Briefing Room


Meet Sara Sams, EIC Elect, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution (JDR)

April 29, 2019 | Students

Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio

Legal Interests: Litigation

Education: Ohio University, Political Science (Bachelor’s)

What led you to Moritz?

I knew going into undergrad I wanted to go to law school. My sister and my dad both went to Ohio State for law school. I wanted to be close to my family while in law school to have that support system. I love Columbus as a city and I want to practice here.

Other than family ties, why was law school in your plans so early on?

I competed in mock trial as an undergrad, and I really loved being on my feet and litigating a mock trial. That is where I first found an interest in litigation. I knew I always wanted to go into politics. When you’re going into politics, law school is the path you generally take. Since I have been here, I definitely want to do litigation and be on my feet talking to people.

Any other areas of law outside of litigation that interest you?

Maybe labor unemployment. Anything where I get to be on my feet and talking with people. Probably in the appellate section, after the trial court makes their decision, where cases get appealed and that sort of litigation.

Why did you want to pursue becoming an editor-in-chief for the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, the official law journal of the American Bar Association’s Section on Dispute Resolution?

It is really prestigious, and it has been the ABA-accredited journal for the last 33 years. I wanted to have the opportunity to make a longstanding impact on JDR and implement some internal procedures that I think will make being a staff editor more productive and efficient for 2Ls. I think we have a great group of people who I am really excited to work with both on the executive board and just generally across the staff editors.

Are there any articles you’re especially proud or excited to be publishing in the next issue?

We’re really excited to publish an article from Professor [Julie] MacFarlane, who was the speaker at The [Schwartz] Lecture on Dispute Resolution. I went to the lecture and believe her piece is cutting-edge and really necessary in legal scholarship right now. It is always exciting to publish student notes and give students the opportunity to be published. The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution traditionally tries to publish between four to five student notes a year.

What has your experience been like with the journal?

I have really enjoyed going through the staff editing process. That includes doing accuracy checks of articles and writing student notes. The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution also publishes a bibliography edition which is about all of the up-and coming-dispute resolution articles. 

Why would you recommend joining a journal?

I recommend joining a journal for both the skills a staff editor gains and the relationships that are built. The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution has alumni members throughout the Columbus legal community, and it is a special bond that staff editors can share with an attorney in Columbus. Staff editors learn the Bluebook exceptionally well, and have the chance to publish a novel student note.

What skills have you gained from being on staff?

I have become more detailed oriented, with regard to checking the Accuracy of the article and Bluebook in the footnotes. Further, it has helped me hone my time management skills and prioritize tasks in law school. These are skills that will transfer into my professional career, which has been an invaluable aspect of joining a journal.

 What do you think you’ll bring individually to the staff?

My biggest strength that I bring to the EIC position is my time management skills. I have always been very busy both in undergrad and as a Division 1 athlete and balancing a full class schedule, and being disciplined with my time. I think that can help make everything more streamlined and efficient for both 3Ls and 2Ls on the journal. We are taking a lot of looks at ways in which we can work smarter, not harder, in terms of both 3Ls and 2Ls. I am excited to get a team together to make the most efficient use of our time, because all law students are very busy.

What is your next step after graduation?

I am interested in potentially doing a clerkship or working at the firm I am going to be at this summer [Squire Patton Boggs]. I am at the Columbus office, but they have close to 50 offices worldwide. They are a huge law firm, so I am excited to get that experience. I am excited to get to work there and to have the experience as a summer associate and then hopefully get to start my career there. This past summer, I did an externship with Judge [Algenon L.] Marbley and that sparked my interest in clerking. Getting to draft orders and sitting in on what the judge was doing day-to-day, that is when I decided maybe I would do a clerkship. That said, I am also really excited to get to do legal work both this summer and at the start of my legal career.


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