Former XU professor runs for judge

Pavan Parikh sat down with the Newswire to talk about campaign, career

Photo courtesy of | Pavan Parikh (right) is a former Xavier political science and University of Cincinnati law adjunct professor who is running for the position of Hamilton County Judge. Parik also served as a Judge Advocate in the Army.

Pavan Parikh, a former adjunct professor of political science at Xavier and law a t the University of Cincinnati, took the time to sit down with the Newswire and discuss his career and campaign for Hamilton County Judge.

Michael Rauber (MR): Professor Parikh, why don’t you start off by telling us about where you are from and where you went to school?

Pavan Parikh (PP): I am from Cincinnati originally and I attended Princeton High School. I decided to stay local for college and in the fall of 2001, I began my first year here at Xavier, majoring in Philosophy. I initially planned on going to medical school but decided against it in my senior year at Xavier and began preparing to go to law school. Since I had a medical background, I chose to attend St. Louis University School of Law, which has the top Health Care Law program in the country.

MR: How long have you been working as a professor?

PP: I have been working as an adjunct professor at UC and Xavier for the past 3 years. While working in Columbus, I co-founded the Xavier State Politics Summer Internship Program in Columbus, with other members of the Political Science Department. Shortly thereafter, the Political Science department asked me if I wanted to help teach a few classes as an adjunct.

MR: What made you want to get involved in politics and law?

PP: I had always paid attention to politics, even as young kid. I think that is partially because my parents had immigrated to the United States. My mom is from South Africa and escaped the Apartheid era, while my dad is from India. I think their experiences encouraged me to be more politically engaged. Also, 9/11 happened two weeks into my first semester at Xavier, and it definitely shifted a lot of people’s focus, including mine.

MR: What would you do if you were not involved in politics or law as a career?

PP: Well, originally, I thought I would end up in medical school. Of course, I chose to go a different direction, but I figure that I would be in health care and medicine in some aspect if I decided to not go to law school. Because St. Louis University had a good health care law program, I thought I might even stick with it after law school.

MR: As a lawyer, what was your primary case focus?

PP: Well, I have worked on various types of cases. The first case that I ever worked on, I was in law school at the time, was a first degree murder case.

By the time I had graduated from law school, I had tried four different jury trials working with a prosecutor’s office and a public defender’s office.

I have worked in various capacities and spent time working on appellate issues as well.

I also spent four years working as the General Counsel for the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus in Columbus, and I currently work as a lawyer for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.

MR: What made you want to join the Army in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps?

PP: I always thought that I wanted to serve my country and find something that would be suitable for my career. After 9/11, I felt more of a duty and seriously considered joining. I was 18 at the time, though, and didn’t officially join the army as Judge Advocate until much later in life, at age 30. I have been in the Army JAG Corps Reserve ever since I joined and currently serve as a Special Victims Counsel representing victims of sexual assault.

MR: Explain the duties of the office that you are running for.

PP: As a judge of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, I would hear cases that are felonies, crimes that someone could be sentenced to at least six months in prison and civil claims that are upwards of $15,000. Pretty much the types of cases you would see on Law and Order or Suits.

MR: Could you ever see yourself running for State Representative, State Senator or a United States Congressional or Senate office down the road?

PP: If it felt right, then maybe. But I enjoy law because I feel like I can have an immediate impact, and I think the position that I am running for can not only have an immediate impact but could be something that I would enjoy as a career.

MR: Lastly, do you think you would ever return to teaching?

PP: I love teaching. I want to teach students. I loved working as an adjunct professor here and at UC Law. While teaching last semester, I did not feel fully present with my classes because of the campaign, but if the opportunity arose again and the timing was right, I would definitely teach again.

By: Michael Rauber | Guest Writer