Catching Up with Patricia Laub ‘83
Louisville, Kentucky native Patricia Laub ‘83 came to Cincinnati and the College of Law after attending the University of Dayton, graduating with a degree in political science and a minor in philosophy. During her time at UD, Laub met her future husband, David, to whom she has been married for 31 years.
Laub graduated a semester early from UD and, knowing she would start law school in the fall, took a position as a paralegal at the law firm now known as Kohnen and Patton. As luck would have it, she was able to continue to work there throughout law school.
Of all of the schools in the tri-state she could choose from, why did she pick UC Law? Laub chose UC for several reasons she said. The underlying theme, however, was proximity. By this time her husband was working as a CPA at a Cincinnati company. Choosing UC Law meant he would be able to continue working at said company and kept the couple from having to move to another city.
After graduating law school, she went to work for Frost and Jacobs, now known as Frost Brown Todd LLC. “The Kohnen firm offered me a position,” she said, “but back then, in 1983, to work in a big firm you needed to be hired right out of law school or move laterally with a book of business.” Although she enjoyed the work she was doing at Kohnen—working primarily on medical malpractice defense and probate and trust matters—she wanted to focus on one area, which was not litigation. Additionally, a big firm provided the opportunity to do so more quickly than a smaller firm. “At the outset in the smaller firm, I would have had to work in a variety of areas, including litigation, for a few years until my ‘niche’ was developed,” she explained. “The big firms I interviewed with were hiring for specific needs in certain departments, which appealed to me.” Although Laub had an offer from Wyatt Tarrant and Combs in Louisville, she and David ultimately decided to stay in Cincinnati. Interestingly, due to the merger of Frost and Jacobs and the Louisville firm of Brown Todd and Heyburn in 2000, Laub now works in a firm that has a strong presence in both Cincinnati and Louisville, her home city.
Overcoming Her Fears
Ironically, one reason Laub did not want to practice litigation is that she was “painfully shy and did not want to speak in front of a group,” she commented. Her work, nonetheless, created situations that forced her to overcome her fear. “As a tax attorney/estate planner,” she said, “I actually ended up giving more speeches and presentations to large groups much sooner and more often than I would have if I had started in litigation. I was forced to overcome that fear quickly, and that has been a good thing for my professional and personal growth.”
Laub has been with the firm since 1983 and has worked in several areas. “I started in the Corporate Department and worked there for three months, when I was asked to transfer to the Tax Department to work in estate planning,” she said. “There was a need in that area, as one of the partners was taking a six-month maternity leave. I transferred and have been doing estate planning ever since.” Today, she is a member at the firm. In her current role, Laub counsels clients in all areas of wealth transfer planning, including federal gift and estate tax planning, charitable planning, retirement benefit distributions planning, generation-skipping design and analysis, and business succession planning.
Becoming A Leader
Laub was elected to partnership in 1990. In addition, she has held management positions in several areas: she has served as chair of the Legal Personnel Committee, chair of the Estate Planning Department, and a member of the Partner Compensation Committee and the Executive Committee. The latter is the eight-member committee that serves as a Board of Directors for the firm; she is currently in her third term on that committee. Recently, Laub has been named the Best Lawyers 2011 Cincinnati Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year. She is included in the Best Lawyers in America® and has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer and a Five-Star: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Manager®. She also serves on the Board of Governors for the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Ohio State Bar Association with one of her classmates who now practices in Zanesville.
When she has free time, Laub enjoys spending time with her husband and their two sons, Michael and Daniel. She is also an avid spinner, likes to read, travel, and shop. She still enjoys following the UD Flyers’ basketball team, as well as the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals.