Discovery 2L finds strength to become effective, passionate advocate in the challenges of law school
Ah, the dreaded cold-call. An initiation into law school feared by 1L’s far and wide. One of Maggie O’Shea’s first cold-call experiences may have been a near disaster at first, but the 2L looks back on the experience as a turning point in her law school career and the start of a new mentorship.
“Now it is a good memory, but Professor Doug Berman questioned me on a single page case for over 30 minutes. I had my Elle Woods moment,” O’Shea said, referencing Reese Witherspoon’s character in the movie, Legally Blonde. “I butchered the cold call, but it may have been one of the best things to happen to me my first year.”
O’Shea graduated from The Ohio State University in 2014 as an English language and literature major. Although law school had always been in the back of her mind, she took time after graduation to work as a fellow with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission and as an aide in the Ohio Senate.
“My work at the Statehouse made me realize that law school was the right path,” she said. “Throughout my undergraduate experience I gained confidence in my voice and being an advocate for myself, but I wanted to go to law school to develop the confidence and ability to be an advocate for others.”
A Cincinnati transplant, O’Shea considers herself one of Ohio State’s biggest cheerleaders, so much so in fact, that she wishes she were a campus tour guide.
“I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else for law school. Honestly, it was Ohio State or nothing,” she said. “I am definitely a Buckeye for life. I know that sounds trite, but I fell in love with the campus as an undergrad. Ohio State has given me so much opportunity and since coming to law school, I have a greater love for this school.”
O’Shea’s interests in policy work led her to the nation’s capital this summer through Moritz’s Washington, D.C., Summer Program. She externed with the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, part of the Committee on Homeland Security and Affairs.
The subcommittee has an illustrious history of major investigations into issues including the drug trade, organized crime, abuse of government programs, and consumer protection issues. Notably, the subcommittee is responsible for the 1963 Valachi hearings, during which Joseph Valachi became the first member of the Italian-American Mafia to testify publicly of its existence. The subcommittee also investigated the infamous collapse of the Enron Corporation in 2001, the causes of the 2008 national financial crisis, and contributed to the passage of the landmark financial reform bill, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Throughout the course of her externship, O’Shea helped research the opioid epidemic, among many other duties. The first committee hearing she attended addressed a shipment of synthetic opioids, an issue close to home in Ohio. Nearly 86 percent of overdose deaths in Ohio last year involved an opioid, according to CNN. Some synthetic opioids like fentanyl are 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
“The first committee hearing I covered at the Ohio Statehouse focused on the opioid epidemic,” O’Shea said. “That was over three years ago. It was incredibly eye opening then and is worse today. I have learned so much from my experiences and continue to learn more and more every day. My experience at Moritz has provided me incredible tools to become an effective and passionate advocate for my community.”