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University of Cincinnati College of Law Bar Results Announced; Students Continue to Beat State-wide Average


82% of all Cincinnati LawTakers Pass the July 2017 Ohio Bar Exam

Cincinnati, OH—Today, October 27, 2017, the results of the July 2017 Ohio Bar Exam were released and the University of Cincinnati College of Law recorded an 82 percent passage rate for Cincinnati Law first time exam takers, outpacing the state’s first-time taker pass rate of 77 percent.

“Congratulations to our Cincinnati Law graduates who successfully passed the bar,” said Verna Williams, Interim Dean and Nippert Professor of Law. “We are so proud of you and what you have accomplished.  Passing the bar is not an easy feat; but through hard work, studying and determination, you did it. Good luck as you move forward with your career.”

The overall passage rate for Cincinnati Law’s bar exam takers was 81 percent. This rate exceeds the state-wide average passing rate of 70.9 percent.  Over 900 aspiring attorneys from across the state and the country took the July exam.

Applicants who successfully passed the examination and who satisfied all of the Supreme Court’s other requirements for admission will be invited to take the attorney oath of office on November 13, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. during a special session of the Supreme Court of Ohio at the historic Ohio Theatre in Columbus, OH.

A Summer Gig at the Courthouse: Alyssa Miller Shares her Experience


Alyssa Miller’s summer gig wasn’t spent working at a coffee shop, though lots of caffeine was probably involved. It wasn’t spent working at the library either – though research played a big role in her responsibilities. Miller’18 spent the summer working under Judge Melissa Powers, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division.  Miller’s experience gave her insight into juvenile law, society, and the way the legal system affects vulnerable youth.

Miller explains that she was responsible for reviewing and presenting to Judge Powers “what happened at the lower levels of the court.”  Most juvenile cases are handled before a magistrate.   These are usually “cases in dependency, child custody, child support, and juvenile delinquency.”  The magistrate’s initial opinion can, however, meet an objection, and then these cases are bound for Judge Powers’ court.  “My job,” Miller says “was to read the transcripts and let the judge in on what happened in the transcript and in the lower court so that she could make an informed decision when hearing oral arguments.”

Miller expresses that she is glad to have taken UC’s Family Law course.  Through her studies she “learned a lot about custody, child support, and how the law works in those circumstances.”  Although she was unfamiliar with delinquency when she began the job, the Advanced Legal Research course proved useful, she says.  Completing the course gave her the skill set to research fields that were new to her. 

Miller’s work was not limited to the courtroom, however.  The Juvenile Court and Cincinnati Public Schools initiated a collaboration this summer to offer tutoring programs for children held in detention.  Miller continues to visit and help teach these youths multiple times each week.

“I work with juvenile delinquents in the female division,” says Miller.  She not only assists them with their homework but also offers substantive advice to help the detained youths better themselves.  She states, “It’s been a very positive experience to meet these young women and realize that they’re not bad people.  They come from bad circumstances—circumstances that you can’t even believe exist, and yet they still have positive outlooks on life.”

Miller believes that society experiences cycles of poverty and violence and that education is the key to reducing violent crime.  She explains that for young offenders, “it’s hopefully not too late for them to turn their lives around, before they enter the adult system. 

After completing her studies at Cincinnati Law, Miller aims to become an assistant United States Attorney.  She says that this has been her goal since the age of three, “although she didn’t know what it was called then.  I learned [the title] when I was seven, and I’ve been set on it ever since.”  With her experience at the Juvenile Court, she is on the right track.

by: Pete Mills, Cincinnati Law writer

Cincinnati Law Launches Academic Year; LLM Program Grows with First Students from Dual Degree Program


2017 Incoming Class

Cincinnati, OH— The 2017-2018 academic year opened as the College of Law welcomed the next generation of corporate attorneys, social justice leaders, immigration rights

activists, prosecutors and public defenders. The Class of 2020 includes 97 JD students and 17 LLM attorney students enrolled as of August 21, 2017.  

The first-year students represent 48 universities. Most (55%) are Ohio residents; 45% are from out of state, coming from 18 states, including California, Texas, Utah, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  The class has spent significant time living or studying abroad in places like Italy, Thailand, Armenia, India, France, Mexico, Belgium and Oman. They were, literally, born all over the world: in Canada, Ghana, the Republic of South Korea, Belarus and China. 

 

A Look at their Backgrounds

Interestingly, the class includes native speakers of German, Belarusian/Russian, Japanese, Hindi, and Armenian/Russian.  

Though many are recent graduates from undergraduate institutions, some come to law school after careers in other fields. One worked as a life insurance agent, a paralegal, a global IT specialist for Amazon, and a finance and human resources manager at a New York City start-up.

They have a wide range of hobbies. In addition to reading, they enjoy hiking, competing in mud runs, competitive Pokémon trading cards, home brewing, golf, and animal rescues. They also engage in baseball card trading, playing archery, studying languages, playing squash, running marathons, skiing, and cooking.

 

Law School Welcomes 17 LLM Students

The LLM (master’s degree) program for internationally-trained attorneys and law graduates continues to grow. Now in its sixth year, the LLM program boasts 17 attorney students, including several individuals who have returned for additional training.   

This year’s participants come from 11 countries: Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Kuwait, Italy, Nepal, Turkey, Colombia, Venezuela, Uganda, Jamaica, and China. The professional careers of the attorney students include positions as a manager at the National Pensions Regulatory Authority in Ghana; teaching assistant in law at the University of Ha'il (UoH) as well as a case investigator for the Saudi Arabian Industrial Development Fund; a civil and criminal law attorney in Italy; and an assistant specialist at the Development Bank of Turkey, focusing on international loan agreements. This year’s class also includes the first two students earning their LLM via our dual agreement with the University of Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.

Their areas of interest are varied and include antitrust law, business law, criminal law, international law, corporate law, and human rights law.

LLM

Law Students' Work on US Supreme Court Case Pays Off; Brief Cited by Highest Court in the Land


Early in 2017, first-year students at the University of Cincinnati College of Law were invited to research a high-stakes question that was pending in the United States Supreme Court: when the prosecution chooses to pursue the death penalty against a defendant who has mental illness but cannot afford to hire counsel, does the defendant have the right to a mental health expert who is independent from the prosecution?

Since 1985, capital defense lawyers across the country have obtained such assistance as a matter of right under the Court’s landmark decision Ake v. Oklahoma. Nevertheless, the Alabama courts held there was no such right. In McWilliams v. Dunn, nationally-renowned attorney Steven Bright of the Southern Center for Human Rights asked the Supreme Court to correct that error.

The students jumped at the chance to research the expert appointment practices that have existed across the country since Ake was decided. Their research supported an amicus curiae brief filed by the National Association for Public Defense and other co-amici in McWilliams. Professor Janet Moore supervised the students in her role as chair of NAPD’s Amicus Committee, which she shares with Professor Jennifer Kinsley of NKU-Chase College of Law.

The students’ work paid off. On June 19, 2017, the Court ruled 5-4 that Ake clearly established the capital defendant’s right to a mental health expert who is sufficiently available to the defense and independent from the prosecution to effectively “assist in evaluation, preparation, and presentation of the defense.” The students were thrilled to see Justice Breyer’s majority opinion cite the NAPD brief as showing that the majority of jurisdictions have already adopted this principle.

In reflecting on the experience, many contributing students found it to be not only a valuable learning opportunity but a highlight of their first year at UC Law.

Francesca Boland“Assisting Professor Moore with research for the McWilliams brief was one of the highlights of my 1L year,” reflected rising second year law student Francesca Boland. “When I started law school, I never dreamed that before the first year was over I would provide research support for a Supreme Court brief. This was a fantastic opportunity to put my new skills into action and to get a taste of real lawyering. I am thrilled that the brief played a role in the Supreme Court win!”

David WovroshDavid Wovrosh expressed similar sentiments. “It was pretty surreal to see our work cited by the highest court in the land,” he said. “The research really tossed the principles we learn in the classroom into the thresher that is the practical application of law. It was an invaluable learning experience. I could never have imagined having access to such profound and impactful experiences my very first year!”

Marissa Lee also was enthusiastic about her experience: "I'm incredibly appreciative of Professor Moore for giving us the opportunity to do research for an NAPD amicus brief for the Supreme Court. My work allowed me to collaborate with my professor and fellow students outside of class, and my work had a sense of significance. We understood the importance of the case to the defendant in this case and to lawyers representing indigent defendants across the country."Marissa Lee

The students’ energetic response to the opportunity offered in the McWilliams case led to the formation of the College of Law’s Bearcat-NAPD Amicus Team. Students continue to actively assist Professors Moore and Kinsley with research and drafting as well as with the many administrative tasks required to conduct effective appellate advocacy. The team is therefore well-positioned to continue following the McWilliams case, which was remanded for further proceedings, and to assist in the many other cases across the country that raise questions about whether courts are enforcing the bedrock constitutional guarantees that the Supreme Court emphasized in Ake: “a fair opportunity to present [a] defense” and “to participate meaningfully in a judicial proceeding in which . . . liberty is at stake” – in short, “[m]eaningful access to justice.”

Why I chose Cincinnati Law's LLM Program


QingQing Lyu left China to pursue education in America when her husband came to the States for work. “If you have a law degree in your country, and you know a little bit about American institutions, when you come back to my country, it’s very competitive for you to find a good job.” Although Lyu is not yet sure if they will return to China at some point, she does know that she wants to get work experience in America under her belt before they do.

When asked about the difference in teaching between China and the United States, Lyu explained that professors will lecture, and although you can ask questions, it typically doesn’t happen. In the third year, students take classes that do allow them to talk a little bit, but note taking is still the major point of class. During her studies here, however, “We are asked to engage a lot. To ask questions, discuss with each other, or debate with professors-that’s very different.” Professors, and other students, are more open to questions here as well, and she feels that there is not such a stigma of asking a “dumb question.” 

Lyu also attended China University of Political Science and Law, but for her undergraduate education, where she studied both law and economics. For her graduate program, she went to Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, focusing on maritime law. 

 

1. Why did you select the University of Cincinnati College of Law for your degree?
Before I came to the United States, I did some research online. University of Cincinnati College of Law has a long history. It is the fourth-oldest continuously operating law school in the country. And the reputation is very good, this is one of important factors for me. Second, before the new semester, the law school offered opportunities for students to visit courthouses and law offices, which not only chelped us obtain professional knowledge of the US legal system, but also understand what it means to be a real attorney. This is a wonderful start to get ready for the new semester. Moreover, the law school is geographically near the downtown. This is very critical, because many law firms and big companies are in the urban areas. It is a great advantage for us to do some networking or seek for an internship. Cincinnati is also home to many of the top 500 companies, such as P&G, Kroger (the nation's second largest retail supermarket, after Walmart), which means that international students have more opportunities after graduation. After three years in Cincinnati, I know that I made the right decision.
在我来美国之前,我在网上做了一些相关的功课。辛辛那提法学院是个拥有着悠久历史的学校,全美第四大古老的法学院,并且法学院名声很好,这是其一。第二,在法学院开学之前,学校有IGPL项目,通过这个项目,学生不仅可以了解到美国法律获得专业知识,而且通过观摩提问等可以更直观的了解职场律师的工作,培养自身的法律职业技巧。同时,也为新学期开学做好准备。而且,法学院地理位置很好,就在市区附近。这点很关键,因为很多律所大公司等都在市区,不管是在拓展人脉上还是对于以后找实习工作都有极大的优势。辛辛那提还是很多五百强企业的总部所在地,比如保洁,Kroger(全美第二大的零售超市,仅此Walmart)等,意味着国际留学生毕业后拥有更多的就业机会。在辛辛那提已经待了快三年,我更加确定当初我做了正确的选择。
 
2. What are the strengths of a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law?
LL.M. program actually is not new in the United States, many law schools have this programs as well. I know some law schools, like OSU, have a lot of Chinese students in their LL.M. program. In contrast, the LL.M. program in UC is rather new, however, it is growing very fast. I believe UC law school has many advantages that others do not own, such as reasonable student-to-faculty ratio. Students at the College of Law benefit a lot from an intimate study environment and personal attention from faculty to establish a good relationship. Besides, staffs are also very enthusiastic to help students. My advisor is very responsible and she always gives me advice not just in my study, but also in my life. Some courses are just open to LL.M students, some you can study with other JD students, to really know American law school learning atmosphere.
法学硕士这个项目其实在美国各大高校法学院都有开设,有些学校这个项目拥有很多中国留学生。相比之下,UC法学硕士项目时间并不是很久,但是却在蓬勃发展中。因为UC法学院具有其他学校没有的优势,比如合理的师生比,学生可以和老师建立良好的关系;并且学校职工也都很热心帮助学生. 我们的导师非常负责任,不仅在学业上给我很多好的建议,在生活上也帮助我很多。除了一些课程是专业开设给LL.M学生之外,其他都是和JD学生一起上课,切实感受美国法学院学习的氛围。
 
3. How has the University of Cincinnati College of Law prepared you for your career?
Because of this degree, I am eligible to apply for Ohio state bar exam. In fact, I recently passed the Ohio Bar Exam.  Not only Ohio, students can also apply for other state bar exams (depending on the student’s background). Like I said in the previous question, the reputation of UC college of law is very good, it matters a lot. Not only in Cincinnati, but also in other big cities in Ohio. Moreover, UC college of law allows international students to choose their interested classes. Because I am interested in business law, I tried to study more related courses for my career planning. Besides, UC college of law has a lot of professional employment counseling, internship opportunities, and student organizations. They also regularly organize some activities, I can have many chances to network, which is very important for my career.
因为有了这个学位我才有资格申请Ohio州的律师考试,通过了之后可以找工作。不仅是Ohio州,学生还可以申请其他州的律师考试。法学院的名声很好,不仅在辛辛那提发展很有优势,在其他城市也是。而且,因为我本人对商法比较感兴趣,法学院允许学生选择修相关的课程,对于我以后的职业规划有很大的帮助。法学院有很多专业的就业咨询和辅导,并且定期举办一些活动,可以在找工作中帮助拓展人脉,这都是很重要的。
 
4. Why should other Chinese students consider the University of Cincinnati College of Law?
First, the law school has a lot of programs that we can participate, such as volunteers opportunities, summer internships. You can even apply for school part-time jobs as well. Second, students can choose their own courses of interest for their career planning. Finally, LL.M. students are from different countries in the world, not just from China, unlike many law schools. Therefore it is a wonderful chance to know the culture differences and make friends, also to practice their oral English and develop social skills.
其一,法学院有很多项目和学生组织可以报名参加,比如志愿者服务日,暑期项目或者实习等机会,而且可以申请在学校做一些兼职,对于以后的就业都是有很大的帮助的。其次,学生可以自己选择感兴趣的课程,选择余地大。最后,学校学生来自世界不同国家,不像其他一些学校大部分都是中国学生,有利于文化语言的交流,置身于一个全英文的环境,可以锻炼自己口语和社交能力。

Cincinnati Law Celebrates its 184th Hooding


Cincinnati Law celebrated the accomplishments of its graduates on May 13, 2017. Led by Interim Dean Verna Williams, 84 degrees were conferred, including 14 LLM degrees. Take a look at a few pictures from the ceremony and celebration.

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Cincinnati Law’s Trial Practice Team Advances to National Competition


3Ls Chris Diedling and Rob Jones took home their second win at the regional TYLA Trial Practice competition, putting them in contention for a national win.

Cincinnati, OH - Cincinnati Law’s Trial Practice Team recently competed at the regional Texas Young Lawyer’s Association competition. For the second year in a row, the team successfully advanced to the national level. Third year law students Chris Diedling and Rob Jones are headed to Fort Worth, Texas this week (March 20 – 26) to compete against 14 other regional winners.

“It should be exciting,” said Chris Diedling recently about the upcoming competition. “Last year we felt like the first win was maybe a bit of luck, but we’ve won regionals two years in a row now. We deserve to be there.”

“We’re going to do better this year,” added Rob Jones, “second time around.”

Though they seem confident, Diedling and Jones are not taking the victory for granted. Working alongside a trio of dedicated coaches and collaborative practice with the 2L trial team, they are more than prepared to take their skills to the national level. With long weekly practices, lengthy conference calls with coaches, and tiresome travelling, the entire team shows true dedication among their busy schedules and heavy course work.

“We’ve got some great coaches, Bill Markovits, Zach Schaengold, and Bill Blessings, who basically drop everything to help us do this,” said Jones. “The amount of work and preparation they put into this is mind-blowing, they really help us prepare.

“Specifically, we would do practice once a week. The last couple of weeks we ramped it up to two per week,” said Jones, “but we would also do conference calls between practices with our coaches, and those could be pretty lengthy. The 2L team—Kalisa Mora, Jefferson Kisor, and Jonathan Walker—were good. They’ve helped us immensely in preparing and bouncing ideas off of each other. Practice went for four hours. It was mind-numbing at points, and they were a good laugh. They kept it fun”

All in all, there is more to the trial practice team than tiresome competition with gruesome preparation. Students are benefiting from all of their hard work, whether they win or lose. The practical experience, according to Diedling and Jones, is one the most helpful exercises they can participate in to better their future in law.

“You can only learn so much in a classroom,” said Diedling. “We both want to go into litigation in our careers and this was a way for us to really develop those skills.”

Jones agreed. “It is the most practical thing you can do at law school, especially if you’ve got a practical setting to apply what you’ve been taught.”

About the Texas Young Lawyer’s Association National Trial Competition
Attracting nearly 140 law schools of over 1,000 law students each year, the Texas Young Lawyer’s Association National Trial Competition encourages and strengthens students' advocacy skills through quality competition and valuable interaction with members of the bench and bar. Established in 1975, the program intends to provide a meaningful contribution to the development of future trial lawyers.

Co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers, students have the opportunity to win the Kraft W. Eidman Award, consisting of $10,000 to the winning school thanks to the generous donation Fulbright & Jaworski. Beck Redden LLP presents a $5,000 award to the second place team, and each semifinalist team is awarded $1,500 by Polsinelli PC.

Author: Kyler Davis’19, communication intern

Urban Morgan Fellow Travels to the International Criminal Court


Luke Woolman became the first UC Law student to study abroad at The International Criminal Court during his externship with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights.

Cincinnati, OH – After completing four years of undergrad at Texas Christian University and commissioned as an engineer officer with ROTC, Luke Woolman embarked on a new journey with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. With a military background and an interest in international relations, Woolman set his sights on traveling to The Hague, Netherlands to work at the International Criminal Court.

“I’ve always been interested in International relations,” said Woolman, “being with the Urban Morgan Institute, they kind of had different opportunities, and they’ve never had someone go to the ICC before, so I was able to work with them and find a way to get there.”

The International Criminal Court is an intergovernmental organization located in The Netherlands. The treaty that was signed to establish the ICC is called the Rome Statute, which was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on July 17, 1998. This treaty gave the ICC jurisdiction to investigate crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in an international setting. One hundred twenty-four (124) states are currently party to the statute, however, the US formally renounced their signature on May 6, 2002.

“First of all, I was the only American on my floor. Second of all, I was the youngest person by far,” said Woolman. “The court functions in English—English and French are the main languages there—but since America isn’t a party to the ICC, they’re just less Americans there in general. Of the two people that I spent time in the office with, the two visiting professionals, one was from Canada, the other was from Australia. You get a nice mix of people to work with.”

Though Woolman may have been an outsider at the ICC, this was not his first experience studying abroad. During his time at Texas Christian University, he spent a summer working and training with the Thai army. The main challenge at the ICC, according to Woolman, was the adjustment to working with law in the international environment.

“I studied abroad in undergrad and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel, but I’ve never worked abroad,” said Woolman. “It was kind of eye opening, because in your first year of law school you learn about law in the US. The system of law, the general formatting and stuff is completely different at the ICC. It’s pretty much like learning everything all over, but most people that actually go to work at the ICC worked within their country for probably over five years as a lawyer, but it was a good experience.”

After his time spent at the ICC, Woolman is prepared to take on bigger and bolder challenges. His time dedicated to traveling abroad, along with his interest in international relations, has led him on a path toward grand opportunities. Though he doesn’t see himself working at the ICC anytime soon given the tough requirements, his future is solid as he takes on his next summer experience with the Department of Justice.

“(The ICC) is a very competitive place to get a job at. Obviously you’re competing with people all over the world, but they do expect you to at least have five to 10 years of experience in your own country before they even consider hiring you. So maybe when I get to that point I’ll think about it,” said Woolman. “This summer I’m working in DC at the Department of Justice in their criminal section, so I’m looking forward to that. I have the military too, so we’ll see what happens. I hope to probably work for the government here to some degree, ideally the DOJ or some kind of federal agency.”

About the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights
The Urban Morgan Institute has educated and trained human rights lawyers, who promote and protect human rights all over the world. Established at the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1979, the institute has become a model for other human rights programs throughout the country, based on the unique experiences students gain both inside and outside of the classroom.

Writer: Kyler Davis’19, communication intern

Emily Roberts Conducts Field Research in Durban, Africa


2L Emily Roberts reflects on her experience at the Legal Resource Center in Durban, Africa during her externship with The Urban Morgan Institute of Human Rights.

Cincinnati, OH- After their first year of law school, Urban Morgan Fellows are given the opportunity to spend their summer abroad through an externship program. Students work with international judges, human rights attorneys and organizations, governmental agencies, or U.N bodies. The externships provide invaluable hands-on training for the student and much needed assistance to the host organization. For an incoming law student planning on entering the human rights field, it is a chance to gain real-world experience, and begin making a difference before getting a degree.

This was the driving force in Emily Roberts’ decision to enroll in the College of Law, and become an Urban Morgan Institute of Human Rights fellow. As an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa, Roberts studied abroad in Botswana, Africa while obtaining her BA in International Studies and Global Health with a focus in African Studies and Human Rights. She immediately fell in love with South Africa while abroad, and knew she wanted to return. The Urban Morgan Institute was her ticket back.

“I wanted to make sure that I was able to go abroad as much as possible,” said Roberts. “If you’re admitted as a fellow, even before you start school, you’re guaranteed to go abroad after your 1L year.”

After her admittance into the program, Roberts’ dream of returning to South Africa came to fruition. Following her first year, she embarked on her externship at The Legal Resource Center in Durban, Africa. Established in 1979, the center promotes justice for marginalized populations, advocating for those suffering from discrimination regarding race, class, gender, disability, or historical circumstances.

“I was probably only at my desk in our office two out of the five days a week,” said Roberts. “The majority of the time was spent driving out to these far away farms in the middle of no where, and sitting down with these elders who could tell us the story about why the land is so important to them, and what the government is not doing to help them. That’s the type of experience I want as a career.”

Roberts enjoyed the fact that her externship was not a “typical” desk job. Much of her work involved investigating discrimination in land and housing, where she gathered data during numerous field visits. She talked directly to victims, listening first-hand to the stories of men and women who were affected by cases involving the unlawful destruction of their home and property. For Roberts, this was the exact career she hopes to one day pursue. However, her experiences came with many tough challenges and obstacles.

“One of the harder things was the language barrier,” said Roberts. “English is widely spoken, but then there’s also Zulu, which is the biggest tribal language in South Africa. When you’re out in the farms, the residents really don’t have a high level of education, so they most often don’t know English. Me and two other candidate attorneys would do the interview process; they would relay the information to me and translate it. I appreciated that they would take the time to do that.”

Conducting this field work in Durban called for very intimate and close discussion with people who have lived in these areas for generations. Roberts expressed difficulty not only by barrier of language, but also as an outsider to their culture. However, she added that the experience was humbling.

“If you are used to being the majority, go some place where you’re going to feel like the minority,” said Roberts. “Being in a completely different culture, it’s not only just that you’re white and you’re blonde and you’re a girl, but you’re obviously American. I always worry that when you go someplace, especially when you don’t look like everyone else, people are going to think that I’m sort of imposing on their life. I try to blend in as much as possible.”

Victims of Unlawful Destruction
Roberts most impactful project involved the unlawful destruction of an “informal settlement” in rural Durban. After collecting research via field visits, Roberts utilized her education to interpret the crimes against many of the victims in an international context in order to present a viable case to the Legal Resource Center.

“We were trying to bring a suit against the government, not only for damages of property destruction, but also for how it affected the kids that lived in those villages, who were sleeping or playing outside and pretty much saw their homes destroyed right in front of their eyes. I had to really use what I learned, constitutional law based on US Law, and try to apply it to a South African context.”

The service experience and knowledge Roberts gained during her three months spent in Durban will forever be cherished as she embarks on future pursuits to provide justice.

“It was amazing to see one woman who knew so much about her rights,” said Roberts. “You know, she barely knew English but she was able to articulate to me why this was so important to her. We were really thankful for being there and listening to them, because sometimes that’s really all you can do.”

About the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights
The Urban Morgan Institute has educated and trained human rights lawyers, who promote and protect human rights all over the world. Established at the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1979, the institute has become a model for other human rights programs throughout the country, based on the unique experiences students gain both inside and outside of the classroom.

Michael Briach Named 2017 Whitman Fellowship


Michael Briach became the second student selected for the 2017 Whitman Fellowship, which includes a stipend and a summer of experience in civil litigation.

Cincinnati, OH – From early on, Michael Briach knew he wanted to be a lawyer, even as a high school student in his hometown of Youngstown, OH. He centered his coursework and studies around his future aspirations. At the University of Akron, Briach studied political science and criminal justice. After graduating, he was on his way to the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law on the next step to pursue his dreams.

An active member of Moot Court and a student leader with the Honor Council, Briach has dedicated himself to gaining as much knowledge and experience as possible. It paid off when he was awarded the Whitman Fellowship in March.

“I’m extremely happy and satisfied that I was awarded the Whitman,” said Briach. “I’m excited to work with Mark Smith. Just from our short interview, we hit it off. I think it’s going to be a great experience.”

The Whitman Fellowship allows Briach to internship with attorney Mark B. Smith at his firm Mark B. Smith Co., located in Carew Tower. The firm has represented individuals, families and businesses in matters involving bodily injury, wrongful death, general negligence, malpractice, insurance disputes, products and premises liability, and aviation. Briach will work a minimum of 300 hours during the summer and will receive a stipend.

Briach is ready to take on the challenges ahead of him. During his time spent at the College of Law, he’s made sure to dedicate much of his effort in the specific fields that are important for a future in litigation. “I think I’m prepared,” he said. “I took my research and writing classes very seriously. I know that research and writing are critical to being a lawyer in general and I think that will serve me well this summer during the fellowship.”

All in all, Briach is honest in his pursuit. After years of hard work and dedication, the fellowship is simply one more step in achieving a simple goal: to become a lawyer.

“I just want to advocate for my clients, whether that be an injured client, who needs significant representation, or whether that be a business. Whoever I’m advocating for I want to be zealous in my representation, fight hard for my clients, and just really enjoy being a lawyer.”

About the Whitman Fellowship
Through the generous support of Bruce B. & Ginny Conlan Whitman, the College of Law awards one law student with $7,000 stipend to work for an employer that specializes in representing individual plaintiffs and their families in personal rights litigation, tort and employment law, such as those injured by the negligence of another or wrongfully terminated from employment. The recipient will work a minimum of 300 hours on substantive legal assignments under attorney supervision, supporting the employer’s work. The work includes legal research, drafting memorandum, drafting pre-trial litigation documents, filing, and observing meetings/hearings.

Writer: Kyler Davis ’19, communication intern