Alumni News

February 1, 2016 at 2:16 pm

CLJC Spotlights Economics Alum | Minichello Practices Civil Litigation in Chicago

Center for Law, Justice & Culture Alumni Spotlight

Ohio University alum Dennis Minichello is currently a shareholder in the Chicago law firm of Marwedel, Minichello & Reeb, P.C. 

Dennis Minichello

Dennis Minichello

He earned a B.A. and M.A. in 1974 in Economics from Ohio University and a J.D. in 1978 from Northwestern University. He was previously an associate attorney with Haskell & Perrin, and a partner with both Tribler & Marwedel and Keck, Mahin, & Cate. In 1973, Minichello was with the Foreign Exchange Desk with Banca di Credito Agrario de Ferrara in Ferrara, Italy.

At Marwedel, Minichello & Reeb, he works in general civil litigation including maritime and transportation, products liability and insurance defense, including the defense of religious and charitable organizations. His honors include: Maritime Law Association Proctor in Admiralty, Illinois Super Lawyers, Marquis Who’s Who in the World, and The Best Lawyers in America.

What brought you to Ohio University?

My older brother attended Ohio University and that is how I learned about it. OHIO was actually my third choice but for financial reasons became my first choice after I was accepted.

What is your current occupation?

I am an attorney, practicing law in Chicago where I have lived since 1975. I focus on civil litigation, especially regarding cases in the field of transportation including Admiralty and Maritime Law. I have no typical day. Some days involve attending hearings in court. Other days may be working on cases in my office, meeting or talking with clients or other work. Some days may involve traveling to different locations to participate in accident investigations, interviewing witnesses or working with outside consultants.

How did you become interested in that field? Was there a particular topic or field of law that got you interested in it in the first place?

Good question, but I can’t say I really know. Even in high school, I was interested in practicing law. Where that inspiration came from is still a mystery to me.

What’s your favorite part of your position?

Trial work is always exciting and challenging. Doing the best I can to represent my client is my passion.

How did your Ohio University experience prepare you for law school and shape your career path?

I studied Economics as an undergraduate student and found that the rigorous analytical method involved in those studies was of great value in training my mind for the study of law.

What are most important things you did as an undergrad to prepare for law school?

I studied for many hours, did extracurricular writing, and took a variety of classes which expanded my knowledge of history, philosophy, literature and other subjects.

Do you have any advice for students interested in law?

First, take coursework that will challenge you and force you to learn how to think, analyze problems and issues and to communicate verbally and in writing in an organized and coherent fashion. Second, learn as much as you can about the practice of law. Obtaining a degree is one thing; finding available work you enjoy and can provide a decent living is quite another thing. Going to law school requires a significant investment in money, time, effort and lost opportunity costs with no guarantee of a payoff. Choose wisely.

What is your favorite Ohio University memory?

The Marching 110 at halftime. My relationships with some very good professors who guided my studies. The beautiful campus. Quiet time in the library.

Anything else you would like to share?

I have had the pleasure to return to campus many times since I graduated and still marvel at the facilities and resources that are available to students today which were not available during my years on campus. Those facilities and resources, in addition to a faculty who still believes that teaching and engaging students is a critical part of their profession, makes OHIO a unique institution of higher learning. Today’s students are blessed with so many more opportunities to really enrich their college life and enhance their development. Don’t waste your four years! Take advantage of everything OHIO has to offer. Then, as you make your way through life, don’t forget the role OHIO played in your success and remember to give back to those who follow as so many have given back to you.

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