The Leader on the Rise Award is given to a recent graduate from the past 15 years who has demonstrated extraordinary community leadership and who has given to our law school with their time, talent, and/or treasure
DELANTÉ SPENCER THOMAS, CLASS OF 2016
Chief Ethics Officer, City of Cleveland
Leader on the Rise 2023
Delanté Spencer Thomas serves as the first-ever Chief Ethics Officer for the City of Cleveland. He provides advice and counsel to the Mayor and a city workforce of over 8,000 employees to promote integrity and compliance with Ohio Ethics Law. As a senior leader, Delanté is also a key figure in the City’s police reform agenda and internal accountability structures. Prior to joining City leadership, Delanté spent five years as Deputy Inspector General and Ethics Counsel for Cuyahoga County; two years in career services at Case Western Reserve University School of Law; and since 2017, has managed his own private consulting firm – LMP Solutions, LLC. Delanté has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at both Cleveland State and Case Western Reserve Universities. In 2020, Delanté was elected President of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, overseeing Cleveland’s premier organization for Black legal professionals. He also currently serves on the board of trustees for the Cleveland State Law Alumni Association and is trustee emeritus of the Cleveland State University Alumni Association. Delanté’s honors include his selection as a 2021 Crains Cleveland 40 Under Forty honoree and the 2022 NAACP Rising Leader awardee.
ALLISON TALLER REICH, CLASS OF 2009
Partner, Frantz Ward, LLP
Leader on the Rise 2022
Allison Taller Reich is a Partner in the Construction Practice Group at Frantz Ward LLP where she focuses on all aspects of construction law, representing owners and developers, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, sureties, and other design and construction industry professionals. Allison immerses herself in the construction industry, legal industry, Cleveland community, and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law community. Allison is the Immediate Past President of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association and has been a Trustee since 2013. Allison mentors 1L law students as well as students through College Now. She is passionate about and has served on the Bridge Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio since 2010, including being the past chair, and has served in various roles with the United Way of Greater Cleveland since 2012. Allison has also been active and involved with the CMBA including its 3Rs and Diversity and Inclusion REAL Workshops and Women in Law Sections, Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, an OSBF Fellow, an ABA Forum on Construction Diversity Fellow and Steering Committee Members and serves on her firm’s Women’s Initiative and Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committees.
ALEXANDER REICH, CLASS OF 2009
Partner, Kalish Law Firm
Leader on the Rise 2022
Alex Reich is a Partner at the Kalish Law Firm where he represents policyholders in disputes with insurance companies that fail to acknowledge coverage or pay claims. Alex’s clients range from Fortune 500 companies that rely on Alex as international insurance coverage counsel, to local businesses facing first-party loss or third-party claims, to injured individuals facing an insurance company that refuses to do the right thing. As a seasoned litigator with over 12 years of courtroom experience, Alex takes a wholistic and creative approach to dispute resolution, balancing zealous advocacy and pragmatic strategy depending on the needs and goals of his clients. He has represented clients at every level of the state and federal judiciary, including the Ohio and United States Supreme Courts. Since 2018, Alex has served on C|M|LAW’s adjunct faculty teaching appellate advocacy as Co-Director of the school’s nationally recognized Moot Court Team, prior to which he coached and mentored Moot Court students since 2009. A lifelong Clevelander, Alex is passionate about serving the needs of the community. He is active with the CMBA, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and local organizations dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Kimberly Kendall Corral, Class of 2012
Founder, Law Firm of Kimberly Kendall Corral
Leader on the Rise 2021
Kim is the founder of the Law Firm of Kimberly Kendall Corral. She represents clients in complex criminal matters, whether it’s a capital homicide trial or a wrongful conviction. From indictment and pretrial motions to trial, appeals, and post-conviction, Kim handles all levels of criminal justice advocacy.
Kim has an exceptional track record of success protecting clients’ constitutional rights to help them avoid conviction and even free them from incarceration. As a freedom fighter, Kim helped Ru-El Sailor in March 2018 to get his 2013 murder conviction overturned after he was imprisoned for 15 years for a crime he didn’t commit. She helped secure a dismissal of murder charges against Charles Jackson in August 2019 after he spent 27 years in prison for a homicide he didn’t commit. In January 2020, Kim submitted a petition of clemency on behalf of Michigan resident Michael Alonzo Thompson, who has spent more than 25 years of his 60-year sentence for selling marijuana to an undercover informant. Celebrities and social justice advocates like Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, Shaun King and Chelsea Handler and have joined the fight to free Michael Thompson. In June 2020, Kim won a new trial for a client sentenced to thirty years of incarceration, following a conviction obtained by way of unconstitutional trial procedure. Kim has been qualified by the Supreme Court as an attorney capable of handling Death Penalty cases in the State of Ohio.
Brandon D. Cox, Class of 2012
Counsel, Tucker Ellis LLP
Leader on the Rise 2019
Brandon Cox focuses his practice on the representation of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in mass tort and individual cases pending in various state and federal venues throughout the country. Cox is also part of the Tucker Ellis team that serves as national counsel for two large companies, defending their personal injury cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. In this role, he manages local counsel and is responsible for responsive pleadings, written discovery, depositions, dispositive and evidentiary motions, mediations, arbitrations, and trial. Cox is actively involved with the Tucker Ellis pro bono program, representing economically disadvantaged clients with housing and probate disputes. He is also a member of the Tucker Ellis Equity & Inclusion Committee and currently serves as editor of the firm’s newsletter, “Diversity Matters.”
Alana Jochum, Class of 2010
Equality Ohio Executive Director
Leader on the Rise 2018
Alana Jochum ’10 is an attorney and Executive Director of Equality Ohio. She has been passionately engaged in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality at the local, state, national, and international level for more than a decade. She spent time in Mumbai, India volunteering with the Humsafar Trust, a nongovernmental organization working to advance LGBTQ+ equality in India. After returning home, she worked at United Way of Greater Cleveland and continued her LGBTQ+ volunteer work through the Human Rights Campaign. Alana served as Editor in Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review while attending CSU|LAW and is now an active alum and member of the CSU|LAW Board of Visitors. She became an Associate at Squire Patton Boggs, LLP where she focused her legal practice on complex civil litigation, international law, product liability disputes and other commercial litigation. She also represented clients in habeas proceedings before the Sixth Circuit and at the District court level. Alana left Squire in 2014 to work with Equality Ohio full time where she has the privilege of advocating for LGBTQ+ equality statewide. She also proudly serves as a Board member for the Equality Federation, a national organization focused on capacity building and support for statewide LGBTQ+ organizations across the country.