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A Passion for Politics and Government Led Matt Wiseman ’14 to UC Law

 While many have grown tired of the almost constant political advertisements shown on TV and on the radio, “political junkies” like Matt Wiseman ’14 are enjoying campaign season.

“It’s interesting to see what (Governor Mitt) Romeny says in his commercials, what’s (President Barack) Obama saying in his commercials, what they are trying to do, who are they trying to reach,” Wiseman said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

It was Wiseman’s interest in politics and government that led him to law school. The 2L from Findlay, Ohio considered engineering up until his senior year of high school, but high school classes made Wiseman move towards politics and history.

It was during his undergraduate days at Ohio Northern University, where the 2011 graduate majored in history and political science, that Wiseman got to experience his passion first-hand.

In August 2008, prior to his sophomore year, Wiseman got to take part in the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Wiseman and seven classmates joined a political science professor for a couple weeks at the DNC working in various jobs.

“I worked with Rock the Vote for a couple days and that was basically your grassroots volunteering, handing out flyers kind of stuff,” said Wiseman. “And I got to work with the Latin American economic policy forum … that was really interesting.”

Then, from September through December 2010, Wiseman worked somewhat concurrently with Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto Law Offices and the National Whistleblowers Center in Washington, D.C. This for-credit internship during his senior year allowed Wiseman to do “a lot of interesting work,” including some legal work.

This work involved policy research on the Dodd-Frank Act and other substantive legal research and writing for the law firm, while researching issues for grant writing and drafting press releases and organizing press and media events for the National Whistleblowers Center.

“It’s a really great town, especially for young professionals” Wiseman said about D.C. “A really vibrant city for our age group.”

After graduating from Ohio Northern, Wiseman came to the College of Law, seeing law school as an opportunity to pursue his interests. “I thought the best way to kind of do something practical in the realm of politics, law, (or) government would be to go to law school and kind of figure it out,” Wiseman said of his earlier decision to attend law school.

Wiseman said he was looking for a law school with a strong public interest side and that was also a strong school overall. For him it was UC. The prospect of working for the Ohio Innocence Project was also attractive to Wiseman who, sure enough, spent this past summer and is currently working with OIP this semester.

“I came into law school thinking there was no way I was going to do certain things. I was never going to go into family law, I was never going to go into criminal,” Wiseman said. “I think that’s the big change so far, the criminal law aspect. Working with the Ohio Innocence Project has really changed that. I love what we do there.”

The second-year student said he still has “a strong passion for politics,” though he is happily undecided on the career path he ultimately might take.

Outside of school, Wiseman said he often runs, enjoys following the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Reds, and he also enjoys reading non-legal books on breaks.

This past summer, while in town working for OIP following a busy 1L year, Wiseman enjoyed getting a chance to experience Cincinnati for the first time. Granted, he was a Skyline fan long before he enrolled at the College of Law.

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13