Leading in Law

Michael Klamo arguing in front of the Ohio Supreme court.

Michael S. Klamo ’15 was one of the 2023 honorable recipients of the Muskingum University Emerging Alumni Awards. This award recognizes alumni who, in the first 15 years of their careers, have made significant contributions to their professions and their world. 

Michael grew up in Pickerington, Ohio. He made the choice in his freshmen year of college to attend Wittenburg University, where he only stayed for a year before coming to Muskingum.  

Michael Klamo's professional headshot wearing a black tux with a green tie.

“Well, my freshmen year, I went to Wittenburg. For a variety of reasons, things just weren’t working out.” Michael visited Muskingum in high school. “I knew I was going to play basketball in college at some point, and once I knew I was going to transfer out of Wittenburg, Muskingum was really the only school I looked at,” Michael said. “Both of my parents are Muskingum grads; they had nothing but wonderful things to say about their experience, and that was all the information I needed.” 

During his time at Muskingum, he was involved in basketball for a year, pledged into the Kappa Sigma fraternity, and was a history tutor. He was also a resident assistant and Student Senate board treasurer.

“That’s one of the reasons I loved it [Muskingum University] so much. You know, small school, you get to be involved in stuff you’re interested in. You are not competing with 30,000 people,” he said.

After Michael graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science, he decided to attend law school at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio where he earned his J.D. degree in 2019.

“In law school, kind of like undergrad, I didn’t really know what I was going to do. Specifically, the area of law and practice,” Michael reflected. “But, one summer between my second and third year of law school, I got a call from my good buddy. He is from Madison County, where I live and work now, and said, ‘Look, I am really good friends with the Chief Deputy Sheriff in the county. The prosecutor’s office is in desperate need of an intern. I was wondering if you were interested.’ So, at that point, I said, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’”

When he graduated from law school and passed his Bar exam, the Prosecutor’s Office of Madison County offered him a job as an assistant. He has worked for the office ever since.

“As the Chief Assistant, I’m doing felony prosecution in Common Pleas Court, so primarily I'm prosecuting criminal felonies that range from sex offenses, to a lot of drugs, and offenses of violence,” said Michael.

In addition to Michael focusing on criminal prosecution, he said that he also does a lot of civil work for various agencies in Madison County. Some include representing the county commissioner, treasurer, auditor, and the board of elections.

Michael Klamo posing with his Muskingum University Emerging Alumni award.

Throughout his career, he has experienced many accomplishments that have made him proud. “Arguing in front of the Supreme Court was really cool. It was September 2021, on an obscure sentencing dealing with the revised code. But, having that experience at such a young age is something I am proud of.”

Michael said that the most important accomplishment in his career has been building relationships with agencies in his community.

“More broadly, building the relationships with law enforcement. I am lucky enough to know almost every officer by their first name, know almost every department head in our agency by their first name, and that takes work, but it is also just the product of working in a small county,” he said.

He has also been a part of the Madison County Bar Association for four years. There are 30 attorneys who live and work in Madison County, as well as working closely with Michael.

“We get along very well, and part of that is the nature of our work. We have to be professional,” he said. “So, I would say the Bar is professional and close-knit.”

Michael said that his time at Muskingum had a positive impact on him as an individual. “I am very proud to be a Muskie. Looking back, I grew as an academic, as a young adult, and as a professional.”

Due to his experience at Muskingum and throughout his career, he has advice for current and future students at Muskingum University.

“Get involved; even if you want to focus on your studies, that is great, but in undergrad, you want to take advantage of the opportunities to get involved because it looks great on a resume, and you are going to meet some of the best friends you’ll ever have.”

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