3L found her stride with Moritz’s nationally-ranked Moot Court program
By: Madeleine Thomas
3L Lydia Bolander Reback dreamed of being a lawyer from the time she was in elementary school. But before coming to law school, Reback worked in political communications, supporting local, state, and federal candidates in Ohio and several other states. She enjoyed the work, but always felt like something was missing.
“I grew up around attorneys,” Reback said, “and especially once I was out of college and working, I noticed how passionate they were about their work. It seemed like a career where writing, research, and oral advocacy really mattered, and that was very exciting to me.”
Reback found her stride during her 1L year with Moritz’s nationally-ranked Moot Court program. Based on her performance in the Moritz 1L Moot Court Competition, she was invited to join Moritz’s Evidence team the following year. As 2Ls, Reback and her teammates brought home a first-place trophy from the 32nd annual Dean Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Moot Court Competition, hosted by Brooklyn Law School. Reback won Best Oralist in the final round, during which she argued before two federal appeals court judges and a federal district court judge. She helped coach the team this year alongside Professor Ric Simmons.
As a 3L, Reback and her teammates, fellow 3Ls John Bullock and Audry Klossner, won second place at the Andrews Kurth Kenyon Moot Court National Championship, a highly selective national competition during which the top 16 moot court teams in the country compete for the national title. Although the agony of defeat felt crushing at the time—Reback and her teammates were one point away from first place—she took home another award: Third Best Speaker.
“It’s always hard to come in second when you worked so hard to win, but this was a huge accomplishment for our team and for Moritz,” she said. “We’re so grateful for the many judges, professors, alumni, practicing attorneys and fellow students volunteered to do practice moots with us ahead of time. It was crucial to our success at the competition.”
Reback’s experience on moot court was invaluable to her law school education, she said.
“I think the Moot Court program at Moritz is unique in the number of ways they try to create community and help people feel supported,” Reback said. “One of the biggest things Moot Court did was help me build confidence in my abilities. I’ve developed my writing, my oral advocacy skills, and my critical thinking skills. I’m able to take feedback, implement it quickly and bounce back, even if it’s tough feedback, all of which I think are assets I will continue to rely on throughout my career.”
Reback’s advice to Moritz’s incoming class of 1Ls? Be creative and persistent. Throughout law school Reback completed externships with several state and federal judges and worked for the Ohio State University Office of Legal Affairs and the Franklin County Juvenile Public Defender’s Office. Reback has also been a member of the Ohio State Law Journal for two years, first as a Staff Editor and later as the journal’s Note Editor. She will join the Ice Miller LLP Columbus office as an Associate this fall.
“Your classes should be your first priority, but if you find yourself struggling academically, or feeling like your grades alone are not going to get you where you want to be, you should be relentless in pursuing other opportunities,” Reback said. “Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up on the path you want to be on, because you never know how you’re going to get where you want to be. If you network, if you do well with the projects you’re handed at your summer job, you’d be shocked by how many doors are going to open that you might not have seen coming.”