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ECDC Director Receives Courier’s 2015 Second Act Award

Lew Goldfarb, director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic,  has been named a winner of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 2015 Second Act Award. The award recognizes local professionals who have forged new paths after achieving success in their first careers.  The award will be presented on September 22.

Goldfarb, once an entrepreneur himself, is both a business lawyer and a CPA. Before law school he worked as an accountant at Arthur Andersen LLP and Cardinal Foods, Inc. After graduating from law school, he went on to practice law at Baker & Hostetler. Goldfarb transitioned to Honda of America Mfg., Inc., where he was in-house counsel, responsible for the day-to-day administration of Honda’s Legal Department and for legal counsel provided to Honda’s entities throughout the U.S.

He left Honda to operate In-Home Tutoring Services, providing in-home education services to customers throughout Central Ohio. He later began a career as a law professor, teaching in the small business clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School and Wayne State University College of Law. Goldfarb joined the College in 2010 to design, develop, direct and teach the school’ first small business clinic.  During his tenure he has forged partnerships with numerous small business incubators, including the Hamilton County Business Center/First Batch, the Brandery, and MORTAR. 

Read more about the award and the winners: 2015 Second Act Awards

UC Law Partners with urban business accelerator MORTAR

Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic at the College of Law cultivates new partnership while providing students real-world client counseling experience.

Cincinnati, OH—The Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC) at the University of Cincinnati College of Law has launched a new partnership with MORTAR, providing legal services to startup business owners while providing law students with opportunities to use and enhance their lawyering skills.

“We’re excited to announce that the ECDC has now partnered with MORTAR, one of Cincinnati’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. Entrepreneurs and small businesses benefit from critical legal services they may not otherwise be able to afford and students develop their legal skills.”

MORTAR, based in Over-the-Rhine, targets non-traditional entrepreneurs from underserved urban communities and offers them the opportunity to build or expand a business through a nine-week entrepreneurship course.  MORTAR graduated its first class of 15 entrepreneurs this April. This summer, students from UC will work under the supervision of Goldfarb and local practicing attorneys, providing legal services for MORTAR graduates. 

"For many small business owners, being able to afford appropriate legal counsel is a dream - but thanks to UC law we are able to connect MORTAR program participants to the valuable resources and knowledge they need to guide them in the right direction,” said MORTAR co-founder, Allen Woods. “This partnership is an essential component in our mission to remove barriers to entry for nontraditional entrepreneurs, increasing their chances for success." 

Mortar and the ECDC hope to expand the partnership beyond the summer months, offering year-round legal assistance to future students and graduates of Mortar.  Dana Higgins, recent MORTAR graduate and owner of vegan/Jamaican soul food catering start up, JameriSol, has already begun leveraging the partnership.

“As a new business is forming it is important to have legal representation so that once your business is up and running you have operating agreements, intellectual property protection, and a separation of personal and business assets,”  said Higgins. “Having input from soon-to-be lawyers is a priceless opportunity that benefits them and us.”

Since 2010, the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC) has provided valuable "hands-on" training to 108 law students, representing 153 local businesses on nearly 700 legal matters - providing nearly $1 million of free legal assistance for the benefit of the local economy.

"In addition to gaining some valuable practical experience, it's important for our students to gain an appreciation for pro bono service,” said Goldfarb.  Undoubtedly, their experience working with MORTAR and some of its companies will help accomplish that."

UC law students participating in the Mortar Summer Fellowship in Entrepreneurship work collaboratively at the College of Law as well as one-on-one with clients at MORTAR’s Vine Street office in Over-the-Rhine.  Law student John Sarra recognizes the impact his work, and that of MORTAR, can have on this rapidly changing neighborhood.

“While the expanding entrepreneurship spirit in the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood and elsewhere is great for the city, not everyone has been able to reap the benefits. This program will assist individuals who otherwise might not have the means to turn their ideas into successful businesses,” said Sarra.

For UC law students, the opportunity to leverage their legal skills to help an individual achieve their goal of starting a business can be a personally rewarding experience as well.

"My mother opened her own business when I was ten years old,” said Cindy Moore. “I saw firsthand the struggles of an entrepreneur - now I get the chance to help make the journey for other entrepreneurs a little less difficult.”

Goldfarb, who taught MORTAR’s first legal class this February with two of his students and volunteers on the nonprofit’s Board of Advisors, acknowledges the partnership as an important part of Cincinnati’s start up eco-system.  

“Cincinnati is quickly becoming an entrepreneurial hotbed,” said Goldfarb.  “The more partnerships we can form to provide resources for entrepreneurs and startups, the better and more vibrant our city will be. That’s good for Cincinnati, and good for our students and graduates.”


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. 

Prof. Vazquez’s Article Listed Named a Top Ten Download on SSRN

“Constructing Crimmigration: Latino Subordination in a ‘Post-Racial’ World,” the new article by Professor Yolanda Vazquez, has made the top ten list on SSRN (Social Science Research Network). The article was listed in the following networks and categories: 

  • PSN (Political Science Network):  Politics in Ethnicity (Topic)
  • LSN (Legal Scholarship Network):  Legal Ethics (Topic) & Criminology eJournal
  • AARN (Anthropology & Archaeology Research Network):  Migration (Topic), Race & Ethnicity (Topic), North America (Topic), and Race, Ethnicity & Indigenous People (Topic)

The article discusses how immigration law marginalizes Latinos. Read the article abstract: Constructing Crimmigration

It also appeared in the following:

Prof. Vazquez Gave Presentation at International Conference

Professor Yolanda Vazquez presented her new article “The U.S. Criminal Justice System in the 21st Century: Shifting Focus to the ‘Criminal Alien’”  at the Law and Society in the 21st Century: the Functions of Law in a Global Society Conference held  June 10-12 in Oslo, Norway.  The conference was coordinated by the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo.

Find out more about the conference:  Law and Society

Prof. Moore Quoted in NY Times Article on Participatory Defense

Professor Janet Moore was interviewed for a May 29, 2015 New York Times article about the growing “participatory defense” movement – community organizing that empowers people who face charges, as well as family and community members, to influence the judicial process. It shows them how to work with defense attorneys and how to make the system easier to understand and more accountable.   Professor Moore discussed the creative trend and what it could mean for society.

Read the full story here:  Guiding Families to a Fair Day in Court

Professor Sandra Sperino Named 2015 Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award Recipient

Congratulations to Professor Sandra Sperino who has been named the recipient of the 2015 Harold C. Schott Scholarship Award. The award recognizes outstanding research and scholarly achievement by a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She will deliver a public lecture on her scholarship here at the College of Law during the 2015-2016 academic year.  

Professor Sperino is an influential, nationally recognized scholar in employment discrimination law who joined the College in 2011. Professor Sperino received her JD from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the University of Illinois Law Review, and a MS in journalism from the University of Illinois. 

After graduating from law school, Professor Sperino clerked for the Honorable Donald J. Stohr of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. She then went into private practice, working at Lewis, Rice & Fingersh (St. Louis) for the litigation and labor and employment departments.  There she co-authored the successful petition for writ of certiorari and the brief argued before the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Sell.

Professor Sperino left the firm to join academia, participating in the Lawless Fellowship Program at the University of Illinois College of Law. She served on the faculty of the University of Illinois College of Law, the St. Louis University School of Law, and the Temple University Beasley School of Law before joining the College of Law as an associate professor.

Wrote Dean Lou Bilionis in an announcement about her award, “Her research entails a wholesale rethinking of employment discrimination law.  In a series of articles, she has offered a meta-critique of discrimination law that focuses on two principal themes: how judicially-created frameworks for evaluating employment discrimination claims are antithetical to the underling goals of discrimination statutes, and how discrimination law intersects with – and on occasion is distorted by – other areas of the law, such as tort, agency, and civil procedure.”

Leading scholars in the field have referred to her work as “the epitome of quality scholarship.”  Her research is “masterfully execute[d]” and “on the cutting edge of employment discrimination.”  Courts are finding merit in Professor Sperino’s scholarly publications as well.  The Iowa Supreme Court cited two of her articles as it decided to interpret its state antidiscrimination laws more expansively and protectively than federal law has been interpreted.  See Pippen v. State, 854 N.W.2d 1 (Iowa 2014); Goodpaster v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., 849 N.W.2d 1 (Iowa 2014).  The Hawaii Supreme Court similarly has turned to Professor Sperino’s research to interpret its state’s antidiscrimination law.  See Adams v. CDM Media USA, Inc., 2015 WL 769745, No. SCWC-12-00000741 (Hawaii Feb. 24, 2015). 

Professor Sperino’s scholarly record is complemented by her outstanding teaching accomplishments here at the College, where she has received the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.



Prof. Vazquez Publishes Article on Latino Subordination

Professor Yolanda Vázquez’ has recently published the article Constructing Crimmigration: Latino Subordination in a “Post-Racial” World.  It is now in print at 76 Ohio State Law Journal 599 (2015).

Prof. Williams Writes Editorial on Definition of Marriage

Professor Verna Williams recently wrote an editorial, “Marriage has Changed Through the Ages,” examining the definition of marriage. This was in response to recent Supreme Court of the United States case about marriage equality.  Read the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial here.

Professor Williams is a family law professor and co-director of the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. 

Prof. McMahon Published Op-Ed on Death Tax Repeal Act in The Hill

Professor Stephanie McMahon recently published the op-ed “(Un)intended Consequences of Death Tax Repeal” in the April 29, 2015 issue of The Hill (a congressional blog). Her editorial looks at the impact of H.R. 1105, the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015,” which would repeal the federal estate tax, and explains her concerns on the hidden agenda behind the bill.  Read more hereStephanie McMahon.

Prof. Sandra Sperino Give Presentation and Has Article Accepted for Publication

 Sandra SperinoThe article “Retaliation and the Reasonable Person”, written by Professor Sandra Sperino, was accepted for publication in the Florida Law Review.  In addition, Professor Sperino recently participated in the Clifford Symposium at DePaul University College of Law where she presented her paper, “The Civil Rights Restatement”. Congratulations!