Chelsea J. Panzeca
Born and raised on the west side of Cincinnati, Chelsea became an intense
competitor and fighter for the underdog. Her appetite for a challenge,
coupled with her ambitious attitude, destined her for a career in criminal defense.
A small view into Chelsea’s work ethic will expose a former competitive
gymnast. Beginning at a young age while attending elementary school, Chelsea
trained for over 25 hours each week at a facility 45 minutes away from
her home. This continued until she retired from gymnastics and began her
undergraduate studies. Her work ethic continued throughout her education
helping her attain top grades. After only one conversation with Chelsea,
you will feel and understand the energy she possesses.
Chelsea attended the University of Cincinnati where she graduated Cum Laude
with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. As
an undergrad, she secured an internship with the Cincinnati Prosecutor’s
Office and initially set her sights on a career as a prosecuting attorney.
Her interests shifted, however, as she gained more exposure to the legal
system and witnessed firsthand the right to a fair trial is not a given.
While attending law school, Chelsea was selected to take part in the Kentucky
Innocence Project, an initiative developed by the Department of Public
Advocacy to provide incarcerated men and women who have legitimate claims
of innocence with a resource through which their claims may be investigated
and presented to the courts.
Assigned to a case in which the accused was eight years into a 40-year
sentence for a murder conviction, Chelsea reviewed case files and interviewed
witnesses to uncover new evidence. She extended her involvement in the
project an additional year to support the case until it went up for an
appeal. This exposure to flaws in the legal system and the effects of
poor representation further fueled Chelsea’s passion for criminal
As a second-year law student, she began working at a local law office and
immediately was assigned to work on a complex sex case in which a mother
faced allegations from her son. Chelsea had the opportunity to contribute
significantly, researching, gathering evidence, prepping witnesses and
organizing evidence at the defense table to appropriately refute claims.
After two years of working on this case and three days at trial, the jury
deliberated for only seven minutes, finding the client not guilty.
Chelsea is now using her skills and expertise to represent the clients
of Bleile & Dawson. She earned her Juris Doctor from Northern Kentucky
University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law where she served as
vice president of the Legal Association for Women.
Areas of Practice
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky J.D.
- University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
- B.S. (Cum Laude)
- Honors: Dean’s List
- Major: Criminal Justice
- Minor: Psychology
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Cincinnati Bar Association, Member
- Ohio Bar Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Alig & Bellamy, Criminal Defense
- Law Office of Roger W. Howland, Bankruptcy