Barbara Wagner

Barbara Wagner

Barbara Wagner
Assistant Professor of Law
Director of the Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic

Assistant Professor of Law
Director of the Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic

"After thirty years of practice as a lawyer, I'm thrilled to be here sharing with our students some of the skills I've acquired over the years. None of this was taught when I went to law school, and it's something all practicing lawyers now expect in new lawyers. I'm impressed with the collegiality and caliber of the faculty and the energy of the students. My students really want to learn, and it's a pleasure working with them."


Professor Barbara Wagner is the Director of the Chase Small Business & NonProfit Law Clinic. Before joining Chase, Prof. Wagner practiced law for over 30 years, including 10 years in private practice and over 20 years as an inhouse lawyer with Chiquita Brands International, Inc., most recently as Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary. The number two lawyer in the department, her responsibilities included the company's SEC compliance and other corporate, finance and corporate governance areas, as well as significant transactional work. She also served as the company's Chief Compliance Officer from 2005-2007. Before moving inhouse, she worked at law firms in New York City (including Shearman & Sterling and Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom) and Cincinnati (Frost Brown Todd), where she was involved in a variety of corporate and securities law and transactional areas, as well as structured finance.

Professor Wagner's prior teaching experience includes several semesters as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she taught hands-on corporate practice courses involving corporate transactional practice, drafting and negotiation. Prior to attending law school, she also taught an undergraduate corporate finance course at the University of Maryland.

Professor Wagner has been active, including as a speaker, in several bar associations, most notably serving for four years as the chair of the Value Challenge Committee for the Association of Corporate Counsel Southwest Ohio Chapter which organized several programs for practitioners, including Partnering Among Inhouse Counsel, Outside Counsel and Law Schools to Improve Training for Law Students and Lawyers (February 2012). She is a member of the Business Law Education Committee of the ABA Business Law Section, and is currently co-chairing a task force on competencies for business lawyers. She is admitted to practice in New York, Ohio and Kentucky, and is a member of the American, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Bar Associations, as well as the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals and the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association.

Professor Wagner has recently been honored by Yale University as a recipient of the Yale Medal (to be awarded in November 2015), the highest award presented by the Association of Yale Alumni, conferred solely to honor outstanding individual service to the University, in her case based on over 25 years of volunteer leadership in alumni activities in the Cincinnati Yale Club, her class, and several other shared identity groups and service activities.  She also serves on the boards of directors of Dining for Women ( and Dress for Success Cincinnati, including the nominating committee of each and the finance committee of Dining for Women; is an advisory board member of YaleGALE (Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange); and is a trustee and secretary of her neighborhood association.  She served for almost twenty-five years as the director of the Yale alumni schools committee for southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky and just completed three years as a national council member of YaleWomen.



  • BA Linguistics, Yale College
  • MSBA, Boston University
  • JD, Columbia Law School

Courses Taught

  • Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic
  • Ethics for Transactional Lawyers
  • Representing Small Businesses
  • Advanced Field Placement Seminar and Supervision
  • Business Boot Camp (non-credit)


Co-author, Skills is Not a Dirty Word:  Identifying and Teaching Transactional Law Competencies, 15 Tenn. J. Bus. L. 639 (2014) (with Sue Payne, Ann-Marie McGaughey, Bill Bates & Danny Bogart)

Pending Changes in Federal Securities Laws Will Permit Small Businesses to Raise Funds Online, LEX LOCI (Northern Kentucky Bar Association) (August 2013)

Speaking Engagements and Recognitions

Participant in inaugural trip of the Yale Alumni Schools Ambassadors program, to share the benefits of a liberal arts education. Producer of four programs in Macedonia and Albania, organized a welcome by the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, gave an address about the value of a liberal arts education, and participated in panel discussions on admissions, financial aid, and career options with a liberal arts degree (May 2015)

Co-chair, Defining Competencies for Business Lawyers Task Force of the Committee of Legal Education of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. Presented, "Proposed List of Competencies for an Entry–Level Business Lawyer," at the Spring Meeting of the ABA Business Law Section in San Francisco (April 2015) SSRN 
(April 2015)

Radio Interview, Cincinnati Edition, "Chase’s Small Business and Nonprofit Law Clinic," WVXU, Cincinnati ( (January 2015)

Speaker, “Valuable Business Resources” at Latonia Business Association, January 2015

Speaker, "Negotiation Principles and Practice," at Finding the Right Mix:  Successful Negotiation Strategies for Women, program presented by Thompson Hine. (November 2014)

Participant, Yale Alumni Service Corps service trip to Kakelao, India, counselling small businesses and women’s co-op (July 2014)

Completed intensive program on Negotiations for Lawyers and Executives, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Harvard Negotiation Institute (June 2014)

Keynote Panel: Skills is Not a Dirty Word: Identifying and Teaching Transactional Law Competencies, Emory University School of Law Conference on Teaching Transactional Law and Skills:  Educating the Transactional lawyer of Tomorrow, Atlanta, GA (June 2014)

2014 Ethics Update for Corporate Counsel, Kentucky Bar Association House Counsel Section, Louisville, KY (April 2014)

The Competencies of the Business Lawyer:  Can They Be Defined and Taught and, If So, Who Should Do That?   ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting, American Bar Association, Los Angeles, CA (April 2014)

Bringing Business Law Down to Earth – Establishing and Maintaining Good Relationships Between Small Business Clients and Outside Counsel, Cincinnati Business Courier Small Business Essentials Series, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blue Ash, OH (March 2014)

Crowdfunding and Project Financing: Getting the Professional Paid, NKU Chase Law + Informatics Institute program on Success Strategies for the Professional Artist in the Digital Age: Legal and Business Tactics for Filmmakers, Musicians, Video Game Creators, and Visual Artists (November 2013)

Contract Drafting and Writing Emails that Your Clients Will Read, CLE presentations to a Cincinnati law firm (July-August 2013)

Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange delegation to Latvia and Lithuania to discuss best practices in alumni and development activities (July 2013).  Presentations included:

  • Retaining Talent in the Region and Graduate Employability, and Regional Alumni Associations, Building Student and Alumni Networks Workshop, European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania (in exile from Belarus)  
  • Alumni Relations, and Shared Interest Groups, Stockholm School of Economics, Riga, Latvia
  • Volunteer Leadership, US Embassy program with NGO Representatives, Riga, Latvia

The JOBS Act:  Crowdfunding and the Securities Laws, Northern Kentucky Bar Association Corporate and Tax Section (June 2013)

Beyond the Four Corners of the Ethics Rules:  Professionalism and the Business Lawyer, ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting, American Bar Association, Washington, DC (April 2013)

Labor and Employment:  Implications for the Future, 2013 Northern Kentucky Law Review - Law + Informatics Symposium on Labor and Employment Issues, NKU Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, KY (February 2013)

Interviewed by Cincinnati Enquirer, “NKU Center Gives Startups a Boost” (January 17, 2013)

Frequent presenter to community groups, including SCORE, Bad Girl Ventures and Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, about the Chase Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic and matters of interest to small businesses.