Julie Pugh spent her childhood on the family farm outside Kokomo, IN. It was a working farm where they raised corn, soybeans and tomatoes. Every other week, they’d load a tractor-trailer with hogs to take to market. She was the first girl born on her father’s side in 21 years to the day. She had nine cousins who were boys her age and older. She played football in the mud and went to monster truck rallies with her father.
Her parents signed her up for every sport they could find, just to keep her occupied. Basketball, soccer, softball, tennis, track, volleyball, wakeboarding, waterskiing. She was nine when she learned to slalom. Through high school, she was never not engaged in a sport. She was second in the state in tennis doubles her senior year. The same year playing basketball, she sustained multiple injuries, including sprained ankles, dislocated thumbs, a black eye, and minor concussions. She was not shy about going after the ball.
She is five-nine. In one game, she managed to block out Ruth Riley and get three rebounds. Ruth Riley, who is six-five, went on to play on Notre Dame’s NCAA women’s championship team in 2001 and was MVP in the WNBA 2003 and 2003 championship series. She laughs, “Ruth wiped the floor with me, but I did get those three rebounds.”
Julie has little patience for excuse makers. “People amaze me with the things they come up with in order to avoid accepting responsibility.” She admires those who are somehow impaired but who rise above adversity and succeed. She believes we each have an obligation to make the most of whatever we have.
As a partner in the Firm’s human resources client service department, she describes her work in this way: “It’s about separating people with real adversity from people with bogus adversity seeking to be paid for something they didn’t do. It’s a continuum; a gray line that requires judgment calls. Our role is to advise business owners and managers how to deal with those people who become litigious when the adversity is maybe more illusionary than real.”
Julie's two boys, Austin and Caleb, keep her running at home. "It's amazing, and sometimes frightening, to see your personal traits and attributes in the little body of your child. It reminds me to be my best self at all times possible." To that end, Julie has supported and volunteered with the Character Council, an organization committed to promoting good character to develop a stronger, safer and more unified community. She hopes to help instill good character in her children, and to spread the message that a positive attitude breeds success. She also sits on the board at Cancer Family Care and serves as an Executive Committee Member of the local SHRM Chapter, the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association (GCHRA).
Her goal is to make her clients’ work environments places where their employees want to work. “My job is to make your job easier – whether you’re a client, a colleague or whomever. If you’re a client, I’ll ask for answers to tough questions, which can be unpleasant – but in the long run, I’ll solve the problem, which makes the client’s job easier.”
Julie’s practice focuses on client counseling, employment litigation, and dispute resolution. She routinely represents clients before the EEOC, OCRC, DOL, and federal and state judges. Julie’s typical day starts with her reading about the latest changes in labor and employment law. The rest of the day may include quickly responding to client phone calls and emails, researching nuances of employment law, drafting and interpreting employment-related agreements, negotiating various contracts, asking a court or administrative agency to rule in a client’s favor, reviewing policies and employee handbooks, and hopefully making others’ jobs a little easier. Julie also regularly visits client locations to counsel human resources staff, managers and supervisors, and employees on important legal topics. Examples of such training topics include wage and hour laws, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment (or “Respectful Workplace Training”), labor relations, and leaves of absence management.
Julie is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. While at UC, Julie founded the Labor and Employment Law Club, was an Executive Member of the Moot Court Honor Board, was elected to the Student Legal Education Committee, and participated in the Alternative Dispute Resolution club. Julie also earned a BSBA from Xavier University in 2002, where she majored in Human Resources and minored in Psychology. She’s also a little bit of a statistics nerd.
Prior to attending law school, Julie got married, bought a house, got a dog, and worked as a Human Resources assistant at a Fortune 500 company. She also worked as a Human Resources staffing supervisor for a local logistics company. She holds certifications as a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). Julie sits on the Executive Board of GCHRA, a local SHRM chapter supporting continuing education of human resources professionals. She also enjoys volunteering with and supporting other local charitable organizations. Currently, she serves on the Executive Board of Cancer Family Care, a local non-profit that provides mental health counseling to cancer patients, their children, and their other family members in the tri-state area.
Julie and her husband, Jeff Pugh, are residents of Delhi. Jeff is the Admissions Director at St. Xavier High School, and they spend lots of time chasing after their two sons, Austin and Caleb. If you need a smile, ask her to see a family picture!