January 9, 2020 at 9:23 am

Alumni | Damiani Excited About New Job as Judicial Staff Attorney at the Ohio Court of Claims

A smiling Amber Damiani with bookcase of law books in the background.

Amber Damiani

2019 was a whirlwind of a year for Amber Damiani ’15 ’16M! In the spring, she graduated summa cum laude from Capital University Law School after completing three years of law school. Following graduation and studying all summer, she sat for the July 2019 bar exam. Then, on November 12, 2019, her lifelong dream of becoming an attorney came true when she was sworn in and became licensed in the State of Ohio!!

In the winter, her article Nix the “Fix”: An Analysis on Ohio’s Criminal Sentencing Law and Its Effect on Prison Population (citation is 47 CAP. U.L. REV. 755, 2019) was officially published on 12.01.2019.

To close out the year, she accepted employment as a Judicial Staff Attorney at the Ohio Court of Claims. The Ohio Court of Claims was created to hear claims against the state for money damages and to hear appeals from Attorney General decisions regarding claims filed under the Victims of Crime Compensation Program. As an attorney with the Court of Claims, Damiani will be performing research and written analysis of legal and factual issues presented before the court; preparing decisions and entries filed with the court; assisting judicial officers in preparation for and conducting trials, hearings and conferences; and communicating about the nature of the cases with attorneys, pro se litigants, and other court personnel.

Her OHIO Experience

She believes that her time at Ohio University has helped her tremendously, not only in her ability to successfully complete law school and become a licensed attorney, but also for her career. While at OHIO, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree with a double-major in Sociology-Criminology and Political Science Pre-Law with a minor in Psychology. Following her undergraduate degree, she obtained her Master’s in degree in Sociology with specialization in Victimology and Mental Health.

“Through these endeavors, I improved my ability to effectively and efficiently problem solve, develop and hone writing and researching skills, enhance my overall public speaking abilities, and gain experience presenting challenging concepts to a diverse audience,” Damiani explains. “These skills have been invaluable to me in my journey learning about the law and, now, learning how to be an attorney. I find, specifically, the skills I began developing at OHIO in researching, writing, and interpersonal communication have been crucial in my ability to effectively discuss legal issues and applicable law with judges, magistrates, attorneys, professors, litigants, court personnel, etc. during my time as a law student and in the various roles I have had thus far in my legal career.”

Value of Building Connections

Additionally, she believes the connections she developed at OHIO have helped her in her career. With the goal of being a lawyer following law school, many advised her that the connections she would make during law school would be the most crucial, which is generally very true, but it was her experience that the connections she made at OHIO have helped her just as much navigating through law school and into her career as an attorney!

One such instance was her first job in law school was as a law clerk, which provided her with broad exposure to litigation, including working with clients, attorneys, prosecutors, judges, magistrates, law enforcement, various court personnel, etc. The experience she was able to get from this job helped her be a better law student and set the tone for her career in litigation.

“Well, I got an interview for this job because a friend referred me for the position,” Damiani says. “Although this friend was a fellow Capital Law student who was a year ahead of me, she referred me based on our interactions and her knowledge of my work ethic from having classes together at OHIO!”

Additionally, she says that having fellow Bobcats ahead of you in law school or who are already attorneys gives a future/current law student an invaluable resource to reach out and discuss crucial decisions to make as a law student and possible pathways for future employment.

“To be honest, regardless of what career path one chooses to take, it cannot be stressed enough to BEGIN DEVELOPING THESE RELATIONSHIPS NOW!!!” Damiani emphasizes.

Even if they never work to one’s advantage in terms of future graduate school endeavors or career opportunities, it will only make one’s time at OHIO more enjoyable and make a big school feel like home. She met some great friends, advisors, and colleagues during her time in Athens that are still in her life today and continue to help her navigate important life decisions.

“If I could advise any current and future Bobcats, I would tell them that their experience as an OHIO student is whatever they decide to make it, so take advantage of the opportunities, resources, and time you have at OHIO because this is only the beginning of the rest of your journey!”

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