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Amanda Shoemaker '08

Interest in Education Law, Criminal Law and Mental Health

Amanda ("Mandy") Shoemaker special interests include education law, criminal law, and the intersections between mental health and the legal field. She became interested how psychiatry and the law were related during her first year criminal law class. There, discussions about mental states and culpability led her to think about her own understanding of right and wrong, and about how persons suffering from mental illness often live or experience their lives in very different ways.

As a second year student, Mandy was both a Weaver fellow and a fellow with the Rosenthal Institute for Justice Ohio Innocence Project. In her studies on the role that mental illness plays in criminal justice matters, she was particularly struck by the lack of mental health services offered to persons affected by legal and prison systems.

In her third year, Mandy will participate in the Indigent Defense Clinic, where UC law students work with supervising attorneys and the Ohio Justice and Policy Center to represent indigent clients in Cincinnati. Mandy hopes this work will enhance her experiences as a Weaver fellow by giving her practical experience in how the justice system approaches issues that arise from mental health problems.

In her free time, Mandy serves as an adviser to her undergraduate sorority at Miami University. She enjoys reading, decorating, and color-coordinating things.