Alumni in Public Service - The University of Toledo

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Alumni in Public Service - The University of Toledo

Transcript Of Alumni in Public Service - The University of Toledo


FALL 2007

Alumni in Public Service
KirsLtiawTaTlriaknksacrGipat rloc1k ‘91


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2 The University of Toledo

Making a Difference
As our graduates demonstrate every day through their leadership roles in law practice, the judiciary, government service, business, law enforcement, education, the military, charitable organizations and elected office, a law degree opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities. In this issue of our magazine, we focus on a few of our many graduates who have chosen to devote their lives to national, state, and local public service. The Toledo graduates profiled protect our society at all levels of government, law enforcement and legal aid. They present heroic and inspiring examples for our students and demonstrate the ways in which a good lawyer can help make this a better and safer world.
The service at all levels of government featured in this issue represents just part of the vision of service in the public interest we share with our students. Our students actively serve the poor, battered women, the disabled and the elderly through our clinical programs and our Public Service Externship Program. Our student organizations engage in many community service activities. In February of this year, we launched a Public Service Initiative to encourage and recognize law related public interest work. Students doing law related volunteer public service are now recognized with a certificate and mentioned in the graduation bulletin. This fall, we will hold our first reception to honor their commitment. We want all of our students to understand that helping the less fortunate is a privilege, an opportunity and a necessity if we are to leave a better world for our children. The alumni featured in this issue and the thousands of other alumni who perform public service, whether governmental, nonprofit or volunteer, provide wonderful role models for our future.
Part of the life of a law school is change. This issue of the magazine includes farewells to two people who have made tremendous contributions, Professor and former Dean Phil Closius and the Eugene Balk Professor of Law and Values, David Harris. At the same time, we welcome Professors Nicole Porter, Melissa Hamilton, Rick Goheen and Jessica Knouse, new faculty members of exceptional promise who are profiled in the News section. We also congratulate Kathleen Amerkhanian, a 2004 magna cum laude graduate of the College of Law who has been named Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Administration and Communications after serving as our Director of Communications.
Finally, we celebrate in our Honor Roll of Giving the contributions of a group of people who truly make a difference to our College and our students. To our donors, a heartfelt “Thank You.” Your financial contributions open the doors of opportunity to our students, enhance their education and improve their lives. I hope that the example set by these donors will inspire others. In the coming year, we will need your help to provide scholarships, support faculty research, fund student public interest projects, support our clinic programs and student organizations, fund our Distinguished Speaker Series, and help us renovate our facility to ensure that we can continue to offer a high quality legal education to future generations. Your gifts can make a difference.
Douglas E. Ray, Dean

FALL 2007
The Toledo Transcript is published once a year by the College of Law Office of Alumni Affairs.
Dean Douglas E. Ray
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Daniel J. Steinbock
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Administration and Communications Kathleen M. Amerkhanian
Director of Law Alumni Affairs and Career Services Heather S. Karns
Director of Development Carla S. Willis
Editor and Writer Kathleen M. Amerkhanian
Contributors Meredith Byers Ann Elick
Graphic Designer Erin Lanham
Photographers Daniel Miller Hilary Schwab
Cover photo by Hilary Schwab


14 22


College of Law News


Speakers & Events


Student Spotlights


Alumni Events


Leading Questions


Cover Story


Honor Roll of Donors


Class Notes


Parting Words




Law Transcript 3


College of Law Recognizes Importance of Public Interest Law By Offering New Commendation Program

In 2007, the College of Law introduced a new program to recognize students who provide law-related volunteer services to the community.
College of Law students who volunteer 30 or more hours of their time in a semester will earn a Public Service Commendation, which can be listed on the student’s résumé. The commendation will also be listed in the Graduation Program. The program is the culmination of a growing interest among law students to participate in the public interest arena.
“This program gives us a way to recognize the many law students who

provide volunteer service to our community and a way to encourage them to learn what a difference a lawyer can make in a person’s life,” said UT College of Law Dean Douglas E. Ray, who introduced the commendation program during the Spring 2007 semester.
In the last two years, UT Law has added staff dedicated to helping students to pursue public interest careers. Jessica Mehl ‘05, career services specialist, was named the Pro Bono Coordinator and helps to coordinate the public interest commendation program under the direction of Alumni Affairs and Career Services Director Heather Karns. Law

students have formed a Public Interest Law Association, which is dedicated to expanding public interest opportunities while students are still in school. Through partnerships with public interest agencies, law students have worked on a variety of public interest initiatives – including providing support to displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina; participating in a pro se divorce project through the Toledo Bar Association where law students provide guidance to those who cannot afford to hire an attorney; and, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) project, assisting members of the community to file their tax returns.

“Through volunteer work in this program,

our students will continue to have the chance

to work with lawyers from Legal Aid for Western

Ohio (LAWO), Advocates for Basic Legal Equality

(ABLE), the Toledo Bar Association’s Pro Bono

Legal Services Program,

the Prosecutor’s Office and

many other public

service agencies. They

will have a chance to be

mentored by wonderful

Douglas E. Ray

role models.”
- Dean Douglas E. Ray

4 The University of Toledo

“Through volunteer work in this program, our students will continue to have the chance to work with lawyers from Legal Aid for Western Ohio (LAWO), Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), the Toledo Bar Association’s Pro Bono Legal Services Program, the Prosecutor’s Office and many other public service agencies,” said Ray. “They will have a chance to be mentored by wonderful role models.”
Ten law students earned the commendation certificate at the end of the Spring 2007 semester – Stacy Adkins, Meredith Goldberg, Heather Kestian, Bridget Connelly Ljungholm, Preeya Malik, Laura Monroe, Meagan Pantello, Dana Quick, Christy Prince, and Sean Reed.
Student interest has grown dramatically since February, when the availability of the program was first announced. More than 30 students have committed to a pro bono project for the 2007-2008 school year with many more indicating that they intend to commit to a project in the fall.


UT Law’s bar passage rate remained strong during the 2006-2007 school year. The results from the July 2006 Ohio Bar exam placed UT Law graduates first among Ohio’s nine law schools for first-time test takers. On the February 2007 Ohio Bar exam, UT Law graduates placed first in the
state in overall pass rate.

Daniel J. Steinbock, Harold A. Anderson Professor of Law and Values, accepted the position of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs effective January 1, 2007.
Steinbock, a faculty member since 1985, is a graduate of Yale University (BA, JD). Prior to joining the faculty, he gained diverse legal and academic experience, serving as staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society of the City of New York; executive director of Prisoners Legal Service of New York; education coordinator in Cambodian refugee camps with the International Rescue Committee; and member of the SUNY Buffalo law faculty. He has published in the fields of refugee and immigration law, criminal procedure, and evidence, and has provided commentary for national news outlets on these areas of law.

Four UT Law alumni received a national award in April for their work on the Father Gerald Robinson case, a murder case that garnered intense media attention last year. Dean Mandross ‘80, Christopher Anderson ‘80, Larry Kiroff ’83 and Brad Smith ’05 were the recipients of the National District Attorneys Association’s (NDAA) “Home Run Hitters Award” of Excellence at its Board of Directors meeting in Florida. The team of criminal prosecutors led by Mandross faced many challenges on this cold case that had been re-opened 23 years after the actual murder. For two years, they tracked down missing witnesses and retired police officers and worked on reconstructing the old crime scene. The trial lasted three weeks, included 41 witness testimonies and the introduction of more than 200 items of evidence. The jury deliberated for six hours before finding Reverend Gerald Robinson guilty of the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

“Professor Dan Steinbock is a highly regarded teacher and scholar,” said Dean Douglas Ray. “His expertise, his wisdom
and his commitment to our students will be an asset and I am confident that his leadership in this role will help make this a stronger law school. I’m happy to be working with him.”

Steinbock has enjoyed

his new role. “In the brief

Daniel J. Steinbock

time I have been in this

position, I have been

very impressed by the

professionalism and competence of the

College of Law administrative staff,” said

Steinbock. “I look forward to continuing

to work with them.”

Law Transcript 5

Extensive Renovation
Extensive renovations took place this year and changes continue to occur throughout the College of Law building. The Legal Clinic, the Alumni Affairs and Career Services Office (now called the Office of Professional Development), and the LaValley Law Library were modernized, and in some cases, expanded.
The Legal Clinic now boasts a conference room, client interview rooms, sleek student workspace and open faculty stations. The design reflects the mission of the Legal Clinic to give students plenty of opportunities to interact with one another and with faculty while gaining hands-on experience representing clients.
The Office of Professional Development, which encompasses Career Services and Alumni Affairs, also received an update to go along with its updated mission – to serve both law students and alumni in their professional development and to connect current law students with practicing alumni. The office space now has a conference room, an interview room, and expanded office space for its expanded staff.
The LaValley Law Library received a multimedia facelift with LCD TV screens tuned in to informational channels, a listing of speakers and events at the law school and points of pride. The circulation desk also received an update, just in time for longtime library administrator Colleen Adler to enjoy for a few months before her retirement.
6 The University of Toledo

COLLEGE OF LAW NEWS Law Transcript 7



Through a collaboration between the

College of Law and UT’s Department

of Undergraduate Legal Specialties, a

program to provide mediation services

to the campus community was launched

during the Spring semester. The goal

of Campus Mediation Services is to

offer a method of conflict resolution

that is safe, efficient, and confidential.

Mediators are available to help members

of the UT community address a variety

of conflicts; including roommate, hous-

ing, neighborhood, personal or organi-

zational disputes. The mediation process

provides participants

with the opportunity to

explore conflict reso-

lution methods that

address the interests

of all parties involved,

according to Maara

Fink, clinical faculty

member who helped

establish the program

and director of the Dis-

pute Resolution Clinics

Maara Fink

at the College of Law.

Students from the UT

Law Advanced Dispute Resolution Clinic,

who have undergone the required train-

ing from the Supreme Court of Ohio and

gained experience in other mediation

settings, served as mediators during the

inaugural semester. Mediators from the

Department of Undergraduate Legal

Specialties will begin providing media-

tion services in the Fall of 2007.

8 The University of Toledo

Students in the College of Law Legal Clinic’s Safe School Project, under the supervision of Rob Salem (above right), clinical faculty member, created an anti-bullying training curriculum for school teachers and staff in the Toledo area. In collaboration with activists, teachers, social workers and other University departments, College of Law Legal Clinic students trained 160 teachers and staff at Toledo’s largest high school in September. The feedback from the participants was positive. Many teachers stated that they now had a better understanding of students’ rights and their own power to address incidents of bullying. Clinic students will be conducting more training sessions in the Toledo area, as well as representing students in discrimination and harassment claims. Dispute Resolution students will also offer mediation services to schools in an effort to prevent litigation based on bullying allegations.
UT Law continues to draw from a diverse base of geographic areas. As of May 2007, UT Law students come from 239 undergraduate institutions, 41 states and
six foreign countries.


College of Law Domestic Violence Clinic receives federal grant of nearly $200,000

In 2005, 30 percent of homicides in Lucas County resulted from domestic violence. All of the homicides in Wood County were related to domestic violence.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur visited the College of Law in early Fall 2006 to announce the award of a federal grant that will enable the College of Law to devote more resources to reducing the high rate of domestic violence deaths in the region. Under the direction of Gabrielle Davis, principal investigator and member of the College of Law clinical faculty, close to a dozen law students are working to support a community-wide effort to identify trends and risk factors related to domestic violence fatalities and look for practical, realistic solutions to the problem.
“We believe that many domestic violence fatalities could have been avoided and many, many more such deaths can be prevented in the future,” said Davis.
The grant of $197,446 was awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice. Rep. Kaptur, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, included the funding in the Justice Department’s Fiscal Year 2006 appropriations bill.
Rep. Kaptur praised the College of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic as well as the many community agencies that work tirelessly to educate the public on resources available for those who need help. She encouraged the media to participate in educating the public as well “so that no person in our community lives in fear.”
The College of Law’s engagement in the community is a reflection of the University’s commitment to public service, said College of Law Dean Douglas Ray.

The dedication to finding solutions to this societal problem fits in with the overall mission of the University “to improve the human condition,” said UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs also highlighted the University Medical Center’s “24/7”availability to those seeking help.
Davis observed that domestic violence homicides are not isolated incidents but reverberate throughout a community. Many homicide victims leave behind a family, often with small children. A victim’s life has touched other lives through work, school, leisure activities, and community interests. “For every one fatality, there are dozens left to grieve,” Davis noted.
Davis chairs the Lucas County Domestic Violence Task Force Fatality Review Committee, which is conducting the study with support from the College of Law. The committee, formed in 2005, is comprised of representatives from the Toledo Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter, Lucas County Domestic Relations Court, Family

Services of NW Ohio, The University of Toledo Department of Social Work, Mercy College, in addition to UT Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic.
Davis recognized representatives from the various community agencies who attended the press conference and also thanked Dean Ray and former Deans Phillip Closius and Beth Eisler for supporting the work of the Domestic Violence Clinic.
The study began in January 2007 and will culminate with the presentation of a comprehensive report and policy recommendations to the Lucas County Board of Commissioners and Toledo City Council in December 2007.
Also speaking at the press conference was Lucas County Commission President Tina Skeldon Wozniak, who has been active in efforts to raise community awareness of domestic violence.
“This law school’s leadership and this University’s leadership on these issues are critical,” she said.

“We believe that many domestic violence fatalities could have been avoided and many, many more such deaths can be prevented in the future.”
- Gabrielle Davis Director, Domestic Violence Clinic

Gabrielle Davis

Law Transcript 9


Rick Goheen joined the College of Law in March as Director of the Law Library and Assistant Professor of Law. He previously served as Associate Director of the Law Library at St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis. Goheen, who once worked in the College of Law’s library as a UT undergraduate, earned his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati Law School and an M.L.S. from the University of Kentucky.
Assistant Professor Melissa Hamilton, who recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas, is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where she was Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review. She practiced law with Jones Day, clerked with Judge Sam Johnson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and served as corporate counsel. She will be teaching Criminal Procedure, Sentencing, and Criminal Law.
Assistant Professor Jessica Knouse, earned her LL.M. degree at Yale Law School. Valedictorian of her class at Albany Law School, she clerked on the Maine Supreme Court. She will be teaching Con Law I, Family Law, and Sexuality and the Law.
Associate Professor Nicole Porter, most recently a member of the St. Louis University School of Law faculty, is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform. After law school she clerked for Judge James L. Ryan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She then practiced law with the Butzel Long law firm and with a corporation in the Detroit area. She will be teaching Contracts, Employment Discrimination, Criminal Law, and Disability Law.
10 The University of Toledo

Law students from across the region visited The University of Toledo College of Law in October to test their “out of courtroom” skills in an American Bar Association regional arbitration competition. The event was facilitated by Ben Davis, associate professor of law, who worked for 14 years in Paris, France as legal counsel of the International Court of Arbitration and Director of the International Chamber of Commerce. Arbitration is one of the most commonly used methods of resolving conflict outside of the courtroom, says Davis, and the ABA arbitration competition gave students the chance to develop their skills in this arena, including a UT Law team coached by Professor Bob Hopperton and Associate Professor Robin Kennedy. Toledo area judges and attorneys volunteered their time to act as judges in the competition.

Harris Steinbock Slater

College of law faculty members continued to lend their expertise to members of the local, national and international media.
Professor David Harris was interviewed for his criminal justice expertise and was quoted in the Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and also appeared on MSNBC; Associate Dean and Professor Daniel Steinbock was heard on CBC radio. Faculty work has also been featured in esteemed academic journals. A favorable review of Professor Joseph Slater’s most recent book appeared in American Historical Review, one of the top history journals in the United States.
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