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Pre-Law students standing outside

Emilee Hinkle ’23 (Vienna, West Virginia) has dreamed of going to law school since she took a civics class at Williamstown High School.

Hinkle will realize her goal in August when she begins her studies at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. Her ambition and success in Marietta College’s Political Science program helped her earn a full-tuition scholarship.

“I chose to attend The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law because of its ability to provide me with the resources to achieve my goals,” Hinkle said. “As a top 30 law school, Moritz College of Law is recognized nationally for its extremely accomplished faculty and connections with prestigious firms.”

Hinkle, who plans to practice corporate law, is one of five Marietta College students who will graduate on May 6 and continue their education in law school this fall. The others are Rebecca Guhde ’23 (Signal Mountain, Tennessee), Gabe Hehr ’23 (Zanesville, Ohio), Michaela Medich ’23 (Galloway, Ohio), and Elizabeth Stern ’23 (Wheeling, West Virginia).

Hinkle transferred to Marietta in August 2020 and took advantage of the College’s Pre-Law Program led by Dr. Mark Schaefer, a Political Science professor.

“Marietta College has prepared me for law school and a legal career by allowing me to grow both personally and professionally,” Hinkle said. “I have been afforded so many leadership opportunities during my time at Marietta. These have included positions within Greek life as well as tutoring fellow students in the Writing Center. Not only have these opportunities helped me to build my resume, but they have also allowed me to become more confident in my abilities and determined to find new ways to apply my leadership skills.”

Medich is majoring in Communication and had not considered law school an option until Judy Ruud — an attorney, former professor, and the wife of President Bill Ruud — spoke with her.

“She gave me a much-needed confidence boost by showing me that law school is something I can do, so I just wanted to give her a quick shoutout for her support,” said Medich, who will attend Capital University. “The law-based classes I have been fortunate enough to take here have done wonders for my understanding of the legal profession. They’ve not only allowed me to understand difficult legal principles but reaffirmed my desire to pursue law.”

Stern has worked for a personal injury law firm in Moundsville, West Virginia, for two summers, and she is excited to attend Duquesne University’s Kline Law School.

“I felt welcomed after visiting campus and through their correspondence with me afterward,” said Stern, who is majoring in English and Political Science. “I had also been accepted at several larger public schools, but through my positive experience at Marietta College, I knew I preferred a smaller, private school setting. I really felt like the administration at Duquesne wanted me to attend and valued me as a student.”

Stern was inspired to become an attorney by her mother, Aimee Morgan Stern ’96, who graduated from OSU’s law school.

“I am so excited to achieve my dream finally,” Stern said. “I want to thank Marietta College for giving me the tools I need to go to law school. Without the opportunities, experience, and discipline I got from the school, I do not think I would be in the position I am.”

A McDonough Scholar, Stern studied abroad in England last summer and got the opportunity to study law at the University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College. She took two law classes about the history of the U.K. and the current U.K. government structure.

“Marietta College has prepared me for law school through my combination of disciplines,” she said. “The English Department has helped hone my active reading and analytical writing skills. The Political Science Department assisted in my actual applications to law school and gave me experience in researching. The Leadership Department gave me the opportunity to study law while abroad this summer and taught me the ethics of being a leader in an academic setting.”

Guhde is still undecided on which law school she will attend. She is picking between the University of Louisville and the University of Richmond. She is currently waitlisted at William & Mary and the University of Tennessee, but Guhde hopes that will change.

“As of right now, it looks like Louisville is my top choice, but I have until May 1 to put down a deposit,” said Guhde, who is majoring in Political Science and Environmental Studies. “I would like to be closer to home, so if Tennessee takes me off the waitlist, then I would very much like to attend there.”

Guhde thought she wanted to be an environmental attorney, but she is now leaning toward criminal law.

“I have worked at a law firm for the past three years that practices a whole variety of law, and they have really helped me realize that I do not want to do family law — too much drama — and that criminal law is super interesting because it involves science and law,” Guhde said. “Marietta College has really pushed me toward achieving the academic standing to make law school possible. Without the challenges offered by the curriculum, I would be incredibly underprepared for law school. Also, Dr. Schaefer particularly has given me endless advice on law schools since I was a freshman and has helped so much. The rest of the faculty has really helped me grow in academics and realize that law school is possible.” 

Hehr was recently on the fence about which law school to choose.

“I was accepted into (ONU’s) summer program over spring break, where I would attend two classes this summer to get out of the way for fall,” said Hehr, who is majoring in Finance. “However, I have yet to attend Capital’s Law campus, so I will plan on making a decision soon. A lot of it will boil down to which one can provide the best education for the lowest cost.”

The decision is in now and he is going to ONU. He wants to stay in Ohio and is focused on real estate, environmental and property law.

“There is, and has been, a demand in Southeast Ohio with oil and gas,” he said. “Even if the oil and gas go away, property and real estate are always available with new businesses, family farms being passed down or for sale. I want to go into either practice that will help me represent the people of east and southeast Ohio to the best of my abilities.”

Hehr even has some advice for future students considering law school after graduating from Marietta.

“I am thankful for all of the opportunities that Marietta has provided me to get me to this point,” he said. “Make time … a lot of time to study for your LSAT. That and manage your time and academics well. LSAT scores and GPA are crucial to acceptance. It is also important to focus on getting involved. Do not just be a hermit. Get involved for the experience and network and build a universal personality that makes you approachable to not only students, but also faculty, future employers, and other networks.”