Friday June 2, 2017

What Made Alumni Weekend So Special

Jane Novick ’12 was surprised to hear about the honor she received during Alumni Weekend and then was even more surprised when she found out its name.

Jane Novick just knew she was about to be called on in her Constitutional Law class.

The topic was a case stemming from the Vietnam War-era, and Novick was considered the expert.

“It was always the joke I would get called on because I was the only one who lived through the Vietnam War,” Novick says.

Novick came to the University of Dayton School of Law at a time in her life when many people think about ending careers not starting them.

“My father used to tell me age is for record keeping purposes,” Novick says. “It is how you act and feel.”

That’s why it’s fitting Novick at the age of 62 received the Richard Perna Young Alumni Award at the School of Law’s Alumni Weekend. The “Young” in the title refers to the amount of time since an alum graduated (10 years or less) but it could also describe Novick’s spirit.

“Anything young and associated with me, I love it,” Novick says.

Novick didn’t start out expecting to go into law. She was an economist, but then everything changed.

“My second child was born with a developmental disability,” Novick says. “I made the decision if she was going to make it in the world, it was going to require my full-time effort.”

So Novick left her job, but through the years she did a number of things to advocate for the disabled.

“It was a way for me to help people who didn’t have the benefits I had,” Novick says.

She decided to try law school so she could do more to assist those most in need. Dayton Law proved to be a great fit for her.

“I think it is really a fantastic law school,” Novick says. “I hope more people take advantage of it.”

Since graduating from the School of Law in 2012, Novick has had her own practice, helping families and those who might not otherwise be able to afford a lawyer.

“I felt like it was the right thing for me to do,” Novick says. “I love it.”

In the last year, Novick joined the Montgomery County Juvenile Court as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She didn’t realize how much notice people had taken of what she was doing to help the community’s most vulnerable, so the Young Alumni Award came as a bit of a shock.

“It was such a surprise,” Novick says. “It was kind of amazing.”

Novick was excited her family was there to see her get the award and thanked them for their support in her decision to get a law degree and open her own practice.

“It certainly went in directions I hadn’t expected,” Novick says. “It’s been really fantastic.”

In addition to Novick's, two other awards were handed out at the Law Alumni Awards Luncheon. Ellis Jacobs '81 was given the Fracis J. Conte Special Service Award and Dale Creech Jr. was given the Honorable Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award.

At the Law Alumni Dinner, the Hon. Elizabeth McClanahan '84 was given the Distinguished Alumni Award and Mike Mutek '79 won the Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award.

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