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LLI News

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LLI's Program Director Gives Back to Organization Through Fitness Events

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:29pm
Law and Leadership Institute's Rachel Wilson with Bend Active Class

This year, LLI Program Director, Rachel Wilson, found a philanthropic way to merge her interest in fitness and her support for LLI.   Rachel holds monthly fitness fundraisers at Bend Active, a local fitness apparel company located on Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington.

The classes are taught by Rachel or instructors that she has trained (in barre fitness), and all donations go directly to LLI.  Bend Active contributes to this effort not only by hosting the events, but also by donating 10% of all purchases made on the days that these events occur, directly to LLI.   For more information about these events, and Bend Active, click here.  Thanks Rachel and Bend Active!

Meet Hailey Joy Ridenour: Member of the LLI Class of 2019

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:27pm
  • Law and Leadership Institute Class of 2019 by Race/Ethnicity
  • Law and Leadership Institute Class of 2019 by Site

This summer, LLI welcomed 123 new students from around the state. LLI’s incoming freshmen were chosen out of the more than 160 applicants to the program based on their academic and professional skills. The above graphs present a break-down of the diverse class by site as well as race and ethnicity.

One member of the Class of 2019 is Hailey Joy Ridenour from LLI’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Hailey recently graduated from the 8th grade at The Intergenerational School in Cleveland, and this fall, Hailey will be attending the John Hay School of Science and Medicine.
Hailey enjoys participating in track and cross-country. Her interests include writing fictional stories and poems, spending time with her family – especially family movie nights and dinners, dancing, and traveling.
Hailey joined LLI because “I knew it was going to help me with character building and give me a head-start on my career after college – forensic science or criminal justice.” Experiencing what it’s like to be a law student and her hands-on instructors are among the things she enjoys about LLI.
Hailey has been an all-star student at LLI from Day 1. Her eagerness to learn, willingness to participate, and consistently positive attitude have shined through all summer. Ultimately, Hailey hopes to attend a historically black university such as Florida A & M University or Tuskegee University. With her drive, eagerness, and optimism, we have no doubt she will succeed at these universities and beyond. 

LLI Board of Directors Welcomes Newest Member

By Heather Creed on September 16, 2015 - 2:24pm
F. Daniel Balmert, Law and Leadership Institute Board of Directors Member

LLI is proud to announce the newest member to its leadership: F. Daniel Balmert, managing partner of the Akron office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP. Mr. Balmert has nearly 30 years of experience and practices in the areas of general, commercial and product litigation, employment law and workers’ compensation.

Mr. Blamert served as the managing partner of the Vorys’ Cleveland office from 1983-2004. He was responsible for opening the firm’s Akron office in 2004 and has served as managing partner since its opening. Mr. Balmert has served as the past President of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys as well as served on the Advisory Committee to the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio where he has served as an Emeritus Member since 2008. 

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.


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