College of Law

Alumni Stories

The following stories highlight amazing work being done by our alumni. Profiles were included in Toledo Law's Alumni eNews. The stories are based on what alumni were doing at the time they were featured and offer a closer look at their personal and professional lives. With close to 8,000 living law alumni, there are many more stories to tell.


Victor Aberdeen
Finding Inspiration

Victor Aberdeen '18 is an associate at a Chicago law firm, where he works in civil litigation and insurance defense. Trial practice at Toledo Law helped him think like a trial attorney. Read Victor's Story

Linda Amrou
Shaping Global Dialogue

Linda Amrou '15 is a program officer at Columbia University's Global Centers in New York City, where she designed a first-of-its-kind scholarship program to support displaced students. Read Linda's Story

Ariel Berger
Launching Solo Practice

Ariel Berger '19 started her own solo practice in Michigan one year out of law school. She now has Ohio and Michigan locations that allow her to expand the number of clients and families she can help. Read Ariel's Story

Valerie Fatica
Solving Problems with Sensitivity

Valerie Fatica '08 runs a general solo practice in Toledo and works part-time for Legal Aid. She's passionate about her work in family law and civil rights work for clients with disabilities. Read Valerie's Story

Sheila Nolan Gartland
Optimizing Flexibility

Sheila Nolan Gartland '86 is a partner at a Columbus law firm, where she focuses on finance, real estate, and energy cases. She believes in working hard, staying flexible, and giving back. Read Sheila's Story

Gayle Shor Goldsmith
Dedicating Focus

Gayle Shor Goldsmith '89 is an environment and sustainability consultant. She's combining her passion and experience to make a difference within the field of environmental law. Read Gayle's Story

James Knepp
Seizing Opportunities

The U.S. Senate confirmed James Knepp '92 as U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. He finds the most satisfying aspect of his job is helping people solve problems. Read Jim's Story

Sam Marcellino
Helping the Hardworking

Samuel Marcellino '13 takes seriously his role in helping hardworking people who have often fallen on tough times. He focuses a large portion of his practice on workers' compensation litigation. Read Sam's Story

Steven Pacitti
Building Networks in Vegas

Steve Pacitti '86 runs a solo practice in Las Vegas, specializing in negotiating trademark, copyright, and rights of publicity licensing agreements for high-profile clients. Read Steve's Story

Gary Steinbauer
From Specimens to Precedents

Gary Steinbauer '06 is passionate about the environment. He works at Pittsburgh firm, where he provides strategic advice to clients on complex environmental regulatory and compliance issues. Read Gary's Story

Steven Vandercook
Launching Exciting NASA Career

Steven Vandercook '14 works as a contracting officer at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to support the next chapter in human space flight. His J.D./M.B.A. helped him land his dream job. Read Steven's Story

Marissa (Antonio) Wiesen
Seeking Fairness in Outcomes

Marissa (Antonio) Wiesen '14 works as a federal law clerk in Washington state. She enjoys learning different areas of the law, while working closely with judges. Read Marissa's Story



Tunji Abayomi
Sustaining Human Rights

Tunji Abayomi '79 has a private practice in Nigeria, where he serves as a human rights advocate. He's also pro-chancellor and chair of the Governing Council for Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. Read Tunji's Story

Fahed Al-Sabouni
Advancing Global Justice

Fahed Al-Sabouni '13 lives in The Hague, Netherlands, working with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as an associate legal officer/associate appeals counsel with the Office of the Prosecutor. Read Fahed's Story

Angelita Blackshear Dalton
Shaping Outcomes

Angelita Blackshear Dalton '97 is a criminal court judge in Tennessee, where she became the first African American woman to serve the Davidson County Criminal Court. Read Angelita's Story

Gayle Girod
Advancing Development

Gayle Girod '94 is the chief innovation counsel for the USAID in D.C. Her work supports international development and humanitarian efforts around the world. Read Gayle's Story

Josh Goldberg
Mapping Journey to U-Haul

Josh Goldberg '14 used his varied degrees in law, business, and economics to chart a career from the family business to U-Haul. He is now U-Haul's assistant general counsel. Read Josh's Story

Mia Gonzalez
Cultivating Success

Mia Gonzalez '12 is a director of business development in Missouri. She's found the perfect career path to apply her business and legal skills to help grow her company's market share and revenue. Read Mia's Story

Scott Hajost
Sparking Global Change

Scott Hajost '80 is an international environment and conservation policy law expert with experience working at the U.S. State Department and Environmental Protection Agency. Read Scott's Story

Janet Hales
Advocating for Equality

Janet Hales '91 is executive director of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. — a nonprofit law organization working to change the systemic causes of poverty and inequality. Read Janet's Story

Ashley Myers Jackson
Expanding Legal Access

Ashley Myers Jackson '09 owns a mobile law firm in South Carolina that expands access to clients across the state with a client-centered approach to delivering legal services. Read Ashley's Story

Andrea Kimball
Forging Path in Pro Sports

Andrea Kimball '97 is in-house counsel for Sporting Kansas City, which won the U.S. Open Cup in 2017. It's a sports law dream job she's passionate about as a former college athlete and player. Read Andrea's Story

Doug Leavitt
Harnessing Opportunity

Doug Leavitt '12 merged his solo practice with his current firm to create the Boise, Idaho law firm of Leavitt Ryan PLLC, which concentrates in family law and litigation. Read Doug's Story

Matt Manning
Championing for People

Matt Manning '12 was raised by servant leaders. As an attorney for a Corpus Christi, Texas law firm, he represents the rights of the criminally accused and fights for civil rights. Read Matt's Story

Nyk McKissic
Powering Solutions

Nyk McKissic '17 is a nonprofit organizations associate at Polsinelli, within the firm's Dallas office. He provides strategic counsel to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Read Nyk's Story

Anant Tamirisa
Making an Impact in Hollywood

Anant Tamirisa '14 is vice president of business and legal affairs for a Hollywood film and television studio. He enables storytellers to share their visions, but he's also committed to pro bono work. Read Anant's Story



Jonathan Booker
Tackling Trial Cases

Jonathan Booker '10 is the director of criminal law for a Denver law firm. As the son of a first-generation immigrant, he finds it fulfilling to help clients navigate complex legal challenges. Ready Jonathan's Story

Eddie Cole
Inspiring Generations

Eddie Cole '51 has been an advocate for social justice throughout his life and career. His story continues to inspire generations of lawyers to be agents of change in their own communities. Read Eddie's Story

Theresa Gavarone
Addressing Community Needs

Theresa Gavarone '94 was appointed to the State Senate in 2019. In her short time, she introduced legislation to protect Ohioans from cyberattacks and enhance penalties for drug traffickers. Read Theresa's Story

Jennifer Grieco
Leading Michigan State Bar

In 2018, Jennifer Grieco '97 was sworn in as the 84th president of the State Bar of Michigan. She made history as one of only seven other women presidents. Read Jennifer's Story

Jeff Haidet
Representing U.S. Interests

Jeff Haidet '85 serves as the U.S. chair of Dentons, the world's largest law firm. He was named by JAMES magazine to their list of Most Influential Georgians for two years in a row. Read Jeff's Story

Corey Minor Smith
Driven to Succeed

Corey Minor Smith '01 made history as the first African American elected as an at-large member of the city council in Canton, Ohio. Her book #Driven sheds light on mental illness. Read Corey's Story

Maysaa Ouza
Making Legal History

Maysaa Ouza '17 made legal history as the first Air Force JAG Corps officer permitted to wear a hijab while in uniform. She recognizes that being a trailblazer requires grit and persistence. Read Maysaa's Story

Alan Sankin
Retired and Giving Back

Alan Sankin '75 worked for 20 years with U.S. multinational companies in the Netherlands. Now retired, he's helping those in need through his pro bono legal group based in California. Read Alan's Story

Jean Sieler
Building Success

Jean Sieler '86 is a partner at RCO Law. She's also president and co-owner of Sieler Construction Inc., where she leverages her experience in both business and law. Read Jean's Story

Niyah Walters
Inspiring Change

Niyah Walters '15 is an attorney at the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. She also founded and chairs the commission's diversity advisory group to attract and retain diverse talent. Read Niyah's Story

Brock Wanless
Powering Solutions in Law and Tech

Brock Wanless '03 served as Groupon's managing counsel. He's now general counsel and corporate secretary at Olive AI — a tech start-up, where he's forging his own legal path in the tech world. Read Brock's Story

Emily (Ciecka) Wilcheck
Shaping Disney Guest Experience

Emily (Ciecka) Wilcheck '04 is a senior labor relations manager at Walt Disney World. It's the place where dreams come true, and she plays a key role in making the magic happen. Read Emily's Story


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Last Updated: 11/1/21