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Weaver Fellowship Provides Opportunity and Insight into Law and Psychiatry for Amberle Houghton


As an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University, Amberle Houghton ’13 majored in strategic communication with an eye towards a career in public relations. After a few internships in the field, however, Houghton “quickly realized” a career in PR would not be a good long-term fit.

“At that point, I knew I wanted to change my career path and decided to pursue law school because it was something I have always wanted to do,” Houghton said.

So Houghton, who grew up in Cuyahoga Falls (just north of Akron), continued her path down I-71 South to Cincinnati, where she began at the College of Law in the fall of 2010.

At the College of Law, Houghton was an associate member of the Law Review and is vice president of Advocates for Children. The 3L has also been involved as a Fellow with the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry.

An Introduction to Law and Psychiatry

In addition to majoring in strategic communication at OSU, Houghton minored in both business and legal foundations of society. It was the latter minor that first exposed Houghton to the intersection of law and psychiatry.

“I have always had an interest in the social sciences and was immediately drawn to the Weaver Institute for this reason,” Houghton said. “I think that, at times, law school can become consuming and I felt it was important to interact with professionals both inside and outside of the law school. The Weaver Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity to learn about and discuss serious legal issues with non-lawyer professionals who often view legal topics very differently than I do.”

Houghton noted the Weaver Fellows have participated in numerous discussions, mock hearings and classes with mental health experts and attorneys, focusing on the various legal issues faced by each in practice. The opportunity to learn from these professionals has been an invaluable experience for Houghton.

“Although we are taught to ‘think like a lawyer,’ I truly believe that the Weaver Fellowship has taught me to approach legal issues from many different perspectives. And I hope that this will be help me to be a more cognizant and understanding attorney in the future,” she said.

Outside of the Weaver Institute and her school work and activities, Houghton also mentors a sixth grader through the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and works part-time for an estate planning and probate attorney during the school year. She has also gained working experience each of the last summers, first as a law clerk for the Honorable Timothy S. Horton of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas (Summer 2011) and then as a summer associate at Crabbe, Brown & James, LLP in Columbus, OH (Summer 2012).

After graduating this coming May, Houghton would like to work in the public sector before transitioning to a private sector firm in a few years, she said. Later in her career, Houghton would like to become a mediator or spend some time working in alternative dispute resolution.

In her free time, Houghton enjoys trying new restaurants, reading, watching OSU football and spending time with family and friends.

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13