Passion for writing drives Wayne Law Review editor Law student was legislative aide for Schwarz in D.C.

By Mike Scott

Legal News

If Louis Meizlish wasn't in law school, chances are he might be an award-winning journalist, a candidate to hold a political office, or perhaps the owner of a start-up business. That's because he already has some of the skills and experience necessary for each of those roles.

But the third-year student at Wayne State University Law School is serving as the editor of The Wayne Law Review and hopes to use his skills to be an oral and written advocate for his clients once he passes the Bar.

"I think writing can help me be a better lawyer and there are so many ways that being an experienced writer can help you professionally," Meizlish said. "I envision myself as having a career that includes a combination of research, writing briefs and motions and focusing on trial work and advocacy skills."

Meizlish already has a strong background that will allow him to achieve these goals. He worked for Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz from Michigan's Seventh Congressional district for approximately two years -- first as a campaign staffer in Michigan and then in Washington D.C. as a legislative assistant.

As a legislative assistant, Meizlish was responsible for briefing Rep. Schwarz on a wide variety of legislative issues, ranging from transportation and judiciary to budgeting, taxes and foreign relations.

In that role Meizlish also did a lot of writing, including press releases, constituent letters, summaries and a variety of reports. He was involved in two issues that mattered to many constituents in Schwarz's district.

One was the effort to keep Amtrak train serve in the state. The other was when the Battle Creek National Guard base was preserved, not only saving jobs but possibly saving lives.

"I had to find out the impact that these various issues would have on the country, our constituents, businesses and more," Meizlish said. "And I had to find out where other (elected officials) stood on the issues."

Meizlish has been interested in the law since he was a child tagging along to work with his father, Sheldon Meizlish, a Detroit attorney. And, as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, Meizlish worked at the student newspaper and frequently wrote about legal cases and legislation. He was especially interested in September 11-related matters following the 2001 terrorist attacks, as well as two affirmative-action lawsuits involving the University of Michigan in 2003 (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger).

He actually took his LSAT following graduation from Michigan in 2004 and had planned to immediately attend law school, but the opportunity to work with Schwarz was too great to pass up. Meizlish also spent 18 months working for the Michigan Senate as a staffer before enrolling at Wayne State Law.

"I was at the point where my LSAT score was only good for another one or two years so I had to make a decision," he said with a laugh. "I definitely did not want to take that (examination) over."

As the editor of the The Wayne Law Review, Meizlish is involved with writing about a number of controversial and complex legal topics. The upcoming issue of the Wayne Law Review will include a debate about the process of selecting state court judges who are elected in many states, unlike federal judges who are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The publication's Annual Survey of Michigan Law will discuss recent developments in Michigan case law since the 2008 election, when control of Michigan Supreme Court shifted from Republicans to Democrats.

"We are excited about our upcoming issues," Meizlish said. "One of our recent student works, or 'Notes,' will include an analysis of Michigan's court rules relating to jurors' possession of cellular telephones and other electronic devices. Another Note will discuss Google Book Search and the difficult copyright issues involved when the authors of orphan works cannot be located or identified."

Writing truly seems to be his passion. Meizlish, who goes by Louie, is also an occasional columnist for the recently revived Law School student newspaper, Dicta.

Though classes and his work on the Law Review and Dicta keep him busy, Meizlish is used to an active schedule and also is involved with the Hispanic Law Students Association (HLSA).

"HLSA is involved in the 313 Project, a collaboration of multiple student groups at the Law School that support needy organizations in Detroit," said Meizlish. "HLSA has been very successful in helping raise funds for these organizations and I am very proud to be a part of it."

Additionally, he currently is interning for Judge Robert H. Cleland of the U.S. District Court in Detroit, for whom he interned during his first summer in law school. His other work experience includes clerking for the Southfield law firm of Erman Teicher Miller Zucker and Freedman PC and Kemp Klein Law Firm in Troy.

Meizlish wants to remain in southeastern Michigan following law school if possible. The Birmingham native and Groves High School graduate sees a lot of potential for the area's economic recovery and wants to be a part of that effort.

"I would hate it if I couldn't find a job around here and then would have to watch (Detroit's) resurgence from afar," he said.

Published: Mon, Nov 29, 2010

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