News - Capital University Law School

Thomas Spyker, L’18: Serving His Country and Community

10/29/2017  - 

Student Bar Association President Thomas Spyker, L’18, may have seemed like a longshot to be elected to a top leadership role by his fellow students. He is the first Capital University Law School evening student ever to hold the office of SBA President. However, he has been accustomed to hitting his marks throughout his career.

Before law school, Mr. Spyker was a military police officer with the U.S. Navy, where he was named an expert marksman with the rifle and the pistol. He also was honored as the Junior Sailor of the Year for Naval Air Station Oceana in 2008.

Mr. Spyker enjoyed law enforcement, but he discovered that serving his country could have some unglamorous moments as well. He can now laugh telling the story of the suspect he was physically restraining during a fight who abruptly lost control of his bowels, much to Mr. Spyker’s dismay. “I guess I learned in the Navy that service is not so much glorious,” he says, “as it is about doing the work that needs to be done.”

Following his stint with the Navy, Mr. Spyker continued in law enforcement as a federal police officer charged with protecting the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus, Ohio. There, he was responsible for law enforcement, anti-terrorism actions, and training new recruits in their duties.

Now in his fourth year as an evening student, Mr. Spyker has left policing. He still looks back fondly on his experiences in law enforcement, which have proved useful to him when studying Fourth Amendment issues in law school. He has especially enjoyed teaching local high school students about police use of force in the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Seminar and Practicum.

Mr. Spyker is excited to begin his career as an attorney and now works full-time as a law clerk for the Columbus office of the Reminger law firm. There, he has written portions of briefs for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the 10th District Court of Appeals.

However, he says that his background in public service will likely shape his future legal practice. “After I graduate, I want to use my legal knowledge and law enforcement experience to help represent police officers and fire fighters,” he says. “I can’t think of a better use of the abilities I have honed at Capital.”