A week ago an email popped up in my inbox advertising a student of color outreach day for the Georgetown Law Center. I jumped at the opportunity, not only because I law school is what I see myself doing in the future, but also because I’ll take any excuse to go to D.C. I have great friends that live in the city, it has a ton of free things to do, and it has some of the best, not horribly pricey restaurants around. Also a MARC ticket to get to Union Station is only $8, and it only takes an hour. Back home, to get anywhere that wasn’t in Florida either takes at least 5 hours by car, or requires a super expensive plane ticket. In Baltimore, it’s much easier, and much more affordable to go out and explore other cities and states. And in this case, it makes it much easier to be able to visit other schools, whether you’re pre-law or looking at another type of graduate school.
Friday night, I packed frantically trying to find a cute, but still sensible ‘business casual’ outfit, ran late to the first train, and then caught the second one with my much more organized friend Ashley. When we arrived in D.C., we took the metro to George Washington University, which I somehow miraculously remembered the directions to, and dropped off our bags in my friend’s dorm. Something interesting about D.C. is that it is an early city. Most people don’t live in D.C. since real estate comes at such a premium within the city, so by 9:00pm the streets of D.C. are mostly empty. It seems like college students, who live in dorms in the city, take over the streets, and most of the restaurants that are open are catered to their preferences and their budgets. Which is great, especially being an aspiring college foodie myself; lower prices means I get to buy more food. We went to a place that’s basically a chipotle but for Italian food called Vapiano. You order and they make your pasta for you, exactly to your preferences, right in front of you!! Plus they give you free bread and they pick herbs straight off the plants to put on your pasta! Which is just so extra and beautiful at the same time.
The next day started at 6:00 am with my phone blasting “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as my alarm went off. Ashley and I got up, and so did the friend hosting us (whoops). We got ready, thinking that Georgetown Law School would be in Georgetown, a bit farther out of the city. In reality, it’s actually quite close to the National Mall and is right down the street from the Capitol Building, so the location is basically perfect. They whole day was really interesting and helpful, because it taught me all about the admissions process and what law school is like. They even had a mock class, where we got to discuss the decision made by a judge on a civil case and make arguments either supporting the decision or against it. It gave me a taste of what law school would be like, and I loved it! We also were able to talk with current students and recent alumni. The current students were honest about the work it takes to be in law school, but they were all passionate about the work they were doing, and they were literally the nicest people I’ve ever met. Also, the alumni were all doing amazing things; one woman was working for the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP, which is the same thing Thurgood Marshall was doing before becoming a supreme court justice. The rest were either judges, general counsels for large corporations, or recent alumni getting started at prestigious firms in D.C. After all the info sessions, we were able to get a tour of campus too, which included the main academic building, two libraries, and even dorms to make living close to campus more feasible. It was beautiful, a mix of an urban and a traditional campus that even had a gym and food courts. It definitely solidified my desire to go to law school after Hopkins, and just made me that much more motivated and excited about my future.
Of course, afterwards, we had to go monumenting. Is it even a real trip to D.C. if you don’t see the sights? So Ashley and I grabbed our bags and got random strangers to take cute pictures of us, feeling emboldened by our mini-law school experience. It was like we both worked for Olivia Pope, why wouldn’t tourists want a picture of such a dynamic/future-lawyer duo?
Even though there is a perceived greater emphasis on pre-med advising, without our own pre-law advising office, I would have never known about this opportunity. Also for all future bluejays, it pays to check all emails an read each, since that’s also how I found out about this inclusion day and how you can always find out new opportunities within your major as well. And for me, signing up and taking that chance was definitely worth it.