Meet Fiona, Law Students’ Best Friend

February 16, 2024 | News, UToday, Law
By Margaret Beccavin

When Cindy Kirby, assistant dean for student affairs, joined the College of Law leadership team in December 2022, she brought a bonus member of staff with her, Fiona, the law dog.

Fiona is an Irish Red and White Setter who is a Certified Therapy Dog by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Originally, she was trained to assist the clients of Kirby at her family law practice. When Kirby decided it was time to close her practice and embark on a new journey assisting students at UToledo Law, Fiona had a simple switch from calming clients to bringing joy and stress relief to law students.

Photo of Fiona, the law dog.

Fiona is an Irish Red and White Setter who is a Certified Therapy Dog and the College of Law’s unofficial mascot.

“Fiona feels most fulfilled when she is comforting others,” Kirby said. “It always brightens her day when she gets to be there for the students to help them decompress and let their worries go for a few moments.”

Fiona can almost always be found napping in the dean’s suite or wandering through the forum between classes to greet students. Most days, students will stop by the dean’s suite just to see Fiona for some affection between classes and during study breaks.

“It is great having Fiona on campus,” said Sydney Voss, a second-year law student. She is here often and whenever she makes her rounds around the school, it always brightens my day. She provides a break from the stress of class and a pretty good reason to be happy, even if just for a moment.”

Added second-year law student Collin Mischak, “Fiona is the companion you didn’t know you needed. Without fail, she always provides a much-needed feeling of joy and fun.”

Fiona has contributed to countless smiles in the Law Center over the past year, and many more are still to come.

While most students and visitors to the Law Center are excited to meet Fiona, she understands that not everyone is comfortable around her. In these cases, arrangements are easily made to accommodate those who prefer to avoid interacting with her.

“Having Fiona here at the Law Center is great for law students,” said Valerie Deighton, a first-year law student. “She is always a joy to be around and she brightens students’ days.”

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