Login | July 18, 2019

Akron Law selects longtime judge as commencement speaker

Legal News Reporter

Published: May 17, 2019

As president of The University of Akron School of Law Alumni Association, Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio got the chance to welcome new graduates to the association, but she never had the opportunity to speak at the commencement ceremony.

But that’s about to change on May 19 when she addresses this year’s graduating class.

Akron Law Dean Christopher J. (C.J.) Peters contacted Judge Tucci Teodosio in late February to invite her to serve as this year’s commencement speaker.

“I was pleasantly surprised and very honored when I received the email and letter from the dean,” said Judge Tucci Teodosio. “I am really looking forward to it and am in the process of finalizing what I am going to say.”

“We had many discussions as to who would be an outstanding representative and role model for our students at the commencement ceremony,” said Peters. “We could not think of anyone who embodied that status or function better than Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio.”

A native of Canton, Ohio and current resident of Munroe Falls, Judge Tucci Teodosio received both her bachelor’s degree in education and her juris doctor from The University of Akron.

Prior to taking the Summit County Juvenile Court bench in 2003, Judge Tucci Teodosio was a Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Court judge. She also served as an Akron Municipal Court magistrate, a staff attorney to 9th District Court of Appeals Judge Joyce George and as an associate at Nukes & Perantinides Co. (now Perantinides & Nolan Co.).

As juvenile court judge, she has unveiled a number of programs, including the specialized docket known as Crossroads, designed for court-involved youth who have co-occurring mental illness and/or substance dependence and Restore Court, which seeks to identify and provide support services to human trafficking victims and those who are at high risk of becoming victims. 

She also introduced New Paths Probation for juveniles with developmental delays and the Family Resource Center, which offers a variety of assistance to youth and their families to help the juveniles be more successful in school, work and life.

The judge is a former Akron Bar Association president and served on the bar association’s board of trustees twice. She is also a former board member and president of the Akron Bar Foundation.

A past St. Thomas More award recipient, Judge Tucci Teodosio has been appointed to statewide and national panels, committees, commissions and task forces that dealt with juvenile justice reform and other issues impacting youth.

In 2007 Judge Tucci Teodosio was named an Outstanding Alumna of The University of Akron School of Law.

“Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio has done so much for the legal community and for the community at large as a judge, through her charity and pro bono work, her work with various bar committees and her pioneering leadership in developing alternative dockets,” said Peters. “She is an incredible leader, who over the course of her career has helped to improve access to justice and judicial procedures for those who find themselves involved in the system.

“She has been supportive of her alma mater in many ways, including speaking in the new student orientation program and she has strong family connections to the university,” said Peters. “Her husband 9th District Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Teodosio and her son Christopher, who is an attorney at Brouse McDowell, are both graduates of Akron Law.

“On so many levels she is the perfect choice to speak to our graduates during the commencement ceremony.”

While she has not finalized her speech yet, the judge said she expects to remind graduates of the important responsibility that lawyers have as guardians of the rule of law.

“I will discuss the value of the education they received at Akron Law and emphasize the need to give back through community service and other means,” said Judge Tucci Teodosio. “I will also talk about maintaining a healthy work-life balance, which is something that all lawyers struggle with, especially today.

“When I graduated in 1982 there was no email,” she said. “While the Internet and technology have provided many advantages, the changes have increased the speed at which things happen. I think there is increased pressure to respond to emails and inquiries right away and to be on top of everything even if we are on vacation or with family.”

The judge said she will also encourage the students to find a mentor and stay connected to their state and/or local bar association “as a means of reducing stress and maintaining professionalism.”

The Akron Law commencement ceremony takes place on May 19 at 2 p.m. at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall.