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Meet Missionary Turned Attorney: Scott Lewis ‘14

Like many of his peers, who similarly did not attend law school straight from undergrad, Scott Lewis has had a number of unique experiences and stories to tell. The 28-year-old, and eldest of five siblings, grew up in California and enrolled at Brigham Young University in 2002. He took off two years to be a missionary for his church and, along the way, became fluent in a Filipino language called Tagalog.

Lewis first heard of this language when he received the assignment from his church to serve a mission and began speaking this Austronesian language in June 2002. He had a “two month crash course” in the language, embracing the idea of needing to learn it to be able to effectively teach and serve during the mission, he said.

After a successful mission trip, Lewis returned to BYU where he pursued a political science degree. In the latter half of 2007, Lewis went abroad again, this time for an internship with the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Lewis, who had previously taken a European Union class, inquired about potential internships and discovered a program offering a few positions.

“I took a semester long research and writing classes where we competed with about 40 or so other students,” Lewis said. “We were then selected based on work ethic, performance, speaking skills and teamwork. I was lucky enough to be selected to work with Kathy Sinnott of Ireland.” Sinnott is a disability rights campaigner and a former politician. She represented the South constituency in Ireland in the European Parliament from 2004 to 2009.

During his time in Belgium, Lewis’ attended many committee meetings, addressed constituent grievances and petitions, arranged meetings between environmental groups and the European Union Parliament, and wrote speeches, press releases, and also amendments alongside Sinnott.

Along the way, he was also able to indulge in some of Belgium’s finest foods. “Not only did I experience sitting in rooms with 20 languages going on all at once, but I got to eat at least 20 different kinds of chocolate,” Lewis said. “And waffles … good experience and great food."

After graduating from BYU in 2008, Lewis took a job with a bank as a teller, before working his way up to a loan officer in consumer lending. After befriending the bank’s general counsel, he was encouraged to attend law school – something he had considered before.

Lewis – a once active Assistant Scout Master – chose to apply to the College of Law at the recommendation of his cousin, who attend UC’s medical school. A number of factors led him to enrolling at the College, where he has been very busy but is enjoying his experiences thus far.

The California native has attended several Federalist Society meetings, has helped out with the Tenant Information Project, and has also been involved with Student Court. Lewis also has enjoyed attending various lectures on campus, while calling the Day of Service in September “a blast.” Further, Lewis has been inspired by his classmates and “love(s) talking with people here about what interests them,” he said.

Outside of school, Lewis has not been able to find much time for his interests in cycling and tennis. But the “happily married” 1L student is enjoying spending time with his three-month-old daughter, Grace, who he said “can smile and speak gibberish fluently.”

Lewis came to Cincinnati with a number of goals and aspirations, many of which are obviously academic- and career-oriented. Additionally, he and his wife set a goal of trying “all the major chili restaurants in Cincinnati." "So far,” Lewis said, “only Skyline has been tried.”

By Jordan Cohen, ‘13