L. Morgan, an attorney at intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione, was recently invited to join The National Black Lawyers–Top 100, a professional honorary organization composed of the top 100 black lawyers from each state.
Members of The National Black Lawyers–Top 100 exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, and performance.
Eligibility criteria include nominations from one’s peers, board certification in the attorney's respective area of specialty, leadership in other legal organizations, and rankings by leading national evaluation organizations.
Trained as a chemical engineer, Morgan focuses on patent litigation and prosecution for domestic and international clients with cutting-edge, complex technologies. His legal experience includes landmark litigation at the Federal Circuit and at the International Trade Commission.
Along with helping clients succeed in today’s evolving patent landscape, Morgan is deeply committed to increasing diversity in the law. Active in the North Carolina State Bar Association’s Legal LINK diversity pipeline program, Morgan also participates in programs including The Just the Beginning Foundation and Legal Prep Charter Academies. He provides volunteer legal assistance through Lawyers for the Creative Arts, and has mentored minority attorneys through The Chicago Committee. Morgan also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and serves on Brinks’ recruiting, hiring, and diversity committees.
The mission of The National Black Lawyers–Top 100 is to promote excellence in the legal profession for accomplished black attorneys in the United States through advocacy training, marketing, networking opportunities, and continuing legal education. The invitation-only organization highlights its membership by providing a public online search tool that identifies the top black attorneys in 20 areas of legal specialty. More information is at www.nbltop100.org.
Michael Stewart, ’07 received the designation as “Rising Stars” by the 2015 publication of Ohio Super Lawyers
(SANDUSKY, Ohio) - Recently three attorneys at the law firm, Murray & Murray Co., L.P.A., received the designation as “Rising Stars” by the 2015 publication of Ohio Super Lawyers® for their outstanding legal work.
Specifically, Ohio Super Lawyers honored Murray & Murray partners, Florence J. Murray and Leslie O. Murray, and associate attorney Michael J. Stewart, naming the group among its “2015 Rising Stars.” “Rising Stars” undergo a rigorous selection process that begins with peer nominations by fellow attorneys. The honor recognizes exceptional up-and-coming legal talent, as it is only awarded to attorneys who are under the age of 40 or have been practicing law for less than ten years. Indeed, selection to the “Rising Stars” list is a rare and exceptional accolade, as no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the State of Ohio are named to the list each year.
ABOUT THE FIRM:
Founded in 1931, Murray & Murray is operated by the Murray family. The firm has fourteen attorneys including nine Murray partners. Located in Sandusky, Ohio, Murray & Murray provides legal representation for clients throughout Ohio and offers a free initial consultation. Involved in many landmark decisions and settlements, Murray & Murray’s main practice areas are personal injury, wrongful death, consumer protection, business litigation, and class actions.
Tad LeVan (JD cum laude, 1995) Teaches "Deposition Boot Camp" at Penn Law
(Philadelphia) –LeVan Law Group LLC founder and managing partner Peter H. “Tad” LeVan, Jr., recently created and taught an intensive 4-day workshop for law students at the University of Pennsylvania Law School entitled “Deposition Boot Camp: The Art of Taking, Defending and Preparing for Depositions.”
Held from January 5-8, the workshop offered instruction on deposition procedures, examination techniques, how to deal with difficult witnesses and obstreperous opposing counsel, and best practices in taking, defending and preparing a witness for deposition. The workshop also provided the students with an opportunity to conduct and defend a full-day mock deposition, with witnesses, volunteer legal professionals and leaders, and actual deposition service providers, such as court reporters and videographers.
LeVan is a seasoned trial and appellate attorney who has tried a number of high-stakes cases against national banks, Wall Street financial institutions and a Madoff investment firm, securing settlements on behalf of injured plan participants that have exceeded $700 million. Earlier this year, he launched the firm that bears his name under a unique business model, offering flat-fee and other predictable alternative fee structures in high-stakes litigation matters.
For more information on LeVan Law Group, visit www.levanlawgroup.com.
Jennifer Bennett, '94 joins Day Ketterer
January 8, 2015 - Day Ketterer is delighted to announce its merger with the employment law firm of Andrews & Wyatt. Joining Day Ketterer from Andrews & Wyatt is Jennifer Bennett (J.D. 1994). Jennifer Bennett is a skilled workers’ compensation attorney working to defend self-insured and state-funded employers in workers’ compensation claims and related litigation before in claims involving back injuries, repetitive motion, and other common healthcare industry workplace injury claims.
Day Ketterer is a Crain’s Cleveland Top 30 law firm with locations in Canton, Hudson, Toledo, Akron, and Youngstown, serving clients across Ohio. We have a proud history of being one of the oldest firms in Ohio. Our practice areas include Bankruptcy and Corporate Restructuring Law, Banking Law, Business Law, Education Law, Environmental Law, Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Family Law, Labor and Employment, Litigation, Non-Profit and Foundations, Oil and Gas, Real Estate, Taxation, and Workers’ Compensation. Learn more about our attorneys, services, and history by visiting www.DayKetterer.com, or calling (330) 455-0173.
Chad Austin '97 promoted to the grade of Colonel in the USAF Reserve JAG Corps
Chad Austin '97 was recently selected for promotion to the grade of Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve JAG Corps.
Col (sel) Austin is attached to 12th Air Force located at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. In his civilian capacity Chad serves as an Associate Professor of Law at the United States Air Force Academy. He recalls his UC Law commencement speaker saying, "Confucius says find a job you love and never work a day in your life." Chad found two and still has yet to work a day
Herbert B. Weiss, '65 appointed by Mayor John Cranley to the City of Cincinnati Historic Conservation Board
Herbert B. Weiss, a partner in the Real Estate Group at Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK Law®), has been appointed by Mayor John Cranley to the City of Cincinnati Historic Conservation Board. The Historic Conservation Board, established by ordinance in 1980, consists of seven members. The Board must include at least one professional historic preservationist, one historian, two architects, one attorney, one person engaged in the real estate or development business, and one economist.
Weiss earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati School of Law (1965), where he served on the Editorial Board of the Law Review, and his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati (1962).
Kari K. Hall, '03 promoted to Counsel at BuckleySandler LLP
BuckleySandler LLP Announces Attorney Promotions; Associate Promoted to Counsel
WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jan 6, 2015) - BuckleySandler LLP announced today that Kari K. Hall, along with seven other associates, residents in the firm's Washington, DC and Los Angeles offices, has been promoted to Counsel, effective January 1, 2015.
Kari K. Hal ‘03 counsels financial services companies on a variety of regulatory compliance and risk management matters, with a focus on fair lending, fair servicing, UDAAP, Community Reinvestment Act, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, deposit account and electronic card issues. Hall represents clients in internal reviews and investigations, as well as examinations, investigations and enforcement actions by both federal and state regulators. She received a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law (2003) and a B.S. from Miami University (1996).