CIRCLEVILLE — For one Logan Elm senior, helping people is what she wants to do with her life, and with what she learned at a summer law program at Ohio University, she plans to learn the law to do just that.
Carrie Love, 17, participated in the Ohio University Summer Law & Trial Institute in Athens last month. One of 20 students from all over Ohio, Love visited the Ohio Supreme Court, meeting Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, and the American Civil Liberties Union before participating in a mock trial based around a real case involving the death of a college student.
Love said the first week was learning a little bit about the law and how the courtroom works.
“We learned how social justice incorporates into the courtroom and how so many innocent people are locked up because they don’t have a lot of attorneys,” she said. “It was a lot of public interest work.”
It was the second week in which members of the camp participated in the mock trial, one involving the hazing death of a student.
“We got to [hold the trial] in front of Judge [George] McCarthy in Athens County,” she said. “That was really cool.”
Love said she’s been referring to the camp as a pre-college experience due to the networking opportunities she received while participating.
“We had work to do outside of class, we stayed in the dorms and we had to be responsible,” she said.
“It was a great experience and sometimes draining just because it was a lot,” she said. “It felt like college because you are in class, getting lectures, participating in front of the class and doing homework.”
Participating in the mock trial was a little unnerving, but something Love said she learned about those involved with the court system helped her relax.
“It was a little bit scary at first, but it also changed her perceptions about being in a courtroom.” she said. “It becomes no big deal; judges are real people, lawyers are real people. As long as you treat people with respect and professionalism, you don’t have much to worry about.”
Love said human rights are an area that she is interested in exploring for a career and maybe working for the ACLU, she plans to major in Women’s Studies while doing her pre-law. She received a superlative for most promising future public interest lawyer from her program peers.
“I am passionate about making sure everyone has equal opportunities and stuff like that,” she said.
“Gender rights are my big thing.”
Love said her interest comes from a longstanding desire to help people.
“Both my parents are teachers and my grandfather was a lawyer, and that was always there,” she said. “A lot of kids have never met a lawyer, so I kind of got the gist of what it was. It was also the election of 2016 that made me realize the good guys don’t always win and I want to change that, and do the most good. I feel like law and politics are the way to do that.”
Love’s mother, Susan, who teaches in the Logan Elm School District, said she is proud of Carrie for her drive and perseverance.
“She’s always wanted to help people,” she said. “She wanted to be a nurse and then that evolved into being a school counselor and that evolved into being a lawyer and seeing the need to help other people. I’m so proud of her for her choices.”
Her paternal grandfather was excited to have her follow in his footsteps and go into law, Susan Love said.
Love also is involved with the drama club at Logan Elm and has participated in Roundtown Players productions for about 10 years, which she said has been a valuable experience as she pursues a career in law or the overall legal field.
“Theater has been my main thing and it’s helped me connect with people and feel like I’m not alone,” she said.
This was the second consecutive year that Love applied for the Ohio University camp. She applied last year and was denied.
“[This year,] I took most of April and May to get recommendations, I had to write an essay which I wrote about how I wanted to help people and the 2016 election, and we had to get my transcripts,” she said.
Love said she thought her acceptance into the program was a joke due to how quickly it came.
“When I got my rejection letter, it was late June but I got my acceptance letter at the end of May,” she said. “I was floored.”
Love said the program has helped her lean toward choosing Athens for college. While not totally decided, she’s narrowed her school choices to Ohio University, Ohio State University and Miami University because they offer Women’s Studies as a major.
“OSU and Miami are on my list but I really love Athens,” she said. “One of the things at Ohio University is that you can be a pre-law major but attach it to a related major. So you can be a history major, a [political science] major, and that was something I learned about.”