Student Spotlight: Richa Thakar applies her WRL Concentration skills at the Supreme Court of Ohio
From entering The Ohio State University without a declared major to completing an externship at the Supreme Court of Ohio, third-year English student Richa Thakar has come a long way. Thakar is now an English and psychology double major with a concentration in writing, rhetoric and literacy (WRL). Over the summer, she worked as a writing extern for the Office of Public Information, the court’s central communications office. Thakar credits her WRL studies for her development: “I owe it to the English major for allowing me the skills” to succeed in her personal and professional life.
Originally from Lewis Center, Ohio, Thakar has had a passion for reading and writing since childhood. “I think I communicate best in written language, and it feels very natural to me,” she says. “I initially came to Ohio State undecided and figured it’d be best for me to choose something I was interested in, so I chose English.” Thakar ended up enjoying the diversity in topics and concentrations. One of her favorite classes so far has been English 2269, Digital Media Composing, with Natalie Kopp, which enabled her to express herself more creatively by working on projects in other mediums.
The thought of the legal profession became serious to Thakar when she was a senior in high school. She says, “I think the legal field is not only interesting but challenging as well. I like the idea of pursuing a difficult career path and think I have the right tools to tackle that challenge.” Thakar adds that the WRL concentration is a significant asset to her because many courses in the concentration encompass professional and business writing, which are valuable in the legal field.
Before summer, Thakar found an externship posting for the Supreme Court of Ohio and received the job offer after passing a phone interview. Her responsibilities included updating court employees about events or proceedings at the Court. Some challenging statewide projects, Thakar comments, required extensive research, data compilation and collaboration with her team. She says, “A particularly difficult project I worked on was an initial research project for America 250, which is a celebration of 250 years of America's independence in 2026. I was involved in putting together research for the contribution of Ohio’s judicial system, and it was quite a daunting task.” Through those challenging yet inspiring projects, Thakar came to see the English major in a different light. “Learning to write and communicate professionally was essential to my success at the Court,” says she. “Seeing [the English major’s] direct impacts on how my writing was received at the Court allowed me to realize that I’ve gained a lot more out of the major than I was even aware of.”
Outside class, Thakar plays cello at Ohio State’s non-music major orchestra when it fits into her schedule. “I’ve played since middle school, and it’s such a fun feeling getting to make beautiful music with other musicians. It gives me a sense of belonging and allows me to let loose and think only about the music I’m making.”
Thakar connects her passion for English to an enthusiasm for arts and creative work. She prefers to have creative liberties to her studies, work and hobbies. She says, “I think that’s why I gravitate towards things like writing and music, where I can express myself with no boundaries. I like that there doesn’t have to be a ‘right answer’ and that a lot of things are up to interpretation within the arts — it gives me freedom to move and explore.”
Thakar aspires to attend law school to be an attorney after graduation. Reflecting on her journey with English study, she says, “Studying what I’m passionate about has been the best way for me to discover myself and what I’m hoping to pursue in my life.”