Ohio Visionary Fellow and ABF Legacy Society member Daniel J. Hoffheimer may technically be retired, but his unflagging dedication to community service and the legal profession has never really been confined to the office. Ever since graduating from the University of Virginia Law School, Mr. Hoffheimer has fully immersed himself in a wide range of organizations and projects designed to improve society through advancements in art, education, medicine, and the proper administration of justice. The Taft Stettinius leader has been legal counsel for two presidential candidates, is a cornerstone of the Cincinnati estates and planned giving community, and is active with various bar organizations at the civic, state, and national levels. His contributions have been recognized by many leading law publications, including Law and Politics and The Best Lawyers in America.
What does being a Fellow mean to you?
Taking on the responsibility of being a Fellow is a disciplined way to support the highest aspirations of the legal profession and to inspire one’s colleagues to do so as well. It is the single most central manner in which to connect oneself to the pursuit of justice on a national level.
Where were you born and raised?
I grew up in Cincinnati, the son and grandson of lawyers and judges. My family first came to Cincinnati in 1830, and we have been here ever since. I went away to prep school, college, and law school, and despite temptations from Wall Street firms, I came back to my home town to practice law and engage with the community.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in law?
My father and grandfather gave my brother and I such fine role models as lawyers that I only briefly flirted with another path in college. My brother and I both became lawyers, have prospered, and are eternally grateful for the path we have followed.
If you hadn’t pursued a career in law, what would you have done?
I intensively studied Chinese history and culture in college, and was encouraged to go for a doctorate in East Asian studies. I have been able to study and publish in the area of Chinese law, so my chosen path of the law did not deter me from Chinese interests, among many others. Had I the musical talent, I would have wanted to become a concert pianist or orchestra conductor.
What do you do in your free time?
What free time? Now that I am “of counsel” and have transferred all but a trickle of client work to much younger lawyers, I am as busy as ever on boards and in community organizations and Democratic politics. In between, I attend the theater and concerts on the average of once per week. And then there are the piles of books, music compact discs, and courses online!
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I hope that we Fellows can inspire our colleagues to join us. The research published with our support continues to improve the law, and thereby to make our society more just. We must fulfill Dean Roscoe Pound’s dictum that the law is a profession pursued in the spirit of public service. Through the ABF we do that.