Seven high school juniors from Columbus School for Girls (CSG) spent the last two weeks working and observing the inner-workings of the Ohio Supreme Court.
Rachel Canowitz, Krystina Garabis, Margaret Keene, Victoria Ungvarsky, Welena Wallace, Keiko Wilkins, and Victoria Williams heard oral arguments on May 22.
The girls also attended lunch and spoke with Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor one on one. Chief Justice O'Connor talked to the girls about keeping their minds open to opportunities in the future and how those opportunities impacted her career.
"She is so awesome. She's very direct and matter-of-fact but she was really, really interesting," said CSG student Victoria Ungvarsky. "She talked to us about sort of choosing our career paths but also understanding that so much is unpredictable and sort of staying open to your options."
Throughout the two weeks, the students observed the different departments of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center including the Civic Education Center, the Office of the Administrative Director, the Office of Public Information, and the Law Library.
"I didn't really think about all of the different components that go into having a court run. It's not just the justices looking at cases and making decisions, it's a whole bunch of people. It's interesting to see how it all kind of comes together. I didn't really think of the court as several different entities working as one," said CSG student Rachel Canowitz.
Each year seniors from CSG participate in Senior May Program, a project where students organize their own externship during the final weeks of high school. For the first time, juniors were able to participate through a teacher-organized externship before they pilot their own next year.
"I get a new perspective on the court when I come in every day," said Canowitz, "and, it's been very, very valuable to have some hands on experience in each of the different departments."
Senior Judicial Attorney Pierce Reed helped facilitate the program with the court. The students also toured the Statehouse and the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.