Court Provides Unique Learning Opportunity for Future Lawyers
By Csaba Sukosd | May 2, 2023
For law students considering careers in the justice system, they had a unique chance to experience the state's high court on their campus.
University of Cincinnati College of Law students met with Supreme Court of Ohio justices as part of its Off-Site Court program. Nineteen students interested in becoming judicial assistants or clerks sat and spoke with the justices during a luncheon following oral arguments.
"It's a tremendous honor to have the Court and justices here," said UC College of Law student Sarah Froehlich.
The justices offered guidance as seasoned legal professionals and shared their academic experience at UC. Three of the justices received degrees from the university and two others have taught at the law school.
"UC is opening doors. A clerkship will open doors. Don't hesitate to walk through it when the door is open," said Chief Justice Sharon L. Kennedy, who earned her undergraduate and law degrees from UC.
She recommended the law students seek specific courses and experiences for their desired tracks, extensive legal writing, and developing relationships with judges and lawyers.
"A growing professional network will serve you your entire career," she said. "You will be a better lawyer if your network is wide and deep."
That's something second-year law student Froehlich is doing through several different opportunities. Aside from being a student, she competes in appellate debate competitions known as moot court and works as a fellow with the Ohio Innocence Project, which works to free wrongfully imprisoned people.
It's a major career shift for Froehlich who spent several years as an event planner, largely weddings, before she decided she wanted to become an attorney.
"I'm here to learn how and why our law operates the way it does, how we can use the law to strive toward equality, and at the most simple level, how we can use the law to help people," Froehlich said to her peers, lawyers, and justices during the luncheon.
She's still determining what kind of law she'd like to practice, but she knows a judicial clerkship could help guide her. It would provide insight into the courts, and the chance to learn from experienced lawyers, judges, and even justices, about how she can serve others.
"If democracy is about giving everyone a seat at the table, our lawyers and judges are in the best position to pull up the chair," Froehlich said.