Alumni and Friends

Ryan Crowley to serve as clerk in Delaware Superior Court after law school graduation

Editor's Note
: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts and Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

Ohio University alumnus Ryan Crowley (B.A., '19) is set to earn a Juris Doctor in 2022 from Widener University Delaware Law School. After graduation from law school, he has been hired to work as a law clerk to the Honorable Jeffrey J. Clark, resident judge of the Superior Court of the State of Delaware.

At Widener, Crowley is vice president of the Moot Court Honor Society and the New Member Competition Chair.

Crowley did his undergraduate work at OHIO, graduating with dual majors in political science and history and participating on OHIO's Mock Trial team.

"Ryan was an invaluable member of OHIO Mock Trial for several years, first serving as a competitor and then also as the new member liaison on the executive board," said coach Larry Hayman, Esq. "He clearly took this passion for advocacy and mentorship with him to law school, now serving in a similar role as New Member Competition Chairperson of the Moot Court Honor Society at Delaware Law."

"I chose this major because I had always liked studying government and trying to understand why societies function in the way they do,” Crowley said. “For me, political science and history majors complement one another because one teaches how structures were created and the other talks about how they function in practice."

Group of students pose for a picture in a courtroom
The Ohio University Mock Trial Invitational Team after a 2018 tournament. Ryan Crowley is bottom right.

Q&A with Ryan Crowley

Q: Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life?

A: There are too many to list! However, two of my favorite professors who really impacted what I wanted to learn are Dr. Kevin Uhalde and Dr. Susan Burgess. Dr. Uhalde was the first professor that I felt taught history in an engaging way and truly welcomed students to talk with his open-door policy. Dr. Uhalde also encouraged my hopes to go to law school and always made me feel like that was a possibility.

Dr. Burgess led one of my favorite classes (Political Theory) that not only tried to understand what the United States government has been and currently is, but also how to change it. She often asked the question, “But why can’t we change it?” Her interest in challenging norms has been an excellent backdrop to the starkness of law school, which often views issues in terms of black and white.

Q: Do you still keep in touch with any of your faculty?

A: I am still in contact with Larry Hayman, Esq., who was my pre-law adviser and Mock Trial coach. Every few months, we text, call, or email just to catch up and plan for the future. This connectedness to Larry is very unique because so many of my other law school friends did not have that support system in undergrad that would last over the years. Having Larry to prepare me for the first weeks of law school was absolutely pivotal to my transition.

Q: What was your ah-ha moment at OHIO — that point where you said to yourself, “I’ve got this?”

A: The moment I think of was during the fall of my senior year. That year, I had started to make it onto the executive boards of some of the societies I was in. I joined the Mock Trial team, and I started to get a grasp on how to earn strong grades in classes. There was a moment in all of this that I realized that if I could do all of these amazing things, then I could also figure out law school.

Q: What was the hardest hill you had to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) at OHIO? How did you overcome challenges or obstacles in your path?

A: Interestingly enough, my hardest moment came right before my “ah-ha” moment. Also in fall of my senior year, I began to struggle with the LSAT and postponed it after spending months studying. I started to panic about law school and even began looking for other jobs. I felt really scared of the LSAT, and that caused me to doubt my ability to succeed in law. With the encouragement of professors and Larry Hayman, I rescheduled my LSAT for January of the next year, eventually took the LSAT, and haven’t looked back since. It took this moment of doubt to really appreciate the place I was in during undergrad and to feel confident in my choice to pursue law as a career.

Q: What are your favorite OHIO memories?

A: I have so many favorite OHIO memories… everything from meeting my lifelong friends and living the dorm life in Scott Quad, to experiencing OHIO’s college town atmosphere that is out of a movie. I also loved traveling with the Mock Trial team, competing, and staying up too late to perfect our trial materials for the next day. When I was not in the classroom or with Mock Trial, I also loved experiencing the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and hiking in this beautiful area. I also would be remiss not to mention how much I loved Court Street and celebrating holidays with my friends.

Q: What’s the one thing you would tell a new OHIO student not to miss?

A: No OHIO student should miss the Involvement Fair! It is an unforgettable moment to go from your class picture in a huge parade and walk through the gateway to see so many organizations you could join. As an out-of-state student especially, the Involvement Fair gave me a way to make friends and find new communities to be a part of. Also, I encourage all students to go to the annual Christmas tree lighting at the end of Court Street! It was an event I went to with my parents each year and it was phenomenal.

December 3, 2021
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