3L sets eyes on a career dedicated to country, public service
By: Madeleine Thomas
Graduation may be several months away for 3L Ben Fogle, but he already has his eyes set on a career devoted to public service. He hopes to join the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) with the United States Air Force, where he will serve his country and provide an array of legal services to the Air Force and its Airmen. He also envisions a career working for state government or maybe the Department of Justice one day.
“If I’m going to do anything, I want it to be public service. I thought that one of the highest services I could do, one of the most prestigious things I could do, would be to become an Air Force JAG,” Fogle said. “You help keep good order and discipline, you also do a lot of legal assistance in that line of work, and I think it’s one of the best places where I could go and help people.”
Last summer, Fogle served as a law clerk for the United States Air Force at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. He was placed specifically with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), which offers a graduate school of engineering and management as well as technical professional continuing education. AFIT houses several programs including the Center for Cyberspace Research and the National Security Space Institute, and supports emerging research in fields like lunar navigation and hypersonic engineering—engines that can travel at supersonic and hypersonic speeds. Fogle worked under AFIT’s Staff Judge Advocate, where he tackled legal issues unique to AFIT’s scholarship, like copyright and trademark issues and questions pertaining to intellectual property.
“There were several professors there who weren’t used to working for the government and who don’t realize the full extent to which their work becomes government property when they’re doing research,” Fogle said. “I helped look over research agreements between the Air Force and other big science and tech companies involving experiments, pretty much none of which I’m allowed to talk about, but that was really, really cool, suffice to say.”
As managing editor of I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, Fogle continues to study the intersections of technology and the law, an ever-evolving legal field with its own set of unique challenges.
“A lot of new law and unexplored legal questions come about because of new technology, so I feel like a journal about technology is at the cutting edge of legal questions, like questions about the law of cyberspace and questions about data analytics that haven’t been answered yet by the legal system, or that some argue the legal system isn’t even equipped to answer,” he said. “Those kind of things I find super interesting.”
With the help of a fellowship from Moritz’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), Fogle also externed with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. Throughout the course of his fellowship, he helped unaccompanied immigrant children navigate the American legal system and find acceptance to school districts throughout the area. He also conducted client visits at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital through the Cincinnati Child Health-Law Partnership (Child HeLP), a partnership in which doctors can refer patient families to the Legal Aid Society for consultations regarding domestic violence and custody issues, evictions, housing conditions, and other legal problems.
Aside from his ultimate dream of joining the JAG Corps and his passion for public service, Fogle believes one of the most rewarding aspects of being a student at Moritz is the college’s intimate 11:1 faculty to student ratio, which has allowed him to connect more closely with professors than he ever has before.
“The faculty to student ratio is so small that I’ve got to spend more time with professors and talking to professors than I ever did in undergrad, which is really neat,” Fogle said. “The wide range of experience they have is amazing to me. Professor Mohamed Helal, for instance, he was an Egyptian diplomat and now he’s here at Moritz, and I can just stroll into his office to talk.”