10:25 AM

Class action: Building legal talent with local schools, law students

Focusing on giving back to the community and recruiting top talent are differentiators for Nationwide but doing both at the same time is helping its legal team stay at the top of its class.

Nationwide is seeing positive outcomes on multiple fronts by partnering with local high schools as well as law students at the collegiate level to provide valuable, challenging legal experiences for select students.

On November 7, Nationwide hosted 70 high school students in Columbus, Ohio, where the legal team provided workshops, a career fair, a networking lunch and key messaging from guest speakers. This event was part celebration, part learning that came at the end of a six-week sprint for the students.

Each year, in partnership with Street Law, Inc., the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program helps educate students on important legal matters, such as contracts, first amendment rights, employment law, torts and professionalism in the workplace.

Aaron Stamper teaches a Global Issues class at Columbus International High School and has participated in the Street Law program offered through Nationwide for nine years. “Street Law gives our students an introduction to law, and they get to see people who look and sound like them, and they begin to think this can happen for me,” said Stamper. “This is a window into a world they didn’t know existed.”​​​​​​​

Since beginning our partnership with Street Law in 2012, Nationwide has helped educate nearly 700 students at local public schools. Each year, 80 employees step up to coordinate weekly learning sessions in high school classrooms at Centennial and Columbus International.

Christine Maliedje is a junior at Columbus International and is considering pre-med and pre-law as top contenders for her future, but she said the Street Law program has helped her learn the different branches of law and specific areas that have grabbed her attention. “I’m interested in intellectual property law, and I’m thinking about copywriting words as a business opportunity,” she said.

​​​​​​​As Maliedje considers her postsecondary focus, Nationwide’s legal team is also working with college students and recent grads who are further along in their law education.

Through three separate programs – Columbus Bar Association Minority Clerkship, Ohio State University Moritz Corporate Fellowships, and Capital Law Externships – Nationwide's legal team works with law students to introduce them to the corporate law setting and provide experience in a variety of legal subject matters, ultimately preparing them for their legal careers.

More than 50 law students have participated in these programs since 2005, and 35 have become full-time Nationwide employees.

“These programs provide a one-of-a-kind connection for Nationwide and young adults in our local community,” said John Boyer, executive co-sponsor of Nationwide legal team's Student and New Graduate Opportunities programs. “It’s one of those opportunities where everyone wins.”

Learn more about how Nationwide employees are making an impact in the community.