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Dayton Docket

Dayton Law Adjunct Professor Sworn-In as Federal District Court Judge

Judge Michael Newman has welcomed hundreds of students to the University of Dayton School of Law over the last few years by administering the Oath of Professionalism.

But this time he was the one with his hand raised, reciting an oath, as he was sworn-in as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in November.

“I was elated beyond measure,” Judge Newman says.

Judge Newman has been a magistrate judge in the Southern District of Ohio since 2011, when he was appointed after being a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl. One of the things he’s most proud of in that time is the Veterans Treatment Court he started, that’s had more than 75 graduates.

“These are men and women who say you gave me a second chance,” Judge Newman says. “You believed in me when nobody believed in me. To help create that kind of change, life doesn’t get much better than that.”

Judge Newman also appreciates the bonds between those with the federal court in Dayton.

“It’s a federal court family which I don’t think you see in many places,” Judge Newman says. “We look after each other. That is so special to me.”

Those bonds extend to the School of Law and its students.

“I think there’s this special relationship between UD Law and the federal court here,” Judge Newman says.

Judge Newman’s first experience with Dayton Law came when he started as an adjunct professor in 1998. In recent years, along with administering the Oath of Professionalism to incoming students, he’s been teaching the class, Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation.

“I love that class because you’re teaching students what they’ll need to know when they graduate law school, no matter what they go on to do,” Judge Newman says. “It makes me happy the law school has given me an opportunity to do that.”

Judge Newman is also involved in mentoring law students.

“I think having a mentor is important in life,” Judge Newman says. “I didn’t have many when I was younger. I vowed if I had the chance, I would be a mentor for students.”

For all he’s done in the community, Judge Newman recently received the Ritter Award, the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s highest honor. The award is given for a lifetime of service in promoting ethics in the practice of law and helping improve the justice system in Ohio.

“I was so touched by that because it shows people are paying attention to the work you’re doing in the community,” Judge Newman says. “They see you are doing what you can to make the world a better place.”

Now as a federal district judge, he’ll have a chance to continue those good works.

“One thing I love about being a judge is you have an opportunity to make the system work like it’s supposed to work,” Judge Newman says.

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