Meet Our Students

Get to know our students through a series of videos, news stories, and more!

Redeeming Justice: Bethany Notestine's Journey from Conviction to Law School

Before becoming a law student, Bethany Notestine (JD ‘25), dreamed of opening her own medical massage business. For most, starting a business from scratch can be an expensive and risky endeavor. But for Bethany, the biggest obstacle was her past.

Emerging from a 7.5 year sentence the year prior, Bethany had walked out of federal prison to be embraced by her parents, then flown back to their place to live while she got back on her feet. But that would prove to be no easy task. Finding work with a record would be difficult.

While in prison, she sought solace in the quiet corners of the prison Law Library, where she devoted her time each morning to studying criminal cases, trying to make sense of how the justice system works and what went wrong in her own case. 

After hours upon hours spent studying law materials, she began to make connections for her own case and understand how the legal system worked. At this point, she also realized she might have an actual knack for law. A calling even.  

UC Law student Bethany Notestine

Bethany Notestine "25

Bridging the Gap: Brendan Mathews’ Search for Equitable Outcomes

For the first two weeks of law school, Brendan Mathews (JD ‘23, PhD ‘25), divided his time between attending virtual classes at  Cincinnati Law and consulting with the Governor of Rhode Island to help overhaul the state's contact tracing efforts. From his makeshift office within the Rhode Island Health Department, Brendan adjusted to life as a law student during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Brendan said he always dreamed bigger than the life expected of him and his peers. His mom, who raised him solo, never let those big dreams seem too far out of reach. 

Brendan Mathews '23

Brendan Mathews '23

Redrawing the legal narrative: Travis Hardee’s fight for inclusion

As the first man at University of Cincinnati College of Law to complete a joint JD/MA degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), Travis Hardee (MA, JD ‘24), is primed to stand out among his other male attorneys. But then, he has never been one to follow the crowd.

JD student Travis Hardee ('24)

Travis Hardee '24

Next Generation Changemaker: Aqdas Khudadad

Even with these great strides in enhancing the quality of life for its residents, important issues facing Cincinnati’s most vulnerable residents remain, spanning from affordable housing to immigration. Aqdas Khudadad (JD, ‘24), has dedicated her first two years of law school working with organizations affecting these issues–one legal case at a time. 

Aqdas Khudadad, ('24) law student focused on helping vulnerable residents

Aqdas Khudadad '24

UC Law's LLM Program Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

As the UC Law LLM program approaches its 10th anniversary, stories of students tackling issues across the globe have become more and more widespread. Opening in 2013 with a mere five students in its first cohort, UC Law’s LLM Program has expanded worldwide, including students from over 50 different countries, among them 10 Fulbright scholars.

College of Law international students in the law school atrium

College of Law LLM students in the law school atrium

Legal Advocate. Healthcare Warrior.

It’s an interesting time for healthcare, Glen McClain (JD ‘22, MD ‘25) recently put it. As a student on track to earn dual JD and MD degrees, Glen took the bar exam this February and will return to UC College of Medicine this coming fall to complete his final two years of medical school.

Glen McClain is a JD graduate at the College of Law and a MD student at UC's College of Medicine.

Glen McClain '22

LLM, Valentina Embraces Change

“If you are not doing something that you love, you are not doing your best. I'm just trying to follow that path, where I am helping others and I'm happy,” says Valentina Mora.

Valentina Mora, LLM student

Valentina Mora, LLM student

Ally Elevates Justice through work with the OIP

"I am so happy to be doing this kind of work and helping people with real lives and real stories, highlighting when the criminal justice system made a mistake," says Ally Anderson ('23).

Ally Anderson working at the OIP offices.

Ally Anderson, rising 3L student, and her son

Jacob Launches An Unlimited Future

Coming from a small town in southeastern Ohio to Cincinnati for law school, Jacob Hoback wasn't sure what to expect. With an internship at a top New York City law firm under his belt, he's headed to Florida after graduation for a prestigious federal clerkship.

Jacob Hoback and his supervisor work at a computer.

Sean's Competitive Drive helps him Cultivate the Complete Professional

For 3L Sean Nuernberger, all signs pointed toward a career as an NFL place kicker until he was sidelined by injuries. Now on the verge of graduating law school and joining a top law firm, it's his competitive drive that got him here.

Sean Nuernberger, a third-year law student, visits the law library.

Sean Nuernberger, ('22)

JD/LLM, Zamira Saidi's Fearless Pursuit of Justice

Zamira Saidi's pursuit of justice fuels her curiosity and desire to learn more. Growing up in Afghanistan and moving to the U.K. before heading to Cincinnati, she's just getting started. Read her full story here.

Janelle Thompson is Elevating Justice

At one point, being a lawyer was the last thing Janelle Thompson imagined becoming. On the verge of graduating law school and joining a top law firm, it was the desire to make a difference for others that led her here.

Janelle Thompson, JD 22

JD LawCat Chat Series

Episode 1

Episode 2

LLM LawCat Chat Series

LawCat Chat: My LLM Experience

LawCat Chat: Being Career Ready

Students in the News


UC’s growing resources for first-generation students

November 7, 2023

Nearly one in five UC students are considered first-generation college students — meaning they and their siblings are the first in their family to attend a four-year institution of higher learning. UC is attracting a growing number of first-gen students; their numbers jumped by 8% this fall on campus.


UC graduate program showcase Nov. 16

Event: November 16, 2023 10:00 AM

UC students, faculty and staff and alumni are invited to Bearcats Beyond Bachelors, an event designed to showcase graduate programs at UC. The event is 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16, in TUC and will explore over 350 graduate degrees, certificates and professional programs across various disciplines.

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Education in Action - JD Summer Video Series