Siobhan Boyd ’05: Practicing Her Passion
Siobhan Boyd '05 developed a passion for helping children and families when she was just a teenager. While Siobhan was growing up in Columbus, her mother worked as a foster parent. As a result, Siobhan was exposed to the realities of neglect and abuse as well as other tough situations in which families are often placed. Becoming aware of these hardships early on led her to a career trying to make a difference for families in similar situations by practicing domestic and juvenile law.
Siobhan has worked at the Columbus firm of Tyack, Blackmore, and Liston Co. since graduating from the Moritz College of Law in 2005.
Siobhan is an advocate for gender equality, and recognition and respect for different types of families. She feels that society, and at times the law, are not cognizant of the fact that the structure of families has evolved greatly. “We are no longer a society of cookie cutter families consisting of a mother, father, two kids, and a dog. There are families with two mothers, two fathers, grandparents, step kids, etc.” Parts of the law were written in ways that do not consider today’s family situations, Siobhan said. She feels that families that don’t “fit the mold” don’t need to feel out of place because of the way the law is structured, and she enjoys helping her clients navigate a system that is not always fair.
Siobhan’s father always told her to pick a career that came naturally to her. “While growing up, I was always talking. I liked to have lots of information and share it with others, so becoming a trial attorney seemed like a good fit.”
Siobhan chose Ohio State after earning her bachelor’s degree in Legal Communication from Howard University in 2002. As a Moritz Scholar, Siobhan had almost no loans and was able to take a lower paying job that concentrates on juvenile and family law right out of school. “The scholarship allowed me to focus on issues that I have cared about since high school and be the kind of lawyer I have always wanted to be.”
Another leading motivation in her career is her son, Marsellis. She gave birth to Marsellis during her second year at Moritz, and Siobhan says that he cements her passion for what she does everyday.
While at Moritz, the classes she most enjoyed were Family and Juvenile Law, and her favorite professor was Katherine Hunt-Federle. Even before Siobhan had her in class, Federle was always available to talk, and shared her interest in defending the rights of children. “It was great to bounce ideas off of her and she was always very receptive to what I had to say.”
Since graduating, Siobhan has become an active member of the community as a founding member and vice president of LinkOUT, a central Ohio organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered young professionals. The group, which was founded in January 2008, provides opportunities in community service and networking, as well as educational and professional development.
For now, Siobhan plans to continue working on behalf of families and children and improving her skills as a trial lawyer. Once she acquires more experience, she would like to translate that knowledge to scholarly work, and possibly one day begin teaching.