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LLI's Juniors and Seniors Spend Summer Exploring Their Higher Education Options

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:22pm
  • Akron 11th and 12th Graders on a College Visit
  • Toledo 11th and 12th Graders on a College Visit
LLI 11th and 12th grade students spend their time focusing on exploring college options and determining what might be the best fit for them.  To help get a sense of the strengths of different types of schools, students visit three college campuses during each of their final two summers with LLI.  This summer, schools visited included Butler University, IUPUI, Bowling Green State University, Findlay University, Indiana University, Baldwin Wallace, Ohio Wesleyan, Miami University, the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati, and Case Western.
 
The goal of the tours is not to persuade students to attend any particular university but to help students understand how size, location, resources, etc. can impact the college experience.  Lydia Hargrove & Kellan Robinson, LLI Cincinnati students said of their college visits, "Our college tours at Butler and IUPUI showed us how important it is to choose a school that is the right fit for each individual. Both colleges offered unique study abroad programs that emphasized worldly thinking, enhancing our college experience." 
 

LLI Recognizes Carl Smallwood for His Service

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:18pm
Carl Smallwood – who has been instrumental in the creation and success of the Law and Leadership Institute (LLI) – was recently named an Emeritus member of the LLI Board of Directors.  Carl, who is a partner in the Columbus office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP, was LLI’s founding board president and served two successful terms in the position.  Members of the board credit Carl with providing invaluable leadership and direction in the infancy of the organization. 

“It’s impossible to overestimate the amount of impact that Carl has had on the Institute,” said Steve Jemison, LLI’s chief executive officer and board president.  “He is the force behind everything that we have been able to accomplish.  His service is beyond extraordinary.  He really is one of my heroes.”  
 
Carl led a team of volunteers after LLI launched in 2008.  He oversaw the successful hiring of the first executive director as well as identified physical space in which the institute could operate.  He also helped secure vital early funding.  The board instituted emeritus board members to acknowledge “extraordinary support of the institute’s mission.”  Carl is the second emeritus member, and we are unable to think of a better fit. 
 

LLI Cincinnati Students Benefit Greatly From Procter & Gamble Partnership

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:17pm
The 2015 LLI Cincinnati freshman and sophomore year classes got a window into in-house legal practice at one of the largest and most iconic businesses in Cincinnati – Procter & Gamble.  P&G’s Legal Division collaborated with LLI to provide a half day program for the freshman class.  The students toured P&G’s archives covering over 175 years of corporate history, learned about the numerous legal specialists who help bring a P&G product to market, and saw first-hand some of P&G’s philanthropic efforts provided by the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program.  While the legal staff provided lunch and presentations, the freshman class provided an abundance of energy and interesting questions about how P&G Legal Division’s globally integrated practice helps improve consumers’ lives worldwide.
 
Two LLI sophomore students, Hawa Gai and Kevan Ridley, lent their talents to the P&G Legal Division for a whirlwind week-long internship.  The interns saw the day-to-day to life of an in-house lawyer and learned it is full of creativity and chances to work closely with many different business professionals.  They were surprised to find much more than the briefs and caselaw they expected.  After getting primers in advertising, patent, trademark, digital, and product liability law from legal specialists, the interns applied their new skills to real business problems like the ones the P&G Legal Division tackles every day.  The LLI interns brought fantastic attitudes, a tremendous work ethic, and a great sense of humor to work well within the legal team.  P&G Legal Division is proud of another successful year contributing to LLI’s mission of showing promising students the real life practice of law on an international corporate scale.
 

LLI 9th Graders Close Summer Institute With Special Mock Trial Showcase

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:15pm
  • LLI Akron
  • LLI Columbus
  • LLI Toledo
  • LLI Dayton
  • LLI's 2015 9th Graders
  • LLI Cincinnati
  • LLI Cleveland

The 2015 LLI Summer Institute wrapped up with a 9th grade mock trial showcase held at the Ohio Statehouse.  After trying the case of State of Ohio vs. Trilby Van Acker in their home cities, the students brought their talents on the road to Columbus on July 31. The event was the first of its kind for LLI and was designed to build comradery and build on the skills incoming freshman developed during the Summer Institute.

Each site had two teams that competed in a morning and an afternoon round. After only five weeks in the program, the students demonstrated their critical thinking and public speaking skills before volunteer judges. A summer associate from Baker Hostetler who judged said, “It was a great event! We were really impressed by the students. They were very prepared and did a great job. Thank you so much for having us.”

A special thank you to all of the volunteer judges: Elizabeth Cary, Lisa Burleson, Nicole Fraser, Peter Bozzo, William Marks, Jordan Wish, Megan Kleinman, Lindsay Ford Ellis, Lisa Eschleman, Josiah Wilkinson, Martina Ellerbe, Jessica Greenberg, Suzanne Firestone and Caitlyn Smith as well as the Supreme Court, who hosted the group for lunch, and the Ohio Statehouse for helping to make this event a special end to the summer! 

OWU Commits to Provide Scholarships to Qualifying LLI Grads

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:01pm
The Law and Leadership Institute is excited to announce that Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) has committed to offering scholarships to two qualifying students from each LLI city for a total of up to twelve scholarships starting with the high school class of 2016.  These scholarships will cover any remaining need after federally guaranteed loans and work study are awarded to cover tuition and room and board.  Only LLI graduates qualify for this amazing opportunity.  Steve Jemison, LLI Board President and CEO, said about the scholarships, "At LLI, our goal is to prepare underserved students for college and beyond.  This wonderful gift, from such a prestigious university, opens the door for students to achieve that goal.  To say we are grateful is an understatement!"
 
"We look forward to our partnership with LLI, as we strive to attract the best, most diverse student body and prepare the most talented graduates for leadership in the future," said Susan Dileno, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Ohio Wesleyan University.
 
The opportunity to apply for these scholarships will be announced to LLI students during the Academic Year Kick-Off session on September 19.
 

LLI Staff to Meet in Columbus for 2015 Leadership Training

By Heather Creed on June 5, 2015 - 12:47pm
The 2015 LLI Summer Institutes are fast approaching, but before we welcome our 375 new and returning LLI students back to our eight sites around the state, we will welcome our new instructors and staff to the LLI Team.  June 8-10, approximately 65 law student instructors, public educators, and site administrators will convene in Columbus to prepare for the coming summer and academic year.  Held at the Embassy Suites in Dublin, the three days will in effect be a mini-bootcamp for becoming effective teachers.
 
The local Site Administrators and Central Office staff interviewed many candidates in an effort to find the best classroom leaders.  A former teacher, Heather Creed, Executive Director of LLI said, “As part of the interview process, candidates had to deliver a mock lesson as we acted like high school students.  The care the candidates put into thinking through how to break down concepts in a way that would be interesting and engaging to our students tells me we have a great group of instructors.  The training is now our opportunity to give them the vision of what LLI hopes to accomplish, build community among the staff, and equip them for a successful experience in the classroom.”
 
“Our Leadership Training provides a tremendous opportunity for our instructors to grapple with concepts from the curriculum, design lesson plans, and collaborate with peers throughout the state, in an effort to ensure that LLI students are challenged and engaged during the Summer Institute,” said Rachel Wilson, LLI Program Director.  In addition to learning about creating lesson plans, instructors will be taught about assessing students for understanding, classroom management, cultural competency, and best practices for working with minors.
 
LLI instructors and staff are key to the success of the program.  With this training under their belts, they will be prepared to make a meaningful difference in the lives of LLI students.
 

LLI Welcomes Three New Board Members

By Heather Creed on June 5, 2015 - 12:40pm
The LLI Board of Directors is honored with the addition of three outstanding new trustees: Merle F. Wilberding, Judge Michael J. Newman, and Robert J. Weiler, Sr.
 
Mr. Wilberding is a member of the law firm Coolidge Wall Co., LPA.  He has practiced more than 35 years advising clients in all areas of business planning and served as the chair of the firm’s tax department.  He has also served as Chairman and General Counsel for the Greater Dayton Foreign Trade Zone, Inc.  He has authored numerous publications in national law reviews and business media.  Merle has too many professional honors to list but include Ohio Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. He has also been a stalwart volunteer in the Dayton community and beyond, supporting the University of Dayton School of Law, Wright State University, the University of Notre Dame, and the Dayton Opera, to name just a few.
 
Judge Newman serves as Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court in Dayton.   Judge Newman was previously a partner in the Cincinnati office of Dinsmore & Shohl.  There, he chaired the firm’s labor and employment appellate practice group and served on the firm’s diversity committee.  He has been named both an Oho Super Lawyer and one of the Best Lawyers in America in Labor & Employment Law.  He has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton School of Law.  While he has many more credits, suffice to say that Judge Newman is enthusiastically devoted to improving both his chosen profession and our communities.
 
Robert Weiler is another accomplished lawyer, real estate developer, and committed community supporter/volunteer.  He serves as Chairman of the Board for The Robert Weiler Company, a developer of subdivisions, apartments, offices, and industrial complexes in central Ohio.  Bob is the past president of the Columbus Board of Realtors and served as a director of the National Association of Realtors.  In the community, he has served as president of the Columbus Board of Education, chaired the community campaign for United Way of Central Ohio, and also served as a board member, trustee, or director for many organizations, including Capital University, the Center of Science and Industry, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Pilot Dogs, Inc., and the Columbus Metropolitan YMCA.  He has also served as the founder and president of the board of I Know I Can, a college access program for students in the Columbus City School District.
 

Legal Employers to Provide 10th Grade Summer Internships

By Heather Creed on June 5, 2015 - 12:38pm

The summer internship program is fundamental to LLI’s success because it affords rising sophomores with real experience in the world of law.  The internship lasts four full days and provides students with an introduction to the professional setting.  Additionally, the internship allows the students to interact with lawyers by tackling legal problems and projects and by receiving feedback from supervising lawyers.  The hosts have been instrumental to the success of LLI by helping students improve their reading, writing, oral communication, and analytical skills.

Last year, over 80 different firms, governmental agencies, and organizations throughout Ohio participated in the LLI summer internship program.  Each host provides the students with a “learning by doing” experience for which the students receive a stipend.  LLI has been extremely fortunate to have hosts that are committed to the success of its interns.  In fact, many hosts often agree to have as many as three interns at their offices each summer in order to provide more students with exposure to the legal profession. 

“The natural concerns of inconvenience and distraction  of hosting summer interns always melt away upon meeting eager, intelligent and prepared LLI students.  It’s exciting to have them and to see the potential they have to make the world a better place, and the potential we have to help them along in their journey.  The students inevitably renew our faith in the future of our country and our profession,” said Stuart Cubbon of Cubbon & Associates in Toledo.

A summer internship is the “prize” offered to students who put in the time and effort to complete the eighth grade program.  However, the most important result of the internship program is that it encourages students to believe that, one day, they too can succeed in a  professional environment – most notably, as active and engaged lawyers!

LLI Represented at Collegiate Mock Trial Tournaments

By Heather Creed on June 5, 2015 - 12:37pm
During the weekend of April 17 – 19, 2015, hundreds of undergraduate students from across the country descended upon Cincinnati, with opening statements and witness testimony on their minds.  The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) National Championship competition was held at the University of Cincinnati, bringing together some of the best undergraduate mock trial teams in the nation to compete – with the goal of fostering the development of undergraduate students in the areas of leadership, public speaking, rhetoric, and persuasion through a legal forum.  
 
In light of the similar ethos to the Law & Leadership Institute, it should not be surprising that an LLI alumnus, a former LLI instructor, and an LLI staff member were all involved in AMTA tournaments leading to the National Championship competition, albeit in different capacities. Imokhai Okolo, a former Akron LLI student, competed as part of Miami University’s Mock Trial team, which earned third place in its division.   “I was definitely introduced to mock trial through LLI and it’s one of my passions,” Okolo said. “Miami University is definitely a premier school for mock trial and it’s been a great experience.”  
 
A former instructor for Cincinnati LLI, Austin LiPuma, now coaches University of Cincinnati’s Mock Trial Team A, which received honorable mention in its division.  LiPuma is passionate about mock trial, and has been involved with it since he competed as an undergraduate himself.  Now a rising third-year law student at University of Cincinnati College of Law, LiPuma coaches to pay it forward – noting that mock trial was such an instrumental part of his decision to pursue law, he wanted to give back to like-minded students:  “I noticed early on in teaching my 12th grade LLI class that my experience coaching mock trial molded my teaching style; and my experience teaching LLI has helped me be a better coach.”  
 
Finally, in addition to her role as Executive Director of LLI, Heather Creed served on the Board of Directors of AMTA for several years and continues to volunteer her time running Regional competitions.  “It was so rewarding to see different parts of the LLI community connect through undergraduate mock trial.  Coaching and serving as a Board member for AMTA has been an important part of my professional life, and I am glad to see it becoming an important part of our graduates’ and instructors’ lives, too,” Creed said.
 
The Law & Leadership Institute continues to host mock trial competitions each year as part of its curriculum, and encourages participation in similar programs, such as the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s We the People and Mock Trial competitions.
 

United States District Court Supports LLI

By Heather Creed on June 5, 2015 - 12:35pm
by Hon. Michael J. Newman
U.S. Magistrate Judge – Dayton Federal Courthouse
LLI Board Member
 
United States District Judges and Magistrate Judges in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio are proud to support the Law and Leadership Institute and LLI students. 
 
For a number of years, the Court has made a financial contribution to LLI. The Court is proud that its financial support has been used by LLI to create the Holschuh Fellows Program in honor of Judge John D. Holschuh, Sr.  The law student instructors who are designated as Holschuh Fellows embody the leadership, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law that were so important to Judge Holschuh. 
 
In addition to the Court’s financial support of LLI, individual judges in the three seats of Court (Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton) have hosted LLI students in their respective chambers over the summer months.  
 
For the past three years, I have had multiple LLI students spend part of the summer with me.  I have found it is a rewarding experience not only for the students, but for me as well.  The students watch court proceedings and, when a hearing is over, we spend time talking about what they have witnessed and why I ruled as I did.  The students and I also spend significant time discussing the importance of higher education and the need to attend college or other training in the field of their choosing.  We speak about mentoring and how to find a trusted mentor.  I offer to help the students, even after they finish LLI and graduate from high school.
 
We also talk about our backgrounds and life experiences.  I tell them why I was drawn to the law, and why I wanted to become a judge.  We discuss the important of fairness and justice, and how hard lawyers and judges work every day to be fair and just.
 
Not all LLI students will attend law school, of course, but some will.  Nonetheless, in my view, all LLI students benefit from the time they spend in our Court watching hearings and trials, meeting and talking with judges, and learning about the process of deciding civil and criminal cases.
 
I am honored both to play a small role in the success of the LLI students from Dayton and to serve on LLI’s board of directors.  I am proud that our Court wants all LLI students to flourish, and that the judges here work to ensure each student’s individual success. 
 

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