Icelandic Law Students Visit Ohio Northern College of Law
Three Ohio Northern law students traveled to Columbus on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 with seven visiting law students from the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Icelandic students spent a week in Ada as part of the Icelandic Legal Exchange Program (ILEP), which began at ONU in 1960. ILEP President Brandyn Butler (L3), Secretary Aryn Goempel (L1), and member Lauren Colby (L2) took the Icelandic students to Columbus to see the Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center, which houses the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Ohio Statehouse. At the Supreme Court, the students were welcomed by Mindi Wells (JD 1998), former Assistant Dean for Administration and Student Affairs at Ohio Northern’s College of Law. Mindi Wells now works as the Ohio Supreme Court’s Assistant Administrative Director.
The tour of the Judicial Center ended in the oral argument room where the Icelandic students were given an explanation of federalism in the judiciary between state and federal courts as well as the election of judges, two things quite foreign to them. Melissa Baldwin (JD 1996), law clerk for Associate Justice Robert Cupp (JD 1976), answered questions about the state judicial and electoral processes.
The students also visited the office of Darrel Davison, Adjunct Professor of Law at Ohio Northern and Partner at Thompson Hine, LLC. Professor Davison explained the size of larger law firms in America. In Iceland, the largest law firm would have approximately 80-100 lawyers and that would be a rarity. The country with a population of only 320,000 does not house many of what Americans would consider “large firms.”
The tour of Columbus was concluded with a visit to the Ohio Statehouse to see where the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives are housed. Icelandic students are not used to such a large legislative body, nor do they have bicameralism. The Icelandic Parliament consists of one house with sixty-three members; a much smaller house than the thirty-three Senators and ninety-nine Representatives that make up Ohio’s General Assembly.
The Icelandic law students left Ada on October 28th to visit Washington, D.C. where they met Justice Antonin Scalia at the United States Supreme Court. They then returned to the capital city Reykjavik to resume their law studies.