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For Executive Editor Sarah Topy Law Review is Opportunity to Cultivate Skills


Sarah Topy ’12 likes to stay busy. Any student or faculty member who has come in contact with her the past three years at the College of Law knows just that.

Topy, a 3L, is currently the chairperson of the Student Legal Education Committee (SLEC), and also has been doing research for Professors Marianna Bettman and Christopher Bryant for the past two years.  In addition to those opportunities and her busy course load, Topy is also a member of Law Review, where she currently serves as its executive editor.

“We’re in here pretty much every day, weekends, during the breaks,” she said. “It’s a really big commitment and it takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it.”

Upon graduating from The Ohio State University in 2004, where she studied political science and creative writing, Topy spent several years working in politics. This included positions with John Kerry’s presidential campaign, the Ohio Democratic Party and with a congressional race in Chicago. After deciding to pursue a law degree, the Columbus native was attracted to the College of Law by its small size and also the comments made to her by a close friend, who earned his JD from UC in 2010.

While Topy has been and still is very busy with a number of activities and experiences, she has been devoting a lot of time to Law Review since joining the staff during the 2010-11 academic year.

Topy said three of her four section advisers during her 1L year were members of Law Review, which immediately piqued her interest. When she applied and received an invite to be part of the journal, Topy was “really excited” to join the staff.

“It’s nice, in addition to what you’re doing in the classroom, to be able to research and write in an area of law that you care about,” she said. “Plus, it is a collection of great students that you get to work with,” Topy said. “All of the people that are on Law Review are fantastic and smart and writing about really interesting topics.”

As an associate member of Law Review a year ago, Topy said she was “fortunate” to get published twice, once each semester. Her first article was a civil procedure topic on the State Secret Doctrine and her second one focused on Sharia Law and the First Amendment.

Since then, Topy was elected to fill the executive editor position for the current 2011-12 year. This requires doing the substantive editing for the journal, with both the lead authors and the student authors, for the various publishable pieces submitted. Topy said there are usually about five professors from across the country whose articles are selected for publication by the Cincinnati Law Review, and she works with these lead authors on their editing schedule.

“I really enjoy the opportunity to read and to learn about a lot of different areas of the law. The authors and the students that we publish are writing on complex and fascinating topics,” Topy said. “Also, just doing the editing and looking carefully at writing and making the writing as polished as possible helps me cultivate my writing skills. Obviously, that is a big part of being an attorney.”

In her free time, Topy enjoys reading fiction and is a big sports fan. In addition to cheering on her New England Patriots in the recent Super Bowl XLVI, the Ohio State graduate and Columbus native is also fan of, surprisingly, Michigan football!

Upon graduating from the College of Law in May, Topy will be working for Procter & Gamble, where she “had the incredible opportunity” of working last summer, she said. Topy was also a fellow at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C., during summer 2010.

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13