College of Law

Alumni Stories

The following stories highlight amazing work being done by our alumni. 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.


Jeffrey Bogart

Jeffrey Bogart ‘72

Trials & Teaching: A Winning Combination
Jeffrey B. Bogart ‘72 is the founder and managing partner of his private firm, Bogart & Bogart P.C., where he represents clients from a variety of industries including professional sports, TV and music entertainment, and more. He enjoys taking time to give back to the legal community through educating and training the next generation of lawyers, as well as practicing attorneys.

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Ellen Grachek

Ellen Grachek '02

Optimizing the Versatility of a Legal Education
Ellen Grachek served as UToledo’s Senior Director for Faculty Labor Relations, where she is responsible for providing leadership and strategic management of the University’s faculty labor relations function and leads the daily management and cultivation of labor relations between the University and its faculty.

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Katie Hunt Thomas

Katie Hunt Thomas ‘09

Advocating for a Fairer World
Katie Hunt Thomas ‘09 is an attorney and the director of advocacy at The Ability Center of Greater Toledo. Her focus is on areas such as the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 

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Candice Kline

Candice Kline '08

Creating Success in a Second Career
Candice Kline is a partner at Saul Ewing LLP, where she focuses on bankruptcy, restructuring situations, and commercial litigation. Her practice includes loan and deal work, including M&A, workouts, and loan administration. She practices in Illinois and Ohio with a nationwide docket in complex commercial matters.  

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Beverly McBride

Beverly McBride ‘66

Advocating for a Fairer World
Beverly McBride '66 is retired from a career at The Andersons. She served as vice president, general counsel, and secretary. She has always been extremely involved in the legal and local community, serving as the second-ever woman president of the Toledo Bar Association, as a delegate to the Ohio State Bar Association, and many additional leadership and advocacy roles.

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Fred Roth

Fred Roth '12

Blending Interests to Find the Perfect Field
Fred Roth serves as assistant general counsel of tech and data privacy for Compass Group USA, a leading food service organization in the US serving more than 5 million meals daily in businesses, hospitals, and schools through cafeterias, vending machines, and unattended markets. 

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Jim Thomas

James (Jim) Thomas '87

Empowering Others to Succeed
Jim D. Thomas is the Founder and President of James D. Thomas Consulting Co. and James D. Thomas Law Co. He has over thirty years of experience as a leader and mentor. He regularly speaks, consults, and coaches other professionals within and outside of the legal field.  

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Micah Barry

Micah Barry '14

Adversity Fuels Advocacy
Micah Barry was drawn to Toledo Law to focus on disability rights and education. After law school, he moved to Atlanta and focused on representing educational and law enforcement employees. Now he is the attorney/principal at The Law Office of Micah Barry, a litigation consulting firm where he advocates for policy changes and educating college students.

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Mike Dockins

Michael (Mike) Dockins '05

Turning Childhood Fandom Into a Career
Mike Dockins is a partner at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP. He was preparing for a career in engineering when he decided he wanted something different. He embarked on the path to become an attorney, combining his engineering background with a specialty in intellectual property.

Faculty Bio

Josh Driskell

Joshua (Josh) Driskell '11

Climbing to the Top
Josh Driskell is the Managing Partner at Lagerlof, LLP, the largest law firm in Pasadena with offices in Encino and Seattle, WA. Josh’s practice focuses on business, tax, estate, fiduciary, and related matters.  

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Kelly Goldstein

Kelly Goldstein '07

Former Toledo Law Valedictorian to Give Commencement Address
Kelly Goldstein serves as Bar Counsel for the State Bar of Arizona. Kelly grew up in Holliston, Massachusetts, and Rindge, New Hampshire. While Kelly wasn't sure if her dream of becoming a lawyer was a realistic possibility, ultimately she realized if she didn't even try to get into law school, she would regret it.

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Genna Hilgenbrink

Genna Hilgenbrink '19

Finding Your Place in the Legal Profession
Genna Hilgenbrink is an associate attorney with Novara Tesija Catenacci McDonald & Baas, PLLC out of Troy, Michigan. She is experienced in first- and third-party No-Fault actions. She specializes in Michigan Assigned Claims Plan work and represents insurers of all sizes across the state of Michigan.  

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Jamar King

Jamar King '13

Networking Into a Career
Jamar King is a senior managing associate in the Dayton, Ohio office of Thompson Hine LLP where he practices business litigation, government contracts, and government enforcement defense.

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K.W. Knox

Kurmmell (K.W.) Knox '97

Building Community and Improving Circumstances
K.W. is the Principal Broker for Milagro Realty Group, a brokerage for the sale of Real Estate. K.W. also serves as Executive Pastor for IMPACT Church and is the 1st African American elected to the Roseville, MI City Council.  

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Dana Quick

Dana Quick '07

Providing Support During Insolvencies
Dana Quick began her career on a judicial clerkship that put her on a path to bankruptcy. Now, she practices insolvency litigation, with a focus on the investigation and prosecution of director and officer liability claims. She was recently named a partner with Bast Amron LLP handling director and officer cases across the country.

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Jazzy Rippy

Jasmine (Jazzy) Rippy '15

Challenging the Status Quo
Jazzy Rippy is the Co-Founder of LADIES IN LAW®, a minority and woman-owned law firm in Downtown Detroit. She specializes in Legacy Planning – the legal process of protecting, preserving, and controlling your assets, finances, businesses, and health decisions during your lifetime and after. 

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Tamera Rocha

Tamera N. (Thomas) Rocha '10

Participating in Progress
Tamera Rocha is the director of Rhode Island Supreme Court's Access to Justice Office. She joined the Rhode Island Supreme Court team in 2016. In 2021, Rhode Island Supreme Court announced the creation of a new department within the Rhode Island Supreme Court – the Access to Justice Office – with Tamera overseeing the office and its vital court services.

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Reem Subei

Reem Subei '14

Shifting from Regional Cases to National Stages
Reem Subei is a Senior Staff Attorney with Muslim Advocates- a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the front lines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Reem lived in the Toledo area until 2021 but the birth of her niece in Raleigh and the ability to work remotely led her to relocating to North Carolina. 

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Matt Zito

Matthew (Matt) Zito '05

From the Prosecutor's Office to the FBI
Matt Zito is a Supervisory Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who lives in Seattle, Washington. He oversees a team of FBI agents and federally deputized detectives from local police departments, along with intelligence analysts and other support staff. Matt's team is responsible for investigating violent crime, gang and drug trafficking organizations.

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Victor Aberdeen

Victor Aberdeen '18

Finding Inspiration in Trial Practice
Victor Aberdeen is an associate attorney at the Chicago law firm of Patton & Ryan, LLC, where he focuses on civil litigation and insurance defense. As a law student, Victor proudly served as the president of the Black Law Students Association. He was also heavily involved in the law school's Moot Court team serving as vice chair. 

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Linda Amrou

Linda Amrou '15

Shaping Global Dialogue at Columbia
Linda Amrou has been working in New York City since 2016. First, as an attorney with an immigration law firm, and later, as a program officer at Columbia University's Global Centers. She uses the skills to manage global programs, negotiate inter-and intra-institutionally, and dream of a world large and abundant enough for all to enjoy.

Faculty Bio

Ariel Berger

Ariel Berger '19

Finding Satisfaction Through Supporting Struggling Families
Just one year out of law school, Ariel Berger changed course and started her own solo practice in Adrian, Mich. After a short time, Ariel's law firm has two locations in Ohio and Michigan that allow her to expand the number of clients and families she can help.

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Valerie Faticia

Valerie J. Faticia '08

Solving Problems with Sensitivity
Valerie J. Fatica runs her general solo practice in Toledo with a focus on family law. She also works part-time as an attorney for Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. For Valerie, each day is varied with time spent at Legal Aid, state family and juvenile court appearances, as well as civil rights work in federal court for clients with disabilities.

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Sheila Nolan Gartland

Sheila Nolan Gartland '86

Optimizing Flexibility Creates Rewarding and Expanding Practice
Growing up with lawyers in the family, Sheila Nolan Gartland was familiar with the legal profession but had not considered the law as an option for herself until later in college. Her strong desire to learn more beyond secondary education classes led her to explore and ultimately enroll in law school at The University of Toledo College of Law.

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Gayle Shor Goldsmith

Gayle Shor Goldsmith '89

Dedicating Focus to Environment and Sustainability
Gayle Shor Goldsmith lived in Cincinnati and planned to remain there for law school and beyond. That changed when she visited Toledo Law. Gayle was 26 years old when she applied and knew law school would be intense. She wanted a learning environment that felt as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Toledo Law was a perfect fit.

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James Knepp

James Knepp '92

Seizing Opportunities Leads to Career in the Courts
James Knepp was sworn in as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio in 2020, after serving 10 years as a U.S. magistrate judge. In his role as a district judge, Jim is responsible for felony cases in their entirety, including trials and sentencing as well as a much larger civil docket.

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Samuel Marcellino

Samuel Marcellino '13

Helping the Hardworking
Samuel Marcellino works on labor and employment issues at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg in Columbus, Ohio, and 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.

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Steven Pacitti

steven Pacitti '86

Building Networks in Vegas
Steven Pacitti grew up on a farm in Gerry, N.Y. His uncle lived in Monroe, Mich., and since he has always been close to his family, he applied to The University of Toledo College of Law. After graduation, Steve earned an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Florida.

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Gary Steinbauer

Gary Steinbauer '06

Participating in Progress
Gary Steinbauer attended Toledo Law intending to practice environmental law. He's never lost sight of that goal. Gary works at Babst Calland law firm in Pittsburgh. He provides strategic advice to clients on complex environmental regulatory and compliance issues, with a focus on legal matters related to air emissions.

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Steven Vandercook

Steven Vandercook '14

Launching Exciting Career with NASA
Steven Vandercook 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. joint degree from The University of Toledo helped him land his dream job, where he sees the direct impact of his work on projects that affect everything from ground operations to the International Space Station.

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Marissa (Antonio) Wiesen

Marissa (Antonio) Wiesen '14

Seeking Fairness in Outcomes
Marissa Wiesen is a federal law clerk for the Western District of Washington. She has spent the last year working remotely from Michigan, conducting hearings and oral arguments by Zoom and collaborating with other attorneys and judges over video conferences.

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Last Updated: 12/21/23