November 18, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Students Explore Legal Education and Profession at Pre-Law Days

Pierce Reed gives keynote on Revolution, Evolution & Convolution: How Liberal Arts Saved My Career in the Law

Pierce Reed gives keynote.

Sixteen Ohio University alumni and friends returned to campus Nov. 7-8 to share their law-related experiences and advice with current students during the 2019 Pre-Law Days.

The event began in Baker Theater on Nov. 7 with a keynote address by Ohio University College of Arts & Sciences Notable Alumni Pierce Reed. Reed graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1986. He also earned a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.

In his talk, “RevolutionEvolution, and Convolution: How Liberal Arts Saved My Career In Law,” Reed recounted his experiences as a student at Ohio University in the late 1980s and how those experiences and lessons shaped his life and legal career.

The event continued on Nov. 8 with a series of panel discussions in which students could ask questions of the alumni attorneys. The alumni shared experiences and advice on topics such as corporate law, criminal law, women in law, law school advice, and others. Any student interested in exploring the potential of legal careers was invited to attend. Some students were strongly committed to attending law school while others were still weighing their options.

Pre-law days panel, seated around a table

Pre-Law Days panel

“Legal education can lead to a wide array of career opportunities, whether in the legal profession or another sector like education, business, government, nonprofit, and many others,” said Larry Hayman, Pre-Law Advisor at Center for Law, Justice & Culture.

“Pre-Law Day is meant to highlight the versatility of a law degree, while giving students an opportunity to assess their own skills, values, and interests to ascertain whether legal education and legal practice might be a good fit for them,” Hayman continued. “One of the best ways to do this is to meet with current practicing attorneys and JDs in other careers.”

“Pre-Law Day was an exciting opportunity to network with attorneys and to learn what legal focus will allow me to represent constituencies I am passionate about,” said Ellen Gill, a second-year with a dual major in English Pre-Law and Sociology-Criminology with a Certificate in Law, Justice, & Culture. “Each guest presented resources and advice for pursuing a career in law that is meaningful and intellectually challenging.”

Several faculty members from the College of Arts & Sciences were on hand to moderate the panels, including Dr. Holly Ningard, Assistant Professor of Instruction in Sociology; Dr. Haley Duschinski, Director of the Center of Law, Justice, & Culture and Associate Professor of Anthropology; Dr. Jennifer Fredette, Associate Professor of Political Science; Dr. Elizabeth Koonce, Assistant Professor of Instruction in English; Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, Associate Professor of Political Science; and Dr. Kevin Uhalde, Associate Professor of History.

Pre-Law Days panel, seated around table

Pre-Law Days panel

After the panels several student groups gave presentations on their missions, membership requirements, and events to both students and alumni. Represented groups include Phi Alpha Delta, Ohio University Mock Trial, the University Chapter of the Ohio Innocence Project, Students Defending Students, and the Students for Law, Justice, & Culture.

Finally, students and alumni engaged in a series of round-table discussions on topics such as Brandenburg v. Ohio Turns 50, Wrongful Convictions, and Gender in the Law.

Alumni and friends who helped make 2019 Pre-Law Days a success were:

  • Katie Basalla: 2L student at University Cincinnati College of Law
  • Kerry Boyle: Vice President and General Counsel, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Columbus, OH
  • Nick Eaton: 2L student at University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Robert L. Föehl, Executive in Residence for Business Law and Ethics, Ohio University College of Business, Athens, OH
  • Joseph Gibson: Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Columbus OH
  • Brian Grube: Of Counsel, Jones Day Law Firm, Cleveland, OH
  • Alexa Jesser: 2L student at University of Cincinnati College of Law
  • Megan Kelley: Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations, National Church Residences, Columbus, OH
  • Dan Kemp: Associate General Counsel, Duke Energy, Raleigh, NC
  • Jere Krakoff: Former Civil Rights Attorney and Author, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Maddie Rettig: Associate Attorney, Marshall and Forman, LLC, Columbus, OH
  • Helen Robinson: Attorney, Marshall and Forman, LLC, Columbus, OH
  • Micah Siegal: Chief Legal Officer, PG Group, LLC, Lansing, MI
  • Chris Stanley: General Counsel, BroadStreet Partners, Columbus, OH
  • Mary Stanley: Retired U.S. Magistrate Judge, Charleston, WV
  • John Stember: Partner, Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Clarke Vandervort: Retired U.S. Magistrate Judge, Bluefield, WV

Pre-Law Day is hosted each year by the Center for Law, Justice & Culture with the support of the College of Arts & Sciences.

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