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Thursday, 15 October 2015
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AMERICAN " BRIAN HOWE " - WHO WORK WITH THE OHIO INNOCENT PROJECT, HAS HELP FREE MANY IINNOCENT AFRICAN AMERICAN FROM LONG TERM PRISON :
Cincinnati native Brian Howe ’10 has never wandered too far from home—the College of Law and the city. Now several years after his graduation, he is back at the hallowed halls of the College of Law – not as a student, but as a staff attorney with the Ohio Innocence Project.
Howe graduated from The Ohio State University in 2003 with majors in philosophy and Russian language. As part of his degree program, he studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia for a summer (now that’s a long way from home!). After graduating from OSU he found work as a media buyer for three years in Washington and Illinois. It was around this time in 2007 that Howe made the decision to return to school for his JD.
“I knew from the start I wanted to do something in the area of public interest,” explained Howe when speaking about his student involvement with OIP. “The opportunity to do something like this through the university is amazing -- it was such an easy decision to want to do this. I was really hungry as a law student for actual, real clinical experience, and the opportunities at OIP are miles ahead of most other first summer experiences.”
Between graduating from UC Law and returning to the College of Law to work as a staff attorney with the OIP, Howe worked here in Cincinnati. He completed a two-year fellowship with Equal Justice Works hosted through the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio. After the fellowship, he was hired on as a full-time staff attorney with Legal Aid, continuing his work defending foreclosures, handling evictions, and assisting with other related cases.
He joined the OIP as a staff attorney in January of this year. As opposed to the caseload that a student handles (about 20 cases), Howe now handles 60-75 cases as a staff attorney, though only about a dozen are in active litigation. Reflecting on his time as a student with OIP and comparing it to his current experience, he noted that the ability to see cases through is something he is looking forward to. “It’s interesting. The cases take so long to develop, almost as a rule, and it is rare for a student to be able to see a case through to its conclusion during their one year with OIP.” One example of this is that a case in his caseload now was one that he worked on as a student years ago. “It is nice as an attorney to be able to know that I can see these cases through as opposed to just a one year window before handing it off to the next class.”
Howe gave these words of advice to law students in the throes of school and looking forward to life after graduation: “It is important to enjoy what you are doing -- it is a luxury that not everyone will have,” he counseled. “I have been really lucky to have the opportunity to do things that I enjoy doing on a day-to-day basis—both as a student and a professional.”