Meet Eliza Van Ness, Editor-In-Chief of the Ohio State Technology Law Journal
Hometown: Alexandria, Ohio
Legal Interests: Environmental Law
Education: Bachelor’s, Philosophy (Denison University)
Was law school always on your radar?
Since I was a teenager. I grew up living and working on farms. I had the opportunity to work on farms with migrant laborers. It was that experience, seeing the confluence of labor and agricultural issues that drew me to law school.
Why specifically did you choose Moritz for law school?
I toured a lot of law schools and Moritz had the most diverse faculty and the most women. That was very important to me.
Is there a specific professor at Moritz that you have enjoyed learning from or working with?
Cinnamon Carlarne. I did an independent study with her, and she is like the czar of environmental law. She is pretty amazing.
I also did some research on energy law issues for Dean Lincoln Davies over the summer of 2020. I had an internship that fell through due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I took on some research assistant roles with Dean Davies and Professor Carlarne on climate change law.
What made you want to pursue the EIC position for OSTLJ?
I started as the Editor-In-Chief for a journal discussing philosophy when I was in undergrad at Denison. That was a very meaningful experience for me. I like reading scholarship and papers that are written about current issues and really trying to solve problems in that space. I wanted to be involved more in the journal and so I decided to shoot for the stars and see what happens.
What personal strengths do you bring to the EIC position?
I feel like a lot of times people try to make law school hard because they think that law school should be hard. I don’t feel that way. If there is any strength, I feel that it’s my personal motivation to make the journal experience as rewarding and as non-traumatic as possible to the class of staff editors.
How has the pandemic changed how you approach the position?
All of the current EICs have had the advantage and disadvantage of going through our staff editorships in a totally virtual space. That changed a lot of things and the hardest thing about it was the lack of community. The support that staff editors were getting was all through email. That experience however, was beneficial and we now know how to better prepare.
We have some ideas in place on how to foster a community by taking advantage of some of the online tools we have but also making sure that our staff editors are able to safely work together outside of isolation in their homes.
What is your ideal next step after graduation?
I would really love to be hired by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. I want to work in a state agency on environmental issues in whatever form that takes.