Meet The Goerings: Father and Son Experience UC Law—27 Years Apart!
With four generations graduating from either the University of Cincinnati or the College of Law, the Goering family boasts a strong connection. Consider: UC Law is now “home” to rising Andrew, Class of 2011. His father, Stuart, graduated from the law school in 1982. Both of Stuart's parents, as well as one grandparent, graduated from the university. Stuart's sister has an MBA from UC. And to top it off, his father was a professor at UC’s renowned College of Business. It almost goes without saying that the Goering family bleeds Bearcat red and black!
A Dad Takes A Look Back
After completing an undergraduate program at Purdue University where he majored in mathematics and computer science, Stuart returned to Cincinnati for law school. During this same time, he served as a member of the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC). While a law student he clerked part-time for a local law firm—now Wood and Lamping, LLP. He also spent one summer at Fort Lewis for ROTC advanced camp. It was his Army background that influenced his decision to become a judge advocate in the Army following graduation. While stationed at his first post in Alaska, he met and married his wife, Marcia. There, they became parents to Andrew. But after nearly four years of active duty in Alaska, the Goerings moved back to the Queen City. It was time for a change.
Following release from active duty, Stuart switched gears, deciding to focus on labor and employment issues, a new area of law for him, at Taft, Stettinius, & Hollister. He remembers this being a considerable change, since he would not only be working in a new area, but also at a large firm. Previously, he clerked at a medium-sized law firm in law school. In 1988, he began working for the Erlanger Lumber Company, Inc. as the chief financial officer. In that role, he was able to help the company with several large acquisitions, the ultimate impact of which was a tripling of the business’s size.
Although he enjoyed those positions, Stuart admits that he and his wife had begun looking for opportunities to return to Alaska. He found such an opportunity in the form of the Copper Valley Electric Cooperative located in Glennallen, Alaska, or, as he put it, “about 140 miles from the nearest traffic light.” He worked for a year as the Cooperative’s manager of administration and finance before taking the Alaska bar. Although he was sitting for the exam over 16 years after he graduated law school, Stuart said that “it was a positive experience because it ensured that I remembered a whole range of legal topics, rather than just those I had dedicated most of my career to so far.” For the next 10 years, he worked as a solo practitioner, focusing mainly on civil work in Alaska.
Making the Jump to State Government
About 18 months ago in April 2008, Stuart decided to make another career change, taking a position with the state of Alaska as an assistant attorney general. He represents the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, which regulates public utilities in the state, advising and providing legal advice to the Commission on its adjudication of cases. He also defends the Commission’s decisions against appeals in front of the Superior Courts and Supreme Court of Alaska.
UC Law Connection…in Alaska?
There are five justices on the Alaska Supreme Court, one of whom offers yet another connection between the Goerings and Cincinnati. Justice Dana Fabe is the daughter of George Fab ’81, a classmate of Stuart, “Connections between those in the legal community in Alaska are not uncommon. There are just over 660,000 people in Alaska, and Anchorage has about half of that,” he explained. Interestingly, the entire Alaskan bar has just over 3,600 total members, which, he said, isn’t many compared to the 1,403 applicants who sat for the Ohio bar in July 1982 when he graduated law school!
A Rising 2L Looks Abroad
Andrew Goering’s work history is shorter but no less interesting. The oldest of five children, he is a graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage. While there he majored in languages, specifically German and French. In fact, he studied abroad in Germany during school and later spent time living and teaching in France following graduation. When he decided to go to law school, Andrew said, he was already familiar with the city, school, and people in Cincinnati after spending so much time here growing up. So, the decision to come to UC for law school was a particularly easy one.
This summer Andrew spent six weeks working at the Austrian Human Rights Institute in Salzburg, Austria. Because the European Court of Human Rights is still relatively new, many of the issues that come before it are ones of first impression. The Austrian Human Rights Institute focuses on educating professionals in the human rights field to ensure compliance with international laws and treaties to which Austria is a party. In keeping with the objectives, one of his responsibilities was to help write and publish a newsletter and participate in projects related to claims against the government for human rights abuses or violations of international conventions. He helped create what he called a “how-to guide,” complete with information on the likelihood of winning certain cases, the amount of damages a complainant is likely to collect, etc.
One of the best parts of his summer, commented Andrew, was experiencing the development of an area of the law first hand. “The Court’s youth provided bountiful opportunities for me to learn how the law actually worked,” he said. In addition, he was exposed to the legal “scene” in Europe and had the opportunity to make connections across the continent. In the future, he intends to practice law in an international arena. Though he does not know exactly in which field he will end up, he is currently interested in both immigration and international business. He does know that at some point he would like return to Europe to live and work.
A Goering View of UC Law
Although both Goerings had markedly different experiences, each spoke favorably of their time spent at UC Law. Stuart attended law school during the construction and remodeling of the current building; the result was that he rarely experienced an “ordinary” day in class, he recalled. The construction made the building dirty and noisy, and at times neither the heat would work in the winter nor the air conditioning in the summer. “The conditions,” he recounted, “created a close-knit law school family because everyone was facing the same obstacles.”
So far Professor Chris Bryant and his energy, personality and teaching style have made the biggest impression on Andrew. (When his son began discussing his favorite professors, Stuart laughed, commenting that Andrew being at UC Law made him feel really old!) Only a small handful of the professors who were teaching when he was at the law school are still teaching today: Gordon Christenson and Bert Lockwood. But he fondly recalled learning under law school “legends” Wilbur Lester, who was functionally blind and called on students based on an assigned seating chart, and Stanley Ellis Harper, Jr., who he called one of the most entertaining people in law school
In addition to their schooling, both Goerings also found time to participate in extracurricular activities. While attending law school, Stuart worked part-time, fulfilled Army ROTC requirements, volunteered at Deaconess Hospital, and he played intramural softball and touch football. Additionally, he explained, “there was a small group of us that provided music on appropriate—and sometimes inappropriate—occasions, including occasionally serving as a marching band!” Stuart further explained that he was, and still is, a skilled trombone player—yet another trait shared by his son. For his part, Andrew has been involved in both the Human Rights Quarterly and the Immigrant Community Legal Advocacy Project as a 1L. In addition, he and several other 1L students discovered a shared passion for playing soccer and football when the weather permits.
Authored by Lindsay Mather’11