Briefing Room


Moritz Launches Innovative Corporate Fellowship Program

January 12, 2011 | Events

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law proudly announces the launch of the Moritz Corporate Fellowship Program, an innovative initiative that places new Moritz graduates within the general counsel offices of leading national corporations. The fellowships, which follow the judicial clerkship model, will match the specific needs of each corporate partner while putting recent graduates’ top-flight training and ability to immediate use inside the legal departments of major companies.

“At the Moritz College of Law, we continue to introduce new programs that expand the opportunities for our students and graduates,” said Dean Alan Michaels. “This initiative will not only give our graduates a terrific career-building experience, but it will also allow Moritz and partner corporations to strengthen our relationships and benefit one another.”

The program’s inaugural partners are American Electric Power, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, and Scotts Miracle-Gro.

Corporate participants will deploy fellows in a manner that best fits their needs while uniformly providing fellows expansive exposure to the corporation, its legal needs, and the workings of in-house counsel, including the corporation’s interaction with lawyers outside the corporation. Like judicial clerkships, these paid fellowships typically will last between nine and twelve months.

“I immediately recognized that the program was a win-win for both the law school and Scotts,” said Vince Brockman, executive vice president & general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief ethics and compliance officer at Scotts. “Students and graduates get to add strong work experience to their resumes, and Scotts gets top notch talent at very competitive rates.”

Each Moritz Corporate Fellowship has a number of common elements that ensure the value of the experience. A corporate fellow will have a designated mentor within the general counsel’s office of their corporation. By attending group and client meetings, fellows will benefit by experiencing first-hand the issues and discussions within the partner corporation’s legal team. Fellows will also have the opportunity to meet with corporate leaders outside of the legal department. These interactions are intended to deepen the fellow’s understanding of the internal working of a corporation and the relationship between its business and its legal services.

“Historically, law firms have provided most of the legal profession’s post-graduate training opportunities,” said Patricia R. Hatler, executive vice president, chief legal and governance officer at Nationwide. “As corporations become an increasing share of the legal employment universe, it is important for in-house legal departments to participate in more formal, post-graduate educational opportunities. We think the Fellowship Program is both a great training opportunity for graduates, as well as a significant chance for corporate employers to educate attorneys about the exciting possibilities of in-house practice.”

Mike Miller, AEP’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, reiterated that investing in the development of professional talent benefits AEP, the community at large, and Moritz graduates.

“The Moritz Corporate Fellowship Program fits perfectly with AEP’s long-standing support for academic institutions in the communities we serve and provides an innovative program that aligns with our Legal Department’s mission to provide the highest quality legal services in the most cost-effective way,” Miller said. “This program offers us the opportunity to nurture emerging legal talent through direct exposure to the cutting-edge legal issues that our lawyers and staff face every day and to do so in a way that makes sound economic sense to us.”

To learn more about the program, visit