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  • 04 Apr 2013 3:06 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    The Ohio Supreme Court appointed actuary Sally W. Cuni as the first woman and first non-lawyer to head the Clients’ Security Fund Board of Commissioners. The board is an agency of the state’s Supreme Court that compensates clients of dishonest attorneys when a theft has occurred or when an attorney dies before he or she is able to complete the required work. Read more
  • 21 Mar 2013 10:08 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke to members and guests of the Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Legacy Foundation about civic discourse through education at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center on March 19. Read more.
  • 20 Mar 2013 1:39 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Below is the from the Ohio Women's Bar Association Network Newsletter, President's Message by Michelle Proia Roe. It appeared in the Winter 2013 issue.

    Recently, Ohio admitted new attorneys into our profession. Almost 18 years ago, I remember being in the same seat, very uncertain about my future prospects. I sat for two bar exams in an attempt to increase my job chances. While most of my classmates at Pitt Law School finished up with Day 2 (and the final day) of their Pennsylvania Bar Exam, I headed with two classmates to New Jersey to sit for a third day for the New Jersey Bar Exam.

    I worked two jobs after graduating from law school while I was waiting for my bar exam results. During the day, I handled wire transfers at Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh. I’d transfer huge sums of money internationally for lucrative bank customers. My 8-5 job would end, and then I’d race by foot across town to work my evening job starting at 5:30 p.m. I worked at Macy’s at night and collected on past due accounts. My shift would end at 9 p.m. and again I would rush to take the bus back to my apartment for an hour long, stop-and-go ride home. I could not afford my own car yet. Macy’s was also my weekend job, as I worked seven days a week.

    I remember sitting in my apartment often worried about how I was going to pay next month’s rent. I was debating about whether I should move back to my hometown in upstate New York, and I know my parents were probably growing quite anxious with my situation. I always tried to hide my fear when I spoke with them. No one was really interested in interviewing you for a real legal job unless and until you passed the bar. When I ripped open that envelope from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in late November, I was so happy to get the good news.

    Unfortunately, many firms were not hiring over the holiday season, but interviews picked up a bit in January. Attorney Fred Mercer gave me a chance and hired me as a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer in his small office, and I was proud even though I made far less as a new attorney than our office secretary. I worked until at least 8 p.m. every week night and showed up to the office every Saturday so Fred and I could review case updates from the week. I was still relying on the city bus system, and I just dreaded snowstorms since that meant I could be waiting at least two hours for a bus to appear. That job gave me client contact and put me in court almost every day of the week, which I now know was priceless.

    I was offered an opportunity to go in-house only a few years out of school after I decided to speak with a recruiter. Being a business lawyer was my dream. The position was in Wheeling, West Virginia, which meant a 90-minute commute each way on a good traffic day from my Pittsburgh apartment. Luckily, I was able to afford a used car by then. I took the job, even though they would only initially hire me as a temporary attorney on a three-month probationary period. I would not have benefits, and I would not be guaranteed a permanent position. I trusted my gut, accepted the challenge and transformed into a corporate lawyer.

    My struggles did not end then, nor do I expect them to completely dissipate during the remainder of my career. I am where I am today not in spite of what I went through, but because of what I went through. I worked hard and always did more than what was expected of me. I believed in myself and, when I started to doubt, I relied on the love of my family to get me through. The same stands true today.
  • 18 Mar 2013 8:36 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Among old adages about lawyers, one often heard is that those who would represent themselves have a fool for a client. And, on a related note, there’s a common view that lawyers should not serve on boards of directors--lest they run into conflicts about making strategic decisions versus giving legal advice. Read more
  • 14 Mar 2013 2:10 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    The Ohio Women's Bar Foundation is now accepting applications for the Leadership Institute. The Deadline is April 15, 2013.

    The Leadership Institute is a program of the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation. It was created by top women leaders in Ohio to assist women lawyers in developing their leadership skills. The Leadership Institute is very proud of the notable women leaders serving on our Advisory Committee.

    Why a Leadership Institute for Women?
    Oftentimes, law firms and corporations do not invest money in leadership training for attorneys. Even if the firm or corporation does provide leadership training, such training is unlikely to focus on the particular challenges that women face on their career path. The Leadership Institute is designed to lend a hand and to help women who are emerging leaders with practical knowledge and strategies on business development so as to attain significant leadership roles.

    Our Mission
    The mission of the Leadership Institute is to advance inclusiveness within the legal profession and supplement the professional skills of women lawyers by enhancing their leadership, business development, and communication skills for the benefit of the diverse communities in which they work, live, and serve.

    The Program
    You will receive betw
    een 20-24 hours of CLE credit (pending). All sessions are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be held in Central Ohio. For the convenience of those applying, below are the dates of the sessions. Candidates are required to attend all sessions. Click here for an application.

    Session 1: Rainmaking and Practical Business Development Strategies
    September 19-20, 2013
    Hilton Columbus/Polaris
    (Includes an afternoon ice breaker, evening dinner and lodging if needed on Sept. 19 and a full day session on Sept. 20)

    Session 2: Executive Coaching, Branding and Career Strategy
    October 17, 2013

    Session 3: Public Speaking
    November 21, 2013

    Session 4: Effective Communication
    January 16, 2014

    Session 5: Social Media
    February 20, 2014

    Session 6: Effective Leadership
    March 20, 2014

    Graduation: May 22, 2014

    Cost: $1,250
    Class size: 14-17 members
    Requirements: 5+ years in practice and OWBA member
    Application deadline: April 15, 2013

  • 28 Feb 2013 8:05 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Governor John Kasich today appointed former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Joan Synenberg to the same court. Synenberg replaces Eileen T. Gallagher, who was elected to the Eighth District Court of Appeals in November. Read more
  • 12 Feb 2013 10:14 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    The firm is pleased to announce that it has elected Patricia A. Gajda, Chair of the Business, Corporate & Securities practice group, to the Executive Committee of the firm. Pat is the first female partner to be elected to Brouse McDowell’s Executive Committee. She focuses her practice on corporate transactions, joint ventures, general corporate counseling and securities. Pat has negotiated complex, multi-entity joint ventures and acquisitions, and also advises clients on a variety of general corporate issues and agreements. She has advised and consulted with both privately-held and publicly-traded clients. In addition to chairing the Business, Corporate & Securities practice group, Pat also led the Associate and Paralegal Review Committee of the Firm until 2013.  Pat is a member of the Class of 2011-2012 Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation Leadership Institute, and an active member of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association.  She was a 2006 recipient of the Women of Professional Excellence recognition of the YWCA.  Pat is a mentor for the Ohio Supreme Court's Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program.  She served as a Trustee for Art Therapy Studio from 1997 to 2011, and as a Trustee with Youth Challenge. She is a former member of the Case Western Reserve School of Law Alumni Board of Directors.  Pat is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan, Ohio State and American Bar Associations. Pat graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, in 1990 and from John Carroll University, B.S.B.A., magna cum laude, in 1987.

  • 11 Jan 2013 1:07 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Are you interested in serving on the board of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association and/or the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation? Below you will find a link that contains a letter from the OWBA Nominating Chair, Jennifer Rhoads; a brief description of the OWBA and OWBF; a list of open positions with job descriptions and an application. The deadline is January 27, 2013. Questions? Call the Ohio Women’s Bar Association at (866) 932-6922.

    OWBA Board Application
    OWBF Board Application
  • 04 Jan 2013 8:24 AM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    The New Year has resulted in a lot of new faces on the bench in Ohio. Of the 724 judgeships in the state, 37 posts have a new judge behind the bench with the majority of those filled by attorneys who have never been judges. Read more.
  • 03 Jan 2013 3:38 PM | Kim Fantaci (Administrator)
    Margaret Chase Smith (R-Maine) starts her tenure in the Senate, where she stays in office until 1973; the first woman to serve in both the House and Senate as she previously served in the House (R-Maine, 1940-1949). To read more about Margaret Chase Smith click here.

Ohio Women's Bar Association | 136 South Keowee Street | Dayton, Ohio 45402 | Phone (866) 932-6922 | Email

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