Cincinnati Law Graduates Celebrate What's "Next"
When you leave here, don’t forget why you came” - Adlai Stevenson
The College of Law’s 185th Hooding Ceremony was a time of celebration – of a job well done; thousands of hours of classwork completed; the end of a journey and the start of a new one. On Saturday, May 12, 2018, 107 students entered the ‘next’ phase of their journey – life after law school. Along the way they were treated to a rousing send-off by family, friends, faculty and staff.
The College of Law conferred 91 juris doctor degrees, 14 LLM (master’s) degrees and two certificates. At the Hooding celebration, the graduates listened to the wisdom of graduation speaker Randall M. Comer, Partner at Martin, Browne, Hill & Harper, PLL. Comer, president of the Ohio State Bar Association, is a 2000 graduate. He works as a civil trial attorney specializing in labor and employment, workers’ compensation, and contract disputes.
This year’s recipient of the 2018 Nicholas J. Longworth III Alumni Achievement Award was Gerald A. Griggs, a 2004 graduate of the College of Law. Griggs, based in Atlanta, GA, is a well-respected litigator, who has handled numerous high-profile cases including representing clients involved in the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating trial. His most notable case, Jaheem Herrera, helped launch the National Anti-Bullying movement and changed anti-bullying law in Georgia.
#Next Lives Here
Every College of Law student travelled a journey to get to this moment – from wide-eyed first year student to confident third year graduate. They came from all walks of life and experience. And they learned many lessons along the way.
Here are a few of their stories:
When asked “what was the best part of law school?”, 2018 graduate Rachelle Barr-Addair named two of her clinical experiences: the Ohio Innocence Project and the Indigent Defense Clinic. “Both allowed me to work with attorneys on real cases and represent clients in a real world capacity. The knowledge and experience I gained has prepared me for a successful career dedicated to helping others.”
She plans to take the California Bar Exam and begin work at the California Innocence Project later this year. “I came to law school because I wanted to be an attorney in the Innocence Network and now I have my dream job in California as a staff attorney.”
“The best part of my law school experience was participating in the Mind, Body, Skills Program,” said grad Christina Rogers. “I wouldn't have made it through my last year of law school without it.” After graduation Rogers plans to sit for the Ohio Bar Exam and then start work at law firm Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP this fall.
Graduates Rob Citak and Rachel (Hackle) Citak had a more personal response when asked about the best part of law school. “The best part of our law school experience was meeting my law school sweetheart. After being in the same school together for so long but never having met, we started dating while we were in Negotiations Class together in the Spring semester of our second year and got married the following Spring. We can’t wait to begin our lives together as Juris Doctors!”
Currently, both are working in positions in the area of public interest law and plan to use this in some form after taking both the Ohio and Kentucky bar exams.
After three years at Cincinnati Law, surely grads will miss something. Indeed they will—friendships, mentors, and even the building.
“What we will miss most about UC Law are the meaningful friendships that we have built with our fellow students, staff, and faculty. We are transitioning from students to professionals, and that wouldn’t have been possible without all that we have learned here,” said Rachel Citak. “Law school was the hardest thing many of us have ever done. We couldn’t have done it without coffee and Jesus. And we would still do it all over again just to find true love here.”
“I will miss my friends and seeing my mentors on a regular basis. The friendships and professional relationships I have developed in law school radiate from school into many aspects of my life,” said Barr. “Leaving one chapter to start another is never easy, but I know I have made some lifelong connections and will look back over the last three years fondly.” “The thing that I will miss most is the building,” said Rogers. “The law school was my safe space and a home away from home.”
Congratulations graduates! We wish you well on the next chapter of your lives!