Summer Experiences: Law Clerk at Ohio Attorney General

liz berryLiz Berry is originally from Westfield Center, Ohio. She earned her B.A. from Otterbein University, double majoring in History and Political Science. She is spending her 1L summer at the Ohio Attorney General, Education Division.

Since I’m sure everyone reading this blog post has been diligently following me since I began my writing career for the Admissions Office last autumn, you may consider this an addendum to “May the Internships be Ever in Your Favor.” Because I really lucked out and landed a great one.

I’m spending my summer as a law clerk with the Ohio Attorney General. And in case you’re like my friends and asking “how’s it feel to put people in jail?” let me just clarify by stating that I’m working in the Education Division. And really, truly, honestly, I promise. We do not put people in jail. Or at least we haven’t in the seven weeks I’ve been working.

My section represents the 30+ public colleges and universities in the state of Ohio, as well as the Ohio Department of Education. We deal with lawsuits by or against the colleges, can be used by the colleges as general counsel if so desired, and we also litigate teaching licensing and child nutrition hearings. My mentor and I joke that the section is more like a litigation firm than anything else. And luckily for me, that means there’s plenty of substantive legal work to do.

So what have I been up to this summer? Plenty of research and memo assignments on general legal topics…having a working knowledge of Civ Pro and Contracts has definitely come in handy. I’ve had the opportunity to work on two briefs for administrative hearings and also write my own (supervised) motion to dismiss! Needless to say, it was really exciting that they trusted me enough to draft work with the AG’s name on it. The program has also provided plenty of out-of-the-office experiences. I’ve been able to attend several court sessions (our section was actually involved in a three week federal jury trial where I was put on the stand! (only to read a deposition but it still counts)), administrative hearings, and even sit in on a settlement. The law clerks have met the AG, judges, court clerks, and been able to attend resume and writing workshops. It’s been a busy summer, and I’m almost disappointed that there are only four weeks left. Still, I’m excited to get back to W&M to see what opportunities 2L year will bring!

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