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For the Love of Country: Meet Troy Benton ’13

First year student Troy Benton has dedicated himself to service to others, and he plans to continue this path after law school by dedicating himself to service to his country. Benton attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) before serving in AmeriCorps for two years. Through that program, he impacted the lives of many students as an academic tutor and mentor; he also touched many in the community as a volunteer. “It was a life-changing experience,” said Benton, and it certainly impacted his plans for the future.

Benton came to Cincinnati looking for a new experience. Originally from Seattle, Washington, he had completed his undergraduate studies at PLU in Tacoma, Washington, and was then stationed with AmeriCorps in nearby Federal Way. Each of these experiences, while unique, left him in close proximity to the others—he remained on Puget Sound. As he was deciding where to go next, Benton knew he wanted to leave the area to gain a new experience and perspective. “I already knew the Northwest,” he said. “So when I was considering law schools, I wanted to go somewhere where I’d be far away and on my own; somewhere that would be an adventure."

Committing to UC Law

Benton was considering several law schools in the Midwest, but had not actually considered UC’s College of Law. “One day I got a call from Sarah Topy ‘11,” he said, “and it changed everything. She really energized me, and got me excited about the school. She encouraged me to apply here, and her phone call is the reason I did.” After completing his service with AmeriCorps during the summer of 2010, Benton moved to Cincinnati to begin his law school career.

Although he is only halfway into his first semester of law school, Benton is already thinking ahead to life after graduation. “No matter what specifically I end up doing, I know it will be under the general category of public service. I get joy from serving people, and I want to continue doing that even after I finish law school.” Benton stated that he particularly enjoys serving underserved populations in whatever capacity he can. “It feels really good knowing you are meeting a need that is too often overlooked by society in general,” he said.

On top of service to others generally, service to country is particularly important to him. As a member of AmeriCorps, he was able to serve the country in an academic capacity, in addition to helping individual students. Similarly, he plans to become a member of the JAG corps after graduation. There’s a significant family history of military service in Benton’s family—his father serves in the Air Force—and he hopes to continue that tradition as an attorney in uniform. “As a JAG, I’d have the chance to serve as both an officer and a lawyer. It would be an incredible honor to serve my country as an attorney.”