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ONU Law named one of the best law schools for public service

Feb 7, 2020

Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law has been recognized by preLaw magazine as one of the “Best Schools for Public Service,” specifically in the government category. PreLaw identified exceptional law schools for students interested in pursuing careers in public interest and government based on factors including: employment data, curriculum, tuition, debt and loan repayment options.

With ONU Law’s guaranteed opportunities for clinics and externships, combined with affordable tuition and low cost of living, ONU Law graduates are well-prepared to answer the call to service in public interest and government jobs.

ONU Law students are guaranteed a spot in 12 different clinic and externship placements, which include government, judicial, litigation, municipal government, prosecution and public defender externships. In these positions, students are able to explore law in government settings with placement in facilities such as the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office and the Ohio Supreme Court.

ONU Law also offers the lowest private law school tuition in the Midwest and an extremely affordable cost of living, which means that students graduate in a more financially-stable position to be able to take jobs in the public interest sector.

Emily Hudson, L-3, has taken advantage of ONU Law’s connections and opportunities to make a name for herself in the public interest field. “ONU Law has so many connections everywhere that I have had opportunities that I feel like I wouldn’t have had at other schools,” she shared. The summer after her first year, Professor Jean-Marie Kamatali helped her apply for a position in Rwanda. Working in public interest on a Rwanda justice reform project provided invaluable experience that set her apart when she applied for a position with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office the following summer.

Hudson learned about the position through ONU Law’s Office of Career and Professional Development, and she worked with them to schedule an on-campus interview. “I was lucky enough to interview with two individuals who were ONU Law alumni currently working at the AG’s office. This helped provide some talking points during the interview and make a connection that might not have occurred otherwise,” she said.

The summer position at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office provided real-life courtroom experience, which allowed Hudson to develop her public speaking skills and gain confidence in her ability to be an attorney and litigate. Hudson has already secured a position at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office this fall after graduation, and she looks forward to the positive difference she will be able to make. “I’ve always wanted to do something where I could help people. The work the AG does for the state of Ohio directly impacts all types of people. I like to know that the work I do actually does good.”

According to preLaw magazine, a growing number of law students are gravitating toward public interest positions because of the personal rewards. Studies show that lawyers who do such work are among the happiest.

Bailey Higgins, JD ’18, would agree. During her time at ONU Law, alumni also helped her secure externships in government settings – practical experience that prepared her well for life after graduation. She currently serves as an assistant prosecutor in Marion County, Ohio, where she finds great reward in the type of work she does. “The victims need a voice,” she shared, “and I love getting to help them find closure. The job can be stressful, but I think that comes with every job. My colleagues call me a ‘lifer.’ They expect that I will be here for life. I do not know what the future holds, but I certainly am happy where I am.”