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Hon. Jeffery P. Hopkins ’85 Honored with William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award

May 24, 2010 | Alumni

Hon. Jeffery P. Hopkins ’85, U.S. Bankruptc y Judge, Southern District of Ohio, has long been driven to be not only the best attorney and judge that he can be, but also the best person. His commitment to hard work, service, and being a role model for younger lawyers is unwavering.

Since graduating law school, he has proven successful as a bankruptcy court judge as well as making a difference in countless professional and civic organizations. For those reasons, the College recently awarded Judge Hopkins the William K. Thomas Distinguished Jurist Award at the 2010 Spring Hooding Ceremony.

Awarded to a current or former judge who has graduated from the College, the Distinguished Jurist Award recognizes personal integrity and commitment to fairness, freedom, and equality.

Judge Hopkins clerked for the Honorable Alan E. Norris on the Ohio Court of Appeals and later on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. After spending three years at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Judge Hopkins was appointed as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Ohio. Three years later, he was named chief of the office’s Civil Division. After three years in that position, in 1996, Judge Hopkins was appointed as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of Ohio.

Judge Hopkins has taken on numerous leadership positions in professional organizations. He was president of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges during the 2006-07 term. He has been appointed by U.S. Supreme Court chief justices to several committees, including the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Judge Education, the Judicial Conference of the United States Bankruptcy Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules, and the Judicial Conference of the United States Judicial Branch Committee. He is a director of the American Bankruptcy Institute Board, a fellow at the American College of Bankruptcy, and a member at the American Law Institute. Since 1998, Judge Hopkins has periodically taught courses at the University of Cincinnati College of Law as an adjunct professor.

“Judge Hopkins is a person who believes in giving back,” said Robert L. Solomon, II, assistant dean for admissions and financial aid and director of minority affairs at Moritz. “He is keenly aware of his own good fortune and is determined to share whatever he has achieved to make sure that others can also benefit.”

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Judge Hopkins has also volunteered extensively in the Cincinnati area. He currently sits on the boards of the Queen City Foundation and Working in Neighborhoods. The Queen City Foundation is a Cincinnati nonprofit organization that provides academic opportunities in independent schools both in Cincinnati and throughout the U.S. to talented minority students. Working in Neighborhoods targets public housing residents and teaches them about finance and home ownership. Judge Hopkins has also served on the Moritz Alumni National Council since 2004.

Judge Hopkins and his wife, Michelle, live in Cincinnati with their two children.