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Passing the torch

Legal education at Toledo Law is a three-generation family affair for Toledos Cubbon family

After watching her grandfather, father, mother and several other relatives all graduates of University of Toledo College of Law have successful legal careers, Jocelyn Cubbon DeMars, a member of law school's Class of 2010, is ready to make her own mark on the legal world."I've loved my three years in law school, but I cant wait to move to Cincinnati and start to practice," said Jocelyn, who is moving with her husband, William, a pilot with regional air carrier American Eagle, to Cincinnati, where she will become an associate in the corporate department of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. "I have so much to learn beyond what I learned in law school."Her grandfather, Frank W. Cubbon Jr. '53, was a prominent Toledo personal-injury attorney for six decades before retiring in 2005. Her father, Stuart Cubbon '81, now heads the firm his father founded, and her mother, the Honorable Denise Navarre Cubbon '81, is a Lucas County juvenile judge. Denise and Stuart met in law school and later married An aunt, Kyle Cubbon '84, married to Toledo criminal defense attorney Spiros P. Cocoves '85, is a member of the Cubbon firm, as is her uncle, Thomas J. McArdle '87. Aunt Barbara Cubbon- Beale '88 is also a graduate. They all share an amazing loyalty to the law school.Jocelyn, a magna cum laude graduate who served as editor-inchief of the Law Review this year, said that as she was growing up she wasn't specifically encouraged to enter law. Because it was such a big part of her parents' lives, however, it was easy to gravitate toward the profession. And she appreciates the historical significance of her graduation and the pivotal role that the law and the law school haveplayed in her family's life."They never pushed it, but the law was something that I was fascinated by because that's what my parents did," she said. "It was something that I grew up with."The oldest of four children, she recalls evening meals at home, where lively conversations among siblings and parents often focused on local politics, current events and cases her parents were working on that piqued her interest.Jocelyn was always welcome to visit her mother, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor for 23 years before being elected judge in 2004, at work or on an occasional trip to the police station or crime lab to gain insight. She also found occasional work as a temporary receptionist or file clerk in the office with her father, a past Toledo Bar Association president and past president of the College of Law Alumni Association.After graduating from Toledo's St. Ursula Academy and the University of Notre Dame, Jocelyn spent two years in Atlanta as an executive recruiter before enrolling in fall 2007.Jocelyn, who made the Dean's List five times, says that the most important thing her parents taught her was that "family comes first, no matter what." She learned from her grandfather and grandmother the values of hard work and determination."They worked so hard and had so much success and have always been so humble and generous with everything they did," she explained. "So I have pretty good role models to follow.""When I finally decided to go into law, what really inspired me about my parents and grandfather is that they are people whom the community needs," Jocelyn explained. "Lawyers help people with serious problems,they are so essential.""We have had a dedicated allegiance and loyalty to the College of Law," said Frank W. Cubbon Jr. '53, the family patriarch who, along with late Bernard Rice, established Cubbon & Associates Co., L.P.A. in 1953. Over the years, the firm has employed 22 Toledo Law graduates, and Frank Cubbon was a positive force in the lives of hundreds of other attorneys. Mark V. Spix '77, an Atlanta based attorney who teaches Sports Law at Georgia State credited Frank Cubbon's loyalty to the family of a deceased friend for his admission to law school. Spix said that when he applied to law school, Frank "took the trouble and wrote about the son of his friend who had been gone for 15 years and did so with passion and conviction." Cubbon's impact on the hundreds of lawyers he mentored is legendary. Robert W. Pike '66, who later went on to serve as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for The Allstate Corporation, had the opportunity to work with Frank for three years at the start of his career. He said he "probably learned more about how to manage both myself and others than I have since I left his firm. He was able to make you feel good about yourself by quite frankly putting greater confidence in you than you had in yourself." Pike adds that Frank was a role model whose mentorship encouraged his associates to put forth their best efforts and Frank relied on "hard work, honesty, a zest for life, and giving those like me a chance to succeed." Pike concludes "no one could have asked for a better mentor or, more importantly, for a better friend."Cubbon said his decision to attend Toledo Law served him well, and he was gratified that the law school education he received allowed him to do what he wanted. He established himself as a skillful litigator a public figure with an established name and his legal skills earned him a solid living. To show their gratitude, Frank and Barbara Cubbon provided a substantial donation to the law school in 1996 for renovation of the moot court room that today bears their names. The Cubbons said their granddaughter's graduation reinforces their sense of appreciation for the values of a Toledo legal education.Rather than feeling intimidated by such a legacy to follow, Jocelyn exudes an air of confidence and excitement about what the future holds. "Im so grateful for the legal education and foundation that Ive received at Toledo. I know it will serve me well as I start to practice."Download the article here (PDF)

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