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Denise Platfoot Lacey

Professor of Externships

Full-Time Faculty

School of Law


Email: Denise Lacey
Phone: 937-229-4634
427 Keller Hall


Denise Platfoot Lacey teaches the externship course and directs the law school’s Externship Program. She has taught classes in multiple modalities, including in person, asynchronously online, and synchronously online. She has expertise in developing and teaching online courses, holding a Master of Science in Education with a certificate in Technology-Enhanced Learning.

Before joining the Dayton Law faculty in 2007, Professor Platfoot Lacey served for two years as the secretary to the Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism for the Supreme Court of Ohio. There she directed all aspects of the Commission's responsibilities and developed policies and activities on its behalf, designed to promote professionalism among Ohio's attorneys and judges. She also served as the spokesperson and representative for the Commission, fostering relationships with Ohio courts, bar associations, law schools and similar Commissions in other jurisdictions to collaborate with, make recommendations to, and assist them in professionalism efforts in the legal profession.

She regularly updated the Supreme Court of Ohio on the activities and recommendations of the Commission and taught ethics and professionalism continuing legal education courses in Ohio. She designed the curriculum for the Supreme Court of Ohio’s statewide mentoring program pilot (the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program), which launched in 2006 and is currently offered as a permanent program for newly admitted lawyers.

Prior to that, Professor Platfoot Lacey was assistant counsel of the Cleveland Bar Association, now the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, where she investigated allegations of professional misconduct by local attorneys and judges and prosecuted disciplinary cases on behalf of the bar association.

Professor Platfoot Lacey remains active in the legal profession. She was appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism in 2016 and was the 2020 Commission Chairperson. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Dayton Bar Association from 2018-2021, the Board of the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project from 2016-2021, and the Board of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association and Foundation from 2008-2013. She is a licensed attorney.

Courses Taught

LAW 6539 Law as a Calling
LAW 6829 Professional Responsibility
LAW 6900 Externship


M.S.E, University of Dayton, 2020
J.D., Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1999
B.A., University of Dayton, 1995


Do All Roads Lead to Rome? Effectively Using Asynchronous Online Reflective Practice in an Externship Course, 89.3 UMKC L. Rev. 609 (2021).

Mentoring Our Law Students – Making Our Profession Better, 70 Dayton Bar Briefs, December 2020, at 4. 

Lessons Learned: Values of the Legal Profession, 69 Dayton Bar Briefs, December 2019, at 4.

We’re Not So Different After All: Multiple Generations in the Work Place, 68 Dayton Bar Briefs, May 2019, at 4. 

I’m a Believer! Converted by Three-Way Mid-Term Conferences, Clinical Legal Education Newsletter, Fall 2013, at 22.

Embedding Professionalism into Legal Education, 18 Journal of Law, Business & Ethics 41 (2012).

Book Chapter:

Assigning Reflection in Experiential Learning for Professional Formation, in Diverse Pedagogical Approaches to Experiential Learning, Volume II: Multidisciplinary Case Studies, Reflections, and Strategies (Karen Lovett, ed.) (Palgrave Macmillan. forthcoming, 2022).