Alumni In Class News

October 22, 2019 at 9:14 am

Severance Develops Interests Within Master’s in Law, Justice & Culture

Note: The Master’s in Law, Justice & Culture has 25 students, both online and on campus, who are learning about law and society studies.

Ryan Severance decided early on that law school wasn’t the path for him, but he still wanted to be involved with the law and legal studies.

He thought that the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture would tie neatly into his undergraduate studies while opening up new opportunities for him elsewhere in the field of legal studies.

With an M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture, Severance hopes to be able to educate his fellow citizens about the law and explore the ways that legal experts and societal elites wield the law as a tool of exploitation and control. Severance is also interested in working within politics to help politicians better understand the complex legal dilemmas they oft in Law, Justice and Culture.

Severance is an Ohio University alum who earned a B.A. in Political Science–Pre-Law and a minor in journalism. Severance first attended Ohio University through the Summer Transition Program, a five-week program that permitted participants to complete 15 credit hours of college classes to demonstrate their readiness for attending Ohio University.

Severance Had an Early Interest in Legal Studies

Severance finished his undergraduate studies ahead of plan and then had to decide what he was going to do next. He knew he had an interest in pursuing a graduate degree but wasn’t entirely sure what pathway to take. When he began to look around at his options, he remembered the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, whose certificate he almost pursued in his time in undergrad. That’s when Severance decided that the M.A. in Law, Justice & Culture would be the perfect fit.

‘You Have to Stand Up, Speak Up, Read Up…’

In terms of his interests in law and society studies, Severance is primarily focused and fascinated with international relations, but within his coursework thus far he’s been focused on American legal history and has been amazed at being able to learn just who and what has gotten us here today.

With these interests, Severance is looking forward to Dr. Jennifer Fredette’s Civil Liberties course, as he took courses with her in his time as an undergraduate and is excited to do so again. He’s also very interested in International Law, taught by Dr. Andrew Ross as that lies within his interests within law and society.

Throughout the courses Severance has been taking in the M.A. program, he’s learned a lot.

“You have to stand up, speak up, read up, and generally keep up with the world around you if you want to have an impact. That’s not always easy, but what meaningful action is?” he says.

Severance’s Work within Law, Justice & Culture

In addition to being in the M.A. program, Severance also works for the Center for Law, Justice & Culture. Part of what he loves about working for the center is that every day is a fresh experience, and there’s always a diverse array of people who walk in throughout the week.

“Being able to meet and interact with these new people, not to mention hear their opinions on the law, is a unique privilege I’m incredibly thankful for,” he says.

Severance is also a Communications Assistant for the Consortium for Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs, under the Communications Director, Dr. Haley Duschinski. The Cosortium for Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs is an organization for colleges and universities that have interdisciplinary programs geared toward undergraduate education about law and justice in the United States and internationally. The CULJP supports and promotes legal studies programs, law and society programs, criminal justice and criminology programs, programs in law and justice studies, and other relevant programs.

Through CULJP, Severance has been able to further develop his skills, and interact with hundreds of other individuals passionate about law and society studies, and has gained valuable experience.

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