ADA — Ezmarai Osmany, an Ohio Northern University LLM (Master of Laws) student who also is a former prosecutor in Afghanistan, will have the opportunity to prosecute in the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office after receiving special permission from the Ohio Supreme Court.

Bruce French, ONU professor of law and director of clinical programs, helped spearhead the efforts to have Osmany prosecute cases and said that this is the first time anything like this has been done in the state of Ohio. Traditionally, students must have completed two years of law school in order to get a student license, but a petition to the Ohio Supreme Court granted a license for Osmany.

According to Howard Fenton, director of the Democratic Governance and Rule of Law LLM program at ONU, this is the third year that the program has had Afghan lawyers sponsored by the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, which is supported by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement of the U.S. Department of State.

“These lawyers are working to promote the rule of law in the most challenging environment imaginable, and we are happy to make some small contribution to their efforts through our LLM program,” Fenton said.

Osmany, who will start Feb. 10, will work under the direction of Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick. Waldick, who is a 1985 graduate of the ONU Pettit College of Law, has served as an adjunct professor at ONU since 1988.

“Unlike traditional learning experiences, this internship will allow Mr. Osmany to experience the American criminal justice system firsthand,” Waldick said. “He will prosecute actual cases on behalf of the state of Ohio under the supervision of a prosecutor.”

French said that law students in prosecution and public defender placements assist attorneys in a full range of criminal court activities, such as interviewing witnesses, assisting in court, engaging in research, and presenting arguments in court in routine matters.