Three UC Law Students Awarded Equal Justice Works Summer Fellowships to Serve Those in Need
Cincinnati, OH—What are your plans for the summer? A family vacation at camp or the beach? Relaxing at home? For three UC law students, summer has brought an opportunity for career exploration. They’ll be getting a jumpstart on their legal careers as participants in the Equal Justice Works Summer Corps Program. The third-year law students will gain valuable legal experience by devoting their summer to serving those in need. UC Law students Guy Cardamone ‘12, Johnathon Marvel ‘12, and Anna McGahan ‘12 were three of 700 students selected from nearly 1900 applicants from more than 150 law schools from across the country to participate in the program.
The largest program of its kind for law students, each Summer Corps member will receive a $1,123 education award upon completion of 300 hours of service as well as gain valuable first-hand legal experience in areas ranging from client intake and representation to legal research and writing.
Cardamone has taken a position with the Office of the State Appellate Defender in Chicago, IL. Marvel is working at the Mecklenburg County Public Defender Office in Charlotte, NC. And, McGahan has taken a position at Farmworker Legal Services in Kalamazoo, MI.
This year, Equal Justice Works Summer Corps members will serve at non-profit organizations in 44 states and the District of Columbia. They will be engaged with a broad range of issues, including civil rights, community economic development, death penalty, disability rights, housing, domestic violence, education, public benefits, and workers’ rights.
Two UC Law Students Receive Community Awards
Bobbi Dillon ‘13
Rising 2L Bobbi Dillon was recently awarded the 2011 Montgomery County (Dayton) "Young Democrat of the Year" award. Given yearly, the award recognizes a member of the Montgomery County (Dayton, OH) Young Democrats who is active in the chapter and dedicated to the party.
“Bobbi’s enthusiasm for the group and her efforts to promote the message and to always look for ways to represent the organization were key reasons she received this award, said Gen Murphy, executive director for group. “In 2009 she worked very hard on Rhine McLin’s mayoral race. And in 2010, before coming to law school, she led the membership recruitment efforts, signing up 75 people as new members of the group.”
Joseph Zoimen ‘12
Joseph Zoimen, a rising 3L, will be honored on May 25, 2011 by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati as “Volunteer of the Year.” This award will be presented based on his work as a volunteers and programs he runs at Congregation Zichron Eliezer.
- Commented Rabbi Meir Minster, “Yosef (Joseph) has initiated many programs for our congregation. When he takes on a project, he sees it through to the end, motivating others to get involved. His vision goes beyond our congregation and encompasses the entire community.”
Congratulations to Bobbi and Joseph!
Celebrity Golf Scramble
Sponsored by the Sports & Entertainment Law Society Date: Saturday July 16, 2011 Time: Beginning at noon Location: California Golf Course (5924 Kellogg Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45228) Cost: $150 Single Player, $70 Student Includes: Sponsored Lunch and Complimentary Drink Tickets; Awards Banquet with Catered Dinner and Cash Bar; Silent Auction Registration Deadline: July 6, 2011 What is it? Join us as we combine our passion for Sports, Entertainment, and the Law to benefit Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. We’re bringing together local attorneys, celebrities, alumni, administrators, and students for a day of food, golf, and philanthropy, while coming together on behalf of a common cause. Tournament Specifics Format: Four-person best ball scramble 18 holes Event Schedule 12:00 p.m. Registration & Lunch 1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start 5:30 p.m. Awards Banquet & Silent Auction Prizes So Far… Brand New Nissan from Busam Nissan Cash prizes Sponsorship Opportunities $4,000 Awards Banquet Sponsor * Invitation for 4 to awards banquet *Invitation for 4 to golf & lunch *Corporate banner displayed at banquet $3,000 Lunch Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Corporate banner displayed at lunch $1,500 Cart Sponsor (15 Carts) *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Corporate literature in carts *Corporate logo on all cart signs $1000 Score Card Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Corporate logo on all score cards. $750 Foursome & Hole Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet *Sign on designated hole $600 Foursome Sponsor *Invitation for 4 to golf, lunch, & banquet $350 Hole Sponsor * Sign on designated hole Contact: Brad Blevins at 330-540-0571 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to make a donation to the Silent Auction.
CPD Launches Catalyst Program
On February 25, 2011, the College will launch the Catalyst Program, a micro-mentoring program designed to fold students into the lives of attorney volunteers. The Catalyst Program, which will be administered by the Center for Professional Development, increases the opportunities for students to interact with the local bar. What is a Catalyst? A catalyst is usually defined as a substance or agent that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction. Similarly a catalyst can be defined as a person or thing that precipitates an event or change. Almost 60 students registered and the volunteer response from the local bar to serve as Catalysts has been equally enthusiastic. Each Catalyst will bring wisdom, experience and unparalleled professionalism to benefit law students’ professional journey. The interaction between each student and Catalyst will provide students with a filter for their experiences and help them marry those experiences to their unique ambitions and expectations.
2012 Charity Golf Tournament
Sign up today to win great prizes including a new Cadillac!
Date: April 13, 2012
Time: 12:30 (registration)
Location: Glenview Golf Course, located at 10965 Springfield Pike
Cost: $90/attorneys; $40/students. (Cost includes course fees, golf cart use, lunch, dinner, and entry for all prizes and games.)
This is a four-player best ball scramble at Glenview Golf Course. Sponsored by the Student Bar Association (SBA), this event will raise monies for the Summer Public Interest Fund (SPIF).
In addition to the best ball scramble, there will be proximity games and other contests as well as the ability to purchase mulligans.
12:30 p.m.: Lunch & Registration
1:30 p.m.: Shot Gun Start
Attorneys are encouraged to sign up with other players; however SBA would like to combine your teams with law students. Teams will be assigned at random, though handicaps will be taken into account. For more information: email email@example.com.
Become a Tournament Sponsor
Your tax-deductable donation of $300 will make you a tee-sponsor and allow your organization to advertise to over 140 tri-state area attorneys, judges and other legal professionals. Read more information here.
What’s Summer Public Interest Fund? Want to know what SPIF is all about? Find out more here.
Reading, Writing, and Fashion? Students Go Head-to-Head with What Not to Wear
Law and fashion collided on the runway at the College of Law’s “What Not to Wear” event held October 21, 2010. The Student Bar Association and the Center for Professional Development co-sponsored the entertaining event designed to help those future lawyers struggling with questions about appropriate dress for the workplace—be it the office or the courtroom. Fellow students showcased looks from suitable to a more “traditional” environment to outfits befitting a business casual outing. They were reviewed by fellow classmates and a panel of judges: Anne B. Flottman ’01 of the law firm Wood & Lamping; Joshua Crabtree ‘03 of the Children’s Law Center, Inc.; Emily E. Walters ‘09, law clerk to the Honorable J.R. Schrand of the Boone Circuit Court; and Danielle Battaglia of the Tom James Company, a custom clothing retailer. Each panelist provided insightful commentary and discussion regarding the appropriateness of each outfit and answered thoughtful questions from audience members about the importance of dress and making a great impression.
Meet 3L Students Sarah Sanderson and Ross Bextermueller
While they were waiting for the first Introduction to Law class in August 2008 to begin, Ross Bextermueller asked Sarah Sanderson if she was ready for law school. The two have been dating since. In their final year of law school, Bextermueller and Sanderson, now engaged, are scheduled to graduate next May as members of the Class of 2011.
A native Ohioan, Sanderson hails from Sylvania, a northern suburb of Toledo. She attended the University of Kentucky, where she majored in psychology. Originally pursuing a graduate degree in psychology, Sanderson switched gears and decided to try law school. “Unfortunately, it was too late to apply (for the current year) by the time I decided,” she said. “So I took a year off and worked full-time as a legal secretary at a firm in Lexington.”
The following year, Sanderson ended up at the College of Law. “I really didn’t consider UC,” she said, “until my dad, who attended the university for his undergraduate degree, suggested I apply. Then, of the schools I was accepted into, UC was the most well-rounded.” Sanderson said she was attracted to the school’s location and academic strength, as well as the Weaver Institute for Law and Psychiatry. In fact, the Weaver Institute was a “huge draw” for her.
Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Bextermueller moved around the world a lot while growing up—including living Saudi Arabia and England. He went to high school in Cincinnati, though, and considers it his hometown. He attended Saint Louis University for undergraduate studies, majoring in accounting. He continued his studies at that university, obtaining his MBA before coming to the College of Law. He chose UC because it was, as he put it, “the best bang for the buck” of all of his options. He also has family and friends in the area, and felt it would be nice to have such a strong support system in place.
Summer Experiences Courtesy of UC Law
During her first summer in law school, Sanderson lived in Toledo, working two days a week for Chief Judge James Carr of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the other three days for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), a non-profit organization associated with Legal Aid of Northwest Ohio. “At ABLE I had the opportunity to do educational law and loved it,” she said. During her second summer, Sanderson began working at Ennis Roberts & Fisher, a law firm in Cincinnati that specializes in representing school districts. She is still working there this school year.
Bextermueller spent his first summer working at GE Aviation, located in Evendale, doing transactional and contractual work. This past summer, he worked as a summer associate at Strauss & Troy. He has signed with Deloitte as an international tax consultant following graduation.
The two have only had a few classes together over the course of law school, so they have not had many experiences in the classroom together. “Because we are interested in different fields,” says Sarah, “as Ross will be doing international tax and I hope to do either education or family law, I think we balance each other out and affect the way the other thinks about their area of interest.” They have also been able to help each other throughout their time in law school. “Ross has helped me understand his areas of interest so much better. So I suppose a reward specific to me is that I have someone to make sure I understand corporations or my federal income tax when exams come around.” In addition, she said, “I think generally the overlap has actually helped our relationship, which is rewarding. When you begin law school they always tell you it’s difficult to sustain relationships while in school. Since we are both in school and in the same year that hasn’t been a problem for us. We certainly understand the demands on the other if one of us has an exam or another project or deadline to meet.”
Both Bextermueller and Sanderson have already learned to balance work/law school and life outside of those things: “We both value a healthy work/life balance, so while we do work hard, it not a huge issue in our relationship,” they said. “There are certainly times when we do need to remind each other to either get work done, or to stop working. While there is always someone to hold you accountable to your work, there is also always someone to hang out with. Although that unfortunately means there are also times when the other can convince you that the mall or a Bengals game is a better idea!”
Bar Exam Results Are Strong
The results for UC Law students who took the July 2010 Ohio Bar Exam are in and the College of Law, once again, had a strong showing. UC ranked second in the state for overall test takers. While the passage rate for all takers was 82.8 percent, the College of Law’s passage rate was higher at 90 percent.
The passage rate for the College of Law’s first-time test takers was 91 percent, comparable to last year. This can also be compared to an 87.8 percent passage rate for all first-time test takers in Ohio.
The excellence of UC Law students was exemplified by alumnus Pat Brown ’10. Having taken the bar exam in July, he recently notified the school that he scored in the overall 100th percentile on the examination, scoring in the 99th percentile on the MBE and in the 99th percentile on the essay component.
Applicants who successfully passed the examination and who satisfied all of the Supreme Court’s other requirements for admission were sworn in on November 8 at 10:30 a.m. during a special session of the Supreme Court at the historic Ohio Theatre. The session can be viewed via the Supreme Court and Ohio Channel websites at www.supremecourt.ohio.gov and www.ohiochannel.org. You can also see photos of the event here.
For the Love of Country: Meet Troy Benton ’13
First year student Troy Benton has dedicated himself to service to others, and he plans to continue this path after law school by dedicating himself to service to his country. Benton attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) before serving in AmeriCorps for two years. Through that program, he impacted the lives of many students as an academic tutor and mentor; he also touched many in the community as a volunteer. “It was a life-changing experience,” said Benton, and it certainly impacted his plans for the future.
Benton came to Cincinnati looking for a new experience. Originally from Seattle, Washington, he had completed his undergraduate studies at PLU in Tacoma, Washington, and was then stationed with AmeriCorps in nearby Federal Way. Each of these experiences, while unique, left him in close proximity to the others—he remained on Puget Sound. As he was deciding where to go next, Benton knew he wanted to leave the area to gain a new experience and perspective. “I already knew the Northwest,” he said. “So when I was considering law schools, I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be far away and on my own; somewhere that would be an adventure."
Committing to UC Law
Benton was considering several law schools in the Midwest, but had not actually considered UC’s College of Law. “One day I got a call from Sarah Topy ‘11,” he said, “and it changed everything. She really energized me, and got me excited about the school. She encouraged me to apply here, and her phone call is the reason I did.” After completing his service with AmeriCorps during the summer of 2010, Benton moved to Cincinnati to begin his law school career.
Although he is only halfway into his first semester of law school, Benton is already thinking ahead to life after graduation. “No matter what specifically I end up doing, I know it will be under the general category of public service. I get joy from serving people, and I want to continue doing that even after I finish law school.” Benton stated that he particularly enjoys serving underserved populations in whatever capacity he can. “It feels really good knowing you are meeting a need that is too often overlooked by society in general,” he said.
On top of service to others generally, service to country is particularly important to him. As a member of AmeriCorps, he was able to serve the country in an academic capacity, in addition to helping individual students. Similarly, he plans to become a member of the JAG corps after graduation. There’s a significant family history of military service in Benton’s family—his father serves in the Air Force—and he hopes to continue that tradition as an attorney in uniform. “As a JAG, I’d have the chance to serve as both an officer and a lawyer. It would be an incredible honor to serve my country as an attorney.”
Recent Grad Megan Robinson Commits to JAG Corps
For Megan Tonner Robinson, waiting for her bar exam results has been especially stressful. You see, passing the bar is the last step on the road she has travelled for the past year preparing to join the US Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.
Originally from Hamilton, Ohio, Robinson ’10 completed her undergraduate studies at Miami University, where she majored in English and History.She took a year off after finishing undergrad in which she was “figuring out what to do with life.” She eventually settled on applying to law school. “I wanted more education,” said Robinson, “and I feel that a law degree is very versatile and that I can do a lot of good with it.” She chose the College of Law because she wanted to stay in Ohio for tuition purposes, and UC was conveniently close by. “It was great that there happened to be a good quality law school close enough that I could commute,” she said.
During her first summer in law school, Robinson worked as a fellow with the Ohio Innocence Project. “I really liked the experience,” she said. “I’m really interested in criminal law, and I was able to learn a lot about it that way. Plus, one of my friends from law school was my partner from OIP. I really enjoyed everything about it.” In particular, Robinson enjoyed having the opportunity to be a part of every step of investigating cases, including talking to inmates. She also enjoyed the relationships she was able to build during the experience, not just with the other fellows but also the close connection the fellows had with their supervising attorneys.
Getting A Taste of the Military
During her second summer, Robinson interned at the Polk Air Force base in North Carolina. Robinson knew when she entered law school that she wanted to be a prosecutor, and as she progressed through law school she became more and more interested in joining the military after graduating. “I knew it was possible to be a prosecutor in the military,” she said, “in addition to being able to experience other kinds of law in addition to criminal law.The internship was a good way to see if I would like to be in the military after graduation.”Robinson stated that the attorneys with whom she worked this summer made considerable efforts to show her what the job of a JAG is really like, allowing her to sit in on cases in court in addition to researching various issues in the cases. She was also able to experience several areas of law in addition to criminal law, such as white collar crime, real estate, and torts. The experience was very positive, she said, and helped solidify her decision to become a JAG.
There were several factors that contributed to Robinson’s decision to become a JAG. First, she commented, there had always been the possibility that she would join the military, particularly because both of her parents were in the Marines. Second, serving in the JAG Corps would provide her with the ability to use her education and degree to make a difference and help others, which had been an important consideration in her decision to come to law school. Third, the equal work/life balance in the military was another important consideration.
In August of 2009, after completing her internship and deciding she wanted to continue in the Air Force after graduation, Robinson applied to the USAF JAG Corps. After she was accepted, she had to complete a medical exam; the last stage of the process is passing the bar exam. She will find out the results of the exam on October 29, 2010, and when she lets the Air Force know that she passed, they will tell her where she will be stationed. “That’s really the point of no return,” said Robinson. “At that point, I technically could decide not to become a JAG—but that’s not going to happen.” After accepting the position, Robinson will go off to Officer Candidate School sometime between January and March. When she accepts a position with the JAG Corps, Robinson will be committing herself to the program for at least four years. She will be assigned to a particular department to practice a particular area of law, although she will likely begin with military justice.
Waiting for Word
As of now, Robinson has no idea where she will be stationed.“I got to submit a list of preferences for where I would like to be, but where people get stationed depends on a lot of factors,” she said. “My top choice is Dayton, because my husband and I have a house here, and my second choice is anywhere around the D.C. area.” Robinson said that both she and her husband are excited to find out where she will be stationed: “He’s probably less apprehensive about that part than I am,” she noted, “but we both look at it as an adventure.”
Robinson also acknowledged that there is a possibility that she will be stationed overseas at some point. “When I was interviewing, they basically told me, ‘if you’re signing up for the military at this point in time, you’re doing so with the knowledge that you’re going overseas at some point,’ so I look at it as a certainty.”
Because she cannot definitively accept her position until after the bar results are in, Robinson is basically playing a waiting game for now. “I’m looking at this as my last summer vacation,” she said. “Summer was not fun; I was studying for the bar, so it was hardly ‘summer’ in the traditional sense at all. So I’m using this time to go on some vacations”—she recently took a cruise to celebrate the fact that bar exam and law school were over. She also took a separate trip to New York City, and has another trip planned for next month. “I’m spending time with friends and loved ones. I’m just appreciating this time, because I literally don’t know where I’ll be in six months.”