Denise Platfoot Lacey

Lecturer of Law and Externship Faculty
Full-Time Faculty
School of Law

  • Location: 327 Keller Hall
  • Phone: 937-229-4634
  • Email: Contact


Professor Lacey joined the Dayton Law faculty in 2007, after having 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. In her capacity as secretary, she 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 updated the Supreme Court of Ohio regularly on the activities and recommendations of the Commission as well. She regularly developed and taught ethics and professionalism continuing legal education courses in Ohio and designed the curriculum for the Supreme Court of Ohio’s statewide mentoring program pilot (Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program), which launched in 2006 and is currently offered as a permanent program for newly admitted lawyers. She was involved in drafting recommended amendments to Ohio’s New Lawyers Training regulations (Gov. Bar R. X), which were adopted in 2008. She was also one of the initial drafters of A Consumer’s Practical Guide to Managing a Relationship with a Lawyer, which was ultimately published by the Ohio Supreme Court in October 2009. 

Prior to that, Professor 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. She has remained active in the professional responsibility field by serving on the Dayton Bar Association Certified Grievance Committee (2008-2010) and the Bar Examination & Qualifications Committee (2009-Present). Professor Lacey also served as a board trustee of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association from 2008 to 2010, and was its treasurer in 2011 and 2012. She currently serves as the President of the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation, the association's charitable arm, which performs educational and charitable functions. In May 2010, Professor Lacey was honored by the Ohio Women’s Bar Association with the President’s Choice Award, which awards an association member for contribution of support, energy, talent, time and vision. 

While at Dayton Law, Professor Lacey has initiated the Women in the Law Program Series, which provides a forum for discussion on topics of interest to women in the legal profession and provides meaningful opportunities for women law students to network with women in the legal profession.Through the series, students have opportunities to hear women lawyers’ perspectives about the legal profession, discuss issues in the profession that uniquely affect women, and learn practical knowledge and skills that they can use to become successful women practitioners.

Courses Taught

LAW 6539 Law as a Calling
LAW 6891 Professional Responsibility Lab
LAW 6900 Externship 


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

Invited Presentations

Ethics in Practice: Developing Practice-Ready Graduates in a Field Placement Course that Teaches Legal Ethics, 2012 Midwest Clinical Conference, St. Louis University School of Law, November 2012

Uncovering a Lawyer's Creed in Ohio's Rules of Professional Conduct, New Lawyer Training: Professionalism, Client Fund, Law Office Management, Columbus Bar Association, December 2011

Self-Assessment, Millennials, and Learning Portfolios, 2011 Summer Conference of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, New York Law School, June, 2011

Gender Fairness and Communication Issues in the Courts, 2010 Ohio Judicial Conference Annual Meeting

Can We Predict and Prevent Professional Misconduct? Lessons from the Dental and Medical Professions. 36th ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility, Seattle, Washington, June 2010

Outcome Identification, Formative Assessment and Course Design in Field Placement Clinics. 2010 AALS Clinical Legal Education Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, May 2010

Motivating Students in a Pass/Fail Course: Implementing a Point System. Externships 5: Responding to Changing Times, University of Miami, Florida, March 2010

Designing Externship Courses in Specialized Areas and Class Content that Engages Students. Externships 5: Responding to Changing Times, University of Miami, Florida, March 2010

Selected Publications

Embedding Professionalism into Legal Education, 18 J. L. Bus.& Ethics 41 (2012)