From Comedy Writing to Legal Writing, Sean Myers Brings a Unique Background to UC Law
Wherever Sean Myers ’14 may end up living after law school, one thing is certain: anywhere he goes he can make people laugh. While the rising 3L has fine-tuned his legal writing skills in his first two years at the College of Law, he came to Cincinnati with a very different writing background: comedy writing.
Myers graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2010, where he majored in English, minored in philosophy, and first got his feet wet in comedy. In his first semester of undergrad, he tried out for UNH’s improv team and “did awful,” he said. Myers said he realized he was not as talented at making jokes on the spot, but was better after the fact.
“That led me into sketch comedy,” he said. “It’s improv, but it’s pre-scripted. Those thoughts you have afterwards, you can just write into the script because you’ve still got it.”
Thus, Myers created a sketch comedy group that first semester, although it took about a year before they hosted the first of their many shows. After two years on the UNH campus, Myers said he pushed the group to be more active and get out and perform more in the community, but the others were not as interested. So they split ways – “creative differences” they called it. As a senior, Myers helped develop another sketch group with members of the community, with whom he held writing meetings over Skype.
After graduating from UNH, Myers tried standup comedy again, but he found his niche to be in news satire – “like The Onion, but obviously not as good,” he said.
In the year-plus off between his 2010 graduation and beginning class at the College of Law in August 2011, Myers wrote for two news satire websites. The first, Uncyclopedia – a Wikipedia parody of sorts – was a good fit for him, as he could publish content himself.
“It was very good to hone my voice for news satire because it definitely takes a specific journalistic voice,” Myers said. “Apparently I was very good. I won some awards on the site.”
After several months, Myers moved to GlossyNews.com, which Myers called a bit of a “step up,” joking the site had 12 more viewers than Uncyclopedia. Myers said he still writes for Glossy News when he has time, although school kept him busy enough this year that he has not been able to write in a while.
From Home School to Law School
Myers is a native of Southington, Conn., a central Connecticut town about 20 miles from the capital city, Hartford. He is the middle of three brothers, and he was home schooled through high school. He credits his experience always being at home and the overall family dynamics as an inspiration for his comedy.
He finally got the chance to get out on his own and eventually got into comedy as an undergrad, but he made his biggest move in 2011 when he came out to Cincinnati to begin his next phase of education.
“I came out of undergrad right when nothing was out there, and with an English degree, you really can’t do (much),” said Myers, who after his first wave of job applications fell short, decided to return to school.
Myers saw law school as a way to “make a difference in people’s lives.” He applied to University of Connecticut, Fordham University (his mother’s alma mater) and almost anywhere that offered a fee waiver, he said.
The Connecticut native had one distant connection in Cincinnati. After applying to UC, Myers reached out to that person and he offered Myers a place to stay for a couple nights when Myers visited the College of Law.
“UC Law was the highest ranked at the time I applied, it had a great human rights program, and it was also the most affordable,” Myers said of his reasons for choosing to attend the College of Law over the other schools.
Law School and Beyond
Looking ahead, Myers says “human rights is still on the map,” noting there are very human rights jobs out there. As a result, Myers said he is focusing a bit more on civil rights.
Last summer, however, Myers had a judicial internship in Botswana through the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, which he said was “awesome.”
“It was, hands down, a top three experience in my life,” Myers said. “Being in Africa was just mind-blowing. People over there are just incredible.”
Outside of a busy course load, Myers has been very active at school. He was an articles editor for the Human Rights Quarterly this year and will be a managing editor for the Freedom Center Journal, beginning in the fall. He also was a co-director of the Tenant Information Project, he heads up the school’s ping pong club, and he founded the First Generations Law Students organization this past fall.
Myers said the aim of the latter organization was to get “first generation” law students on par with those classmates who had the advantage of parents or other relatives who had been through law school and are working in the legal profession.
“It exceeded all expectations,” Myers said, noting in the fall they had meetings aimed at 1Ls that had decent, but relatively small attendance. “We (then) had this one meeting of four professors – Moore, Bryant, Houh, and Sperino – who showed up to talk about exams. We (mostly) filled up (room) 118. Just the general feedback I’ve gotten about the programming has been nothing but positive – students, faculty, and staff.”
Outside of school, Myers plays a lot of ultimate Frisbee, playing nearly every day around town. He also enjoys playing the guitar, writing comedy, and writing fiction when he can. He will spend this summer working in Connecticut before returning to Cincinnati for his 3L year.
By Jordan Cohen, ‘13