Pre-Law Program at Miami University
Alumni Advisory Board
The Pre-Law Alumni Advisory Board (PLAAB) is a distinguished group of Miami University alumni who advise and support the efforts of the Pre-Law Program. The Board represents many different career fields, including practicing attorneys, judges, corporate counsel, solo practitioners, government attorneys, academics, and law students. The Board also reflects a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences.
Tim Lloyd, Chair
Tim Lloyd is a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Hogan Lovells US LLP. His practices focuses on a wide range of tax planning issues and business transactions, including limited liability companies, joint ventures and partnerships, closely held corporations, investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, compensation arrangements, nonprofits, and foreign investment in the US. He also chairs the firm's Law School Recruitment Committee. Mr. Lloyd received his B.A. in Political Science in 1979 from Miami University and his J.D. in 1982 from the University of Wisconsin.
Don Rench, Vice Chair/Chair Elect
Don Rench is the Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Outerwall Inc., a leading provider of automated retail solutions including Redbox® self-service DVD rental, Coinstar® self-service coin-counting and ecoATM® electronics recycling kiosks. Mr. Rench received his B.S. in Organizational Behavior from Miami University's College of Business in 1988 and his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1991.
Eric Combs is a partner in the Litigation Department and Sports & Entertainment Practice Group of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Combs has substantial trial experience in federal and state courts, as well as representing sports franchises, facility management and facility owner clients. Prior to joining Dinsmore & Shohl, Mr. Combs practiced in the Cincinnati office of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He graduated magna cum laude from Miami University in 1993 and received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1996. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®, and has received the Cincinnati Business Courier Forty Under 40 Award.
Bradley Faris is a partner at Latham & Watkins in Chicago. Mr. Faris has a broad mergers and acquisitions practice, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, friendly and unsolicited tender offers, going-private transactions, takeover defense counseling and advising independent directors in conflict of interest transactions. He received his BA from Miami University in 1996 and his law degree from Harvard Law School in 2000.
Lynda Given is a partner in the law firm of Chapman and Cutler in Chicago. Since joining the firm in 1980, she has concentrated her practice in public finance. She serves as bond counsel to hundreds of units of local government throughout the State of Illinois, and is a frequent speaker on public finance topics. Ms. Given received her B.A. in Political Science from Miami University in 1977 and her J.D. in 1980 from The Ohio State University College of Law.
Mandi Grandjean graduated with departmental honors, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Miami University in 2013. While at Miami, she majored in Political Science and Journalism and was a variety athlete competing on the Miami University Women's Swimming and Diving Team. In 2013, they won the Mac Championship and Mandi received the Honorable Mention Award. In addition to being a student-athlete, Mandi participated in prestigious internships with the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq and U.S. Representative, John Boehner, Speaker of the House. After graduation, Mandi received a Leadership Award Scholarship to attend The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and is currently in her second semester of 1L year. When she is not studying, she is actively involved in several student organizations and is tutoring and proctoring undergraduate student-athletes.
Robert Johnson has been a member of BB&Ts Legal Department since February of 2005. Effective September 1, 2010, he assumed the roles of General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Corporate Governance Officer. Prior to becoming General Counsel, Bob was a Deputy General Counsel responsible for the Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate, Securities and Regulatory Practice Groups. Prior to BB&T, he was in private practice with the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. in Cleveland, Ohio, providing counsel to financial institutions and their affiliates. His practice included all aspects of general corporate and commercial representation with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, regulatory and compliance matters, and securities law representation, including public and private equity and debt offerings and compliance issues relating to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Securities Act of 1934, and the stock exchange rules. Bob graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in 1994 and graduated with honors with a Juris Doctor degree from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1997. Bob was also awarded the Class of 2008 Most Outstanding Student award by The BB&T Banking School at Wake Forest University. He is located in Winston-Salem, NC.
Hon. Colleen O'Donnell
Judge Colleen O'Donnell was appointed to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, General Division in May, 2013. Since taking the bench, Judge O'Donnell has presided over all manner of civil and criminal cases, and conducted numerous jury trials. Previously, Judge O'Donnell served as a law clerk to Judge Sara Lioi of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. She also served in the Ohio Attorney General's Office as an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Section. Before joining the Court, Judge O'Donnell was in private practice with the law firm of Carpenter Lipps & Leland LLP, where she concentrated on litigation matters, including products liability and criminal defense. Judge O'Donnell is a 2003 graduate of Miami University and graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2006.
Jerry Organ is Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN, where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2005-2009. Prior to joining St. Thomas as a founding faculty member in 2001, Professor Organ taught for ten years at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. A 1982 graduate of Miami, he earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1985, clerked for Justice William G. Callow on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and spent five years working with Foley and Lardner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before joining the faculty at Missouri.
Clarissa Potter is the Deputy Director of Taxes, Head of Global Tax Strategy, at American International Group, Inc. in New York City. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Miami University in 1983 and from Yale Law School in 1989, where she was managing editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review. Prior to joining AIG, Clarissa served as Deputy Chief Counsel, Technical, of the Internal Revenue Service and acted as IRS Chief Counsel from December 2008 through August 2009. Between 1998 and 2008 Clarissa was a full-time professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She also served in the Office of Tax Policy for the United States Treasury Department, and was a member of the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress. Clarissa began her legal career in the tax group of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. Clarissa is both a part of, and is the product of, a Miami merger: Miami graduates in her family include her grandmother, parents, brother, cousins and, most importantly, husband. Clarissa is the granddaughter of "Tuffy" Potter, the inventor of the legendary Tuffy's Toasted Roll, a Miami University and Oxford tradition.
Dynda Thomas is deputy practice leader of Squire Sanders' Corporate Transactions, Finance & Governance Practice Group in Cleveland, and has extensive experience in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and project finance. As leader of the Squire Sanders' conflict minerals team, Dynda focuses on relevant industries' best practices in working with clients' legal, procurement and compliance groups. Dynda is listed in the 2011 and 2012 editions of The Legal 500 US for her mergers and acquisitions practice and has been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer in Law & Politics magazine continuously since 2007. She graduated from Miami University magna cum laude in 1982, and received her law degree at the University of Cincinnati in 1986, where she was editor of The University of Cincinnati Law Review and Human Rights Quarterly.
Mark Thompson is currently a second-year law student at The University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the Law School's Corporate Lab Transactional Clinic, the Intellectual Property Law Society, and the Black Law Students Association. He also serves on the Law School's Student Admissions Committee. Mark recently worked as a summer associate at Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter in Columbus, Ohio, where he gained experience in commercial litigation and corporate transactional matters. He graduated summa cum laude from Miami University in 2011, with a B.A. in Political Science.
Stephen N. Young
Stephen N. Young is Deputy General Counsel for Ernst & Young LLP and resides in New York City. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Miami University in 1980, and a M.A. in International Affairs in 1981. He graduated from The George Washington University Law School in 1984. After law school he clerked for the Hon. Thomas A. Clark in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.Prior to joining Ernst & Young in 1991, he worked as an associate at Kramer, Levin in New York City and in the Enforcement Division of the Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.