Law School, Maybe? – Allyson Smith

OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute. Learn more about the internship at victoryinstitute.org/vci

This week we had the pleasure of attending American University’s Washington School of Law. I knew this was going to be an eventful day by the way it started. Upon waking up, the VCI interns and Lucy checked in. This has become our Friday tradition as we always make sure to see how the week has been treating each other. We all fleshed out how we were doing and saw that we always have commonalities amongst each other. As we continued our conversations, Lucy introduced to us our agenda and we dove deep into discussion with one another. 

To kick off our journey to American Law, we had the honor of talking to two individuals; one who is a current Law school student and VCI alum and another who is a practicing lawyer. Hearing their stories, we learned about knowing themselves and how pieces of their life prepared them for this current journey. This was by far one of my favorite panels because it allowed me to see outside of myself. Growing up, the occupation of a lawyer was always pushed on me. Whether it was in elementary school or from my family, I was deemed to be the lawyer of the bunch. However, as I dive deep into the reasons for why, they all fall on the assumption that law is a prestigious practice that will bring us, my family, out of the economic hardships we face. As a child, I didn’t know the pressure that this held. However, as an adult, I see that my dreams were forced upon me due to the status of my family. But the focus on the field of law did uncover my inherent need to help those around me and to ensure they are advocated for. The panel made me think of all those reasons why again. It both affirmed my current plan of going to public policy school instead of law school, but it also made me have a new admiration for the lawyers that constantly advocate on the lives of their clients every day. 

As we wrapped up with the panel, it was time to attend the law school tour. It was such a hassle to get there as I live further than my peers, but nonetheless, I made it just five minutes before they started. A beautiful and fairly new campus, the law school was very accommodating and pleasing to the eye. There was a room for everything, and the students were all masked up and very nice to us. One thing I noticed was that they were still building on this vision of inclusivity. Our tour guide was extremely helpful and encouraged us to apply even if we are not sure if law school is for us because of the experience that it brings. She explained that there are many facets of law and that we should tap into the resources available. This was definitely a transformative experience and is one that I cherish because it gave me insight into a world I was interested in but never had the space to explore.