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From Publicist to Future Attorney: Jacklyn McGlothlin Shares Her UC Law Experience


When Jacklyn (Johnston) McGlothlin ’13 was younger, she jokingly told her father, an attorney, that she was creating a list of reasons why she did not want to become an attorney. Flash forward several years and McGlothlin is just three months from graduating from law school and beginning her preparations for the Ohio bar exam.

While McGlothlin did not always intend to pursue law, both as a child and even initially after graduating from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., in 2007, she is very happy with where she is today.

McGlothlin is originally from Pittsburgh, but her father’s work led the family to Atlanta while she was in high school. The oldest of four siblings – sister to Jake, Anna and Zeke – McGlothlin began college at Belmont in 2003, a place where she could potentially pursue musical theater and medicine. She wound up in the journalism program, however, which kick-started her first career in publishing.

“It’s kind of a backwards way how I got there, but it ended up working out really well because they have a great journalism program,” McGlothlin said. “I could not have planned it better if I tried.”

Upon graduating, McGlothlin worked at Thomas Nelson, a major publishing company recently purchased by HarperCollins, where she did publicity and marketing for its children’s and specialty books. An internship obtained through the journalism program helped McGlothlin get her foot in the door, and she enjoyed her three years working at the Nashville-based company.

“I was working with journalists, which I loved, telling a story, which I loved, just through a different medium,” she said. “What my job basically was, when we got to the marketing side of things: talk with the authors, come up with the marketing and publicity plan and then carry it out through regional and national media. Once those got booked, I would then travel with them to all the interviews and all that kind of stuff.”

McGlothlin enjoyed her job, which including working with some interesting authors (Tim McGraw, Jack Hanna and George Foreman, among them), but there were aspects of the job that were not so glamorous. McGlothlin began discussing career plans with her friends and family, including her father, the latter whom encouraged her to consider her strengths and passions, as well as what she liked about her existing job. After talking with some other attorneys and finding out that law was something she truly wanted to pursue, she made the leap to law school.

“It was terrifying going from no debt and a job to taking that on, but I’m really, really glad that I did,” McGlothlin said.

The Pittsburgh native had been accepted at a law school back in the “Steel City” but decided to look at the College of Law, not far from where her college boyfriend (now husband), Ben, grew up in Mason.

“I had never been on UC’s campus to know they had a law school,” McGlothlin said. “I came to visit and absolutely fell in love with it – the students I met, the professors I got to talk to in the hallways. It just felt like a place I would be comfortable for three years and enjoy.”

After being waitlisted and planning on heading elsewhere, McGlothlin received a call in August from John Stiles, Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, who told her she had been admitted – albeit one week before classes were to begin at UC. McGlothlin had an apartment ready and had done all her reading for the other law school, but she was on her way to Cincinnati.

Following 1L year, McGlothlin worked at the Children’s Law Center in Northern Kentucky. She took advantage of the judicial externship program as a 2L, working for Judge David L. Bunning from the Eastern District of Kentucky that fall. McGlothlin also began working with the UC Law admissions staff, putting in 10 to 18 hours per week the last three, going on four, semesters. This past summer, McGlothlin was a summer associate with Graydon Head & Ritchey, where she will be working after law school in its Labor and Employment division.

After getting married last fall, she and Ben put off their honeymoon until the last week of the College of Law’s winter break. They travelled to San Francisco. Now that she and Ben – who is taking classes at UC, ultimately hoping to enroll at the UC College of Medicine – plan to stay in Cincinnati, McGlothlin is looking forward to continuing to explore Cincinnati. She and her husband began picking new places in town to visit each week during the summer and became especially fond of many of the local haunts in OTR.

“I really like (Cincinnati),” McGlothlin said. “There’s enough Southern flair, I guess I’ll say, to make me still kind of feel like I’m in Nashville, but Cincinnati feels a lot like Pittsburgh at the same time. It reminds me a lot of the cities that I love all in one place.”

McGlothlin also enjoys reading as well as running in her free time, although Nashville was much flatter than the notoriously hilly Queen City.

 By Jordan Cohen, ‘13