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Experiences as an Ohio State Wrestler, ROTC Cadet, helped prepare 2L Jack Rozema for law school

March 4, 2019 | Students

By: James Grega

Jack Rozema’s path to law school at The Ohio State University was anything but ordinary. Now a 2L at The Moritz College of Law, he is applying his unique experiences as an undergrad athlete and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet to the classrooms in Drinko Hall.

A native of Wyoming, Mich., Rozema came to Ohio State as an undergrad on an ROTC and wrestling scholarship. The ROTC offer came first, followed by a visit to Columbus to meet wrestling coach Tom Ryan and then-colonel Michael Lear at the ROTC program. By the end of the trip, Rozema had settled on Ohio State.

Before his wrestling career was over, Rozema was named an Academic All-Big Ten selection, an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. He graduated with a degree in sports industry, but not before the Buckeyes won the program’s lone team national championship in 2014-2015, Rozema’s sophomore season.

Now in his second year of law school at Moritz, Rozema said the lessons learned while wrestling carry over to the classrooms in Drinko Hall.

“That [2014-2015] season taught me that at the top, everybody is good and competitive,” he said. “At Moritz, everybody comes from a background where they were elite and in the top five percent of an organization or school that they came from. To succeed and thrive in that environment, you have to be willing to step your game up, look at what other people do well that allows them to succeed, and also work on yourself.”

Rozema still has more than a year left of law school, but already has an immediate plan in place after graduation.

As part of his ROTC scholarship, Rozema was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Army. He is guaranteed to be a JAG officer upon graduation and passage of the bar exam. Whether he remains in the military after his four years of service or ventures into civilian law remains to be seen.

“Right now, I am just trying to gain as much experience in different areas as I can, take as many classes, meet new people, and try to set myself up for success in whatever way I can,” he said. “Just looking to be the best version of myself every day, and things will take care of themselves.”

Because of his history of success in athletics, Rozema is considering pursuing a path in sports law at some point throughout his career. A three-sport athlete in high school, he is keeping his options open.

“I am a CrossFit coach now, and I have been trying to network with professionals in that industry and learn what they did to get where they’re at,” he said. “I love when my day involves sports. I am trying to start a sports law blog or journal [at Moritz]. I love sports and I love athletics, so if I can to stay involved with that, I am going to do everything I can.”

When it came to applying for law school programs after completing his undergrad degree, there was one program that Rozema preferred above the rest. The relationships he developed at Ohio State as an undergrad were so strong, he decided to stay in Columbus, an easy decision for him to make.

“I knew I wanted to remain a Buckeye because of the caliber of the law school. I had ties here, I have a lot of contacts that network here,” he said. “I was also living with my fiancé at the time, so we knew we didn’t want to leave if we didn’t have to. I fell in love with this school and fell in love with the program.”