A capstone Q&A with Ryn Wayman

Ryn Wayman and Melissa Blake, an attorney at the Public Defender's Office
Ryn Wayman (right) and Melissa Blake, an attorney at the Public Defender's Office

Case Western Reserve University School of Law is ranked as a "Top School" in multiple categories, including Practical Training. Ryn Wayman recently answered some questions about her experience with the Lake County Public Defender's Office. Learn more about our practical training programs

What drew you to this site and its work?

My experience before Lake County Public Defenders was civil so I thought it would be really interesting to get more experience in criminal proceedings. Additionally, I think that indigent defense is an important part of our legal system so I was really eager to participate.

What has been the most rewarding part of your capstone thus far?

The most rewarding part has been the people. Getting to meet all of the probation officers, bailiffs, judges and others who assist in the daily operation of the criminal justice system and seeing their perspectives on every level has been very rewarding.

What has been the most challenging part of your capstone thus far and how have you navigated that?

One of the more challenging aspects has been the fast-paced nature. Oftentimes an issue can arise during trial and you would need to figure out an answer quickly. The best way I have found to deal with this is to prepare thoroughly first and then be able to pare down the key question or fact at issue.

What advice would you have for students navigating the myriad of experiential opportunities--externships but also labs, clinics, mock trial/moot court--available to them?

Don't be afraid to try something different. I came to law school with no real experience in law and by trying to expand my interests, (trying mock trial even though I thought I had no interest in litigation, trying a criminal experience even though I thought I was only interested in civil) has really given me a well rounded experience and a better appreciation for the various ways you can participate in the legal system.