College of Law

Hannah Novak


Hannah Novak

Law students find that their externship experiences enable them to enliven their formal education and to learn beneficial legal skills. Hannah Novak's externship with Lucas County Children Services has helped her gain valuable experience in juvenile law.

  • Hometown: Oregon, Ohio
  • Class Year at Time of Experience: 3L
  • Legal Interest Areas: Juvenile law
  • Experiential Learning Opportunity: Public Service Externship
  • Employer: Lucas County Children Services
  • Experience Timeframe: Spring 2022

Q&A with Hannah Novak

What type of work did you do?
During my externship, I was able to litigate various cases regarding dependent, neglected and/or abused children. I drafted motions regarding permanent and temporary custody, prepared judgment entries, and drafted an appellee brief. This opportunity also allowed me to communicate with numerous court personnel, caseworkers, and court-appointed advocates.

How did Toledo Law prepare you for this experience?
Toledo Law helped develop my legal writing, communication, and time management skills. Also, courses like lawyering skills, evidence, juvenile law and family law have all been useful for this externship and for my future career plans. The Office of Professional Development helped me build a strong resume, provided opportunities to have an externship like Lucas County Children Services, and enhanced my networking skills.

What were the benefits of participating in this experience?
I gained considerable experience in the practice of juvenile law. This externship has improved my legal writing skills, communication and oral advocacy skills, and courtroom etiquette. Also, during this experience, I was allowed to present cases with a supervising attorney who then gave me constructive feedback to better my legal skills.

How will this experience help you advance your career goals?
Lucas County Children Services has helped me gain valuable experience in juvenile law and because of this, my career goal would be to stay involved in this area of law. Before this externship, I didn’t have much experience in trial work so this allowed me to have practical knowledge in the courtroom. I have met many attorneys who have given me advice and direction on numerous avenues to stay involved in the juvenile court.

Why did you choose Toledo Law?
I chose Toledo Law because I knew I wanted to stay in the Toledo area after graduation. Toledo also offers small class sizes, accessible professors, and multiple bar exam resources. The ability to network through the Toledo Bar Association is also a huge benefit of practicing in this area.

What advice do you have for incoming students?
Stay focused on your studies but also enjoy the experience because it goes by so fast (even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment). Also, utilize the professors, they are always willing to help.

What are your plans after graduation?
Coming into law school I knew I wanted to work in probate, juvenile, or family law. Throughout the externship, I have gained valuable experience which will help me further my career practicing juvenile law.

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Last Updated: 10/12/22