The brands we love, driven by your classmates
We interact with brands every day of our lives. Whether we are using their products, trusting their services, or following their mission, they’re a part of who we are. But who is behind these well-known brands? We are proud to say that many are some of our very own UC College of Law graduates.
We talked with five of our graduates who have found success at five top organizations. They share about their Cincinnati Law experience and their careers since graduation day.
Apple. Greg Holger, Legal Counsel
As one of the most recognizable logos of today, Apple needs a strong legal team behind it. And our very own Greg Holger is part of the team. Holger spends his days maintaining compliance with lobbying, campaign finance, gift, conflict of interest, and ethics laws in the United states and Canada. His path to work at one of the most successful technology companies in the world began in little Cincinnati, Ohio.
Even though he is now working for one of the largest tech companies, the small-town feel of UC is what gave him the leg-up. The close connection to the community as well as the strong reputation and vast alumni network provided him with the opportunities he needed to get to where he is today. Holger came to the UC College of Law with an interest in the intersection of the public and private sectors.
“The Center for Professional Development helped me make several important connections during my three years to great people in Cincinnati serving in public office or having done so in the past,” he says. “Learning from them and about their work helped lay the foundation for my first role after law school as a law clerk in the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in the office of then Chairman Senator Harkin.”
When looking back on his experience ever since, he wholeheartedly recommends UC to those interested in pursuing a legal career.
[UC Law] gives you the opportunity to make the most of your time in law school.
Greg Holger, Class of 2013
Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Tiffany Williams Dupree, Corporate Counsel
Caterpillar Inc. is known for the high-quality, high-power products it designs and manufactures. From construction to mining, diesel to natural gas, Caterpillar’s durable and reliable heavy equipment help its customers get the job done. Its subsidiary, Cat Financial, provides financial service to support its customers along the way.
People like Tiffany Williams Dupree work behind the scenes, bringing her expertise she has honed since beginning her UC College of Law journey. On a day-to-day basis, her practice is focused on commercial finance, corporate governance, and securities laws. She says that her experience at UC gave her a foundation as solid as the products Caterpillar creates.
“The business and corporate classes that I took in law school were instrumental in creating the foundation for my areas of practice,” she says. “Additionally, the lawyering classes that I took in law school were great preparation for working with clients.”
Like her education from the classroom, her UC experience has stayed with her still to this day.
I loved the lifelong friendships I made, the concern professors showed for their students, the breadth of classes offered, the small class sizes, and the practical experience gained.
Tiffany Williams Dupree, Class of 2007
ABC News & Democracy for America. Yvette Simpson, CEO & Political Contributor
Democracy for America is a national progressive political action committee with a grassroots mission of inclusive populism across all 50 states. Yvette Simpson brings her passion for diversity and inclusion and expertise in law to her role as CEO, which began back at UC.
“I was a member of Human Rights Fellowship program and member of the Moot Court Board. The work I do now started with the human rights work I started in law school,” she says.
Her law studies helped her hone her critical thinking, problem-solving, writing, and public speaking skills. For UC Law students, including Simpson, earning a degree is more than just obtaining book knowledge.
“It was all about the skills that we were learning and applying it to real life.”
That real-world application prepared her for the many hats she wears on a daily basis. Simpson is also a Political Contributor on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (ABC News) and a former member of Cincinnati City Council. She’s able to balance so many responsibilities throughout her career, thanks in part to the support that she’s had since attending UC College of Law. To this day, she still calls on her mentors for support.
“There were mentors of mine when I was in law school who I still call to this day when I need advice,” she says. “I think having people who were instrumental in helping me get through law school and who still have an active role in my development is really unique to UC law.”
I think having people who were instrumental in helping me get through law school and who still have an active role in my development is really unique to UC law.
Yvette Simpson, Class of 2004
Fifth Third Bancorp. Susan Zaunbrecher, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Board Secretary
Cincinnatians know Fifth Third Bancorp as a top local employer. Now, Fifth Third is a Fortune 500 company, nationally known for its talent diversity, thanks to a recent award by Forbes and Statista Inc, who put Fifth Third in the ranks as one of the best employers for diversity in 2021.
This focus on diversity spreads throughout every department, including the legal department. Since joining the team, Zaunbrecher has launched a program known as Fifth Third Fellowship to support current UC Law students. A few students from the graduating class are selected for a two-year fellowship.
“Our first class will hit their 2-year mark in August - and both are staying,” she says. “We want to make sure diverse attorneys are getting the jobs.”
In addition to these efforts, Zaunbrecher is an active member of the Enterprise Team, determining the strategy for the company’s future, and works alongside more than 100 teammates in the Legal/Communications Department.
“I am impressed with their intelligence, capabilities, and dedication on a daily basis as we deal with legal and risk issues, along with internal and external communication and PR,” she says.
Upon her own graduation, Zaunbrecher began her career at Dinsmore & Shohl and stayed for an impressive tenure of nearly 30 years. She credits her professors for preparing her for the workforce.
“UC is very focused on applied knowledge versus theory-based concepts,” she says. “UC creates practical lawyers that have applied knowledge and can give practical answers.”
UC creates practical lawyers that have applied knowledge and can give practical answers.
Susan Zaunbrecher, Class of 1990
Hewlett Packard. Phyllis Turner-Brim, Chief of Intellectual Property
Another top information technology company has a successful UC College of Law graduate on its team. Phyllis Turner-Brim says her success is the result of what she has experienced and what she brings to the table. And, it all began with her strong legal education.
“Having the opportunity to get a solid and robust legal education at UC taught by a good mix of full-time and adjunct faculty made me an attractive candidate and associate,” she says. “Every step begets the next step.”
Her path at UC was forged by an eclectic group of professors, who taught and delivered the content in a memorable, relatable way.
Not only did her UC Law experience give her the real-world experience she needed, she also was able to explore her passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility of the legal profession to underrepresented groups, particularly African American women.
“I appreciate that UC has demonstrated commitment in that area and look forward to further driving that.”
With that strong support system, she was able to land a job right away. And, the rest is history.
“My education has been a part of my total package that I bring to my role at HP and to every role since I left law school,” she says. “People shouldn’t think that just because you don’t have a big-name law school that your opportunities for success will be limited. I was able to leverage the great value to be successful.”
My education has been a part of my total package that I bring to my role at HP and to every role since I left law school
Phyllis Turner-Brim, Class of 1993
These five alumni’s stories show how each UC graduate has the power to find success. Their journeys may have all begun at Cincinnati Law, but each person has taken their own unique path to these well-known brands, businesses, and organizes. Thanks to their work in their daily jobs, our alumni:
- Help us access an endless amount of information and connect with people from all around the world at Apple.
- Support progress in our communities by providing access to things like shelter, water, and reliable energy, all while improving the quality of the environment at Caterpillar.
- Empower people from all walks of life to become the future of our country at Democracy for America.
- Bring quality financial services to all people, from small businesses to low-income communities, at Fifth Third Bancorp
- Bring innovative technologies that improve all aspects of our lives at Hewlett Packard.
…and so much more. We are proud of all of our alumni who represent our UC brand all across the world.
Read about more alumni working at major corporations across the country in our story "Where are they now?"
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