College of Law

Law Administration

Benjamin Barros D. Benjamin Barros

Dean and Professor of Law
LC 2000A
Barros Faculty Profile

D. Benjamin Barros joined the College of Law as dean in July 2015. He teaches and writes in the areas of property law and theory, regulatory takings, property law reform, and the philosophy of science. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Law, Property, and Society, and in 2015, he released a casebook on property law with Aspen/Wolters Kluwer. Dean Barros was one of the youngest educators to serve on the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and has served as chair of the AALS Property Section as well as president of the Association for Law, Property, and Society.

Previously the associate dean of academic affairs and professor of law at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa., Dean Barros practiced as a litigator before teaching. Immediately after graduating from law school, Barros clerked for Judge Milton Pollack of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He then worked at the law firms of Latham & Watkins LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton, both in New York City.

Dean Barros graduated from Fordham University School of Law (1996), where he was an editorial board member on the Fordham Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Colgate University (1991) and a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Maryland (2013).

Rebecca Zietlow Rebecca E. Zietlow

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Distinguished University Professor
Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values
LC 2000C
Zietlow Faculty Profile

Rebecca Zietlow joined the College of Law faculty in 1995. She currently serves as Distinguished University Professor and the Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values. At Toledo Law, she teaches in the areas of constitutional law, federal courts, and constitutional litigation.

Associate Dean Zietlow is a leading expert on constitutional theory, examining constitutional interpretation outside of the courts. She is an acclaimed author with books that span the intersection of law and history. Zietlow is among a small group of scholars who study the congressional interpretation of the Constitution. Her scholarly interest is in the Reconstruction Era, including the meaning and history of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Before entering law teaching, Zietlow clerked for Judge John F. Grady of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and worked as a legal services attorney in Chicago. She earned her B.A. in political science, summa cum laude, from Barnard College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Kelly Tomlinson Kelly Tomlinson

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
LC 2000E

Kelly Tomlinson helps coordinate a variety of services and programs to enrich the overall experience of Toledo Law students and to support their academic, professional, and personal development. Her portfolio includes student organizations, character and fitness disclosures, and student well-being. She also serves as the advisor to the Student Bar Association.

Assistant Dean Tomlinson was previously the director of the Office of Professional Development at the College of Law, where she worked with law students and graduates on career development for the legal profession. Before joining OPD, she was a visiting assistant clinical professor in Toledo Law's Domestic Violence Clinic and an associate at a private law firm in Toledo with a focus on litigation defense and workers' compensation.

Tomlinson earned her B.A. with high distinction in communication arts from Ohio Northern University and her J.D. magna cum laude from Toledo Law. She is admitted to practice law in Ohio and the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

Robert S. Salem Robert S. Salem

Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Clinical Professor of Law
LC 1035H
Salem Faculty Profile

Robert Salem joined the College of Law faculty in 1994. He is also a Toledo Law alumnus. Professor Salem teaches clinical courses that provide students with skills necessary to successfully practice law while advancing the law school’s social justice mission. Under his supervision, law students represent disadvantaged clients throughout Ohio in a variety of legal matters, including family law, political asylum, probate, domestic violence, civil rights, consumer protection, housing, and non-profit law.

Salem also works with students on policy and law reform projects locally and statewide. The projects have addressed issues such as bullying prevention, prisoner re-entry, elder law, LGBTQ rights, delivery of criminal defense, and statutory amendments. He was awarded a Program for Academic Excellence grant from UToledo for his work involving school safety issues. He also received the Eastman & Smith Faculty Achievement Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching at the College of Law.

Lesa Byrnes Lesa Byrnes

Director of Academic Success and Bar Preparation
Legal Writing Professor
LC 2002G
Byrnes Faculty Profile

Lesa Byrnes joined the College of Law faculty in 2007 and teaches Lawyering Skills I & II, Pretrial Litigation, and Law and the Legal System.

After graduating from law school, Professor Byrnes worked as a corporate tax attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel to the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C. As a chief counsel attorney, she drafted regulations, revenue rulings, and private letter rulings. Byrnes began teaching legal writing in 1995 at Wayne State Law School. She also taught legal writing at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Mich. where she directed the research, writing and advocacy program from 2001-07. Additionally, she regularly coaches teams participating in both regional and national moot court competitions.

Byrnes received her B.A. in French from Oakland University and her M.A. in French Literature from New York University. She received her J.D. cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1989.

Heather S. Karns Heather S. Karns

Assistant Dean for Career Services and Alumni Affairs
LC 1030

Heather S. Karns has been with the law school since 2003 and was promoted to assistant dean for career services and alumni affairs in 2008. In addition to focusing efforts on career development for law students, she assists with the engagement and development efforts of law alumni.

Assistant Dean Karns has been a contributing member, author, presenter, and elected to multiple roles for the National Association of Law Placement during her tenure. She is a member of the Toledo Bar Association Diversity Committee and serves as a college representative for the Federal Bar Association Northern District of Ohio.

Karns received her B.A. in psychology from The University of Toledo, her M.Ed. in counseling from Clemson University, and her E.M.B.A. at The University of Toledo. She is also a licensed professional counselor.

Amber Chuhy Amber Chuhy

Assistant Dean for Admissions
LC 1015B

After working in business management and solo practice, Amber Chuhy returned to Toledo Law in 2016 and currently serves as interim assistant dean for admissions. She also serves as an inclusion officer at the college. She enjoys building and maintaining relationships with students while promoting her passion for diversity, inclusion, and student wellness.

Interim Assistant Dean Chuhy is a licensed attorney in both Michigan and Ohio and practices in the areas of probate and estate planning. She is active in several bar associations, including the Toledo Bar Association, Toledo Women’s Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Chuhy received her B.A. magna cum laude in psychology from Lourdes University in 1998, followed by her J.D. from Toledo Law in 2012.

Rick Goheen

Rick Goheen

Assistant Dean for the LaValley Law Library
Associate Professor of Law
LC 3009
Goheen Faculty Profile

Rick Goheen joined the College of Law faculty in 2007. He previously served as reference librarian, interim head of information access, and head of reference at the University of Cincinnati from 1995 to 2001. From 2001-07, Dean Goheen was the founding associate director for public services at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota. He served as treasurer of the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries (ORALL) from 2009-17 and then as president in 2018-19.

As director of the LaValley Law Library, Dean Goheen manages the College of Law's legal information resources, supports educational technology throughout the college, teaches Advanced Legal Research, and perhaps most importantly, works to provide a comfortable and conducive study environment for students of all backgrounds as they learn the law.

Outside the law school, his personal passions include school sports photography and all forms of jazz, from traditional to fusion, contemporary and beyond. Dean Goheen holds a B.A. from the University of Toledo, a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati, and an M.S.L.S. from the University of Kentucky.

College of Law Staff

Last Updated: 6/27/22