Five Takeaways from the Law and Government 25th Anniversary Celebration

AUWCL has deep roots in the public interest law. 

The Program on Law and Government’s 25th Anniversary Celebration featured alumni serving in state, local, and federal government positions. The alumni offered words of wisdom to current students and faculty, emphasizing the impact that the intersection of law and government can have on the community at large.

Featured panelists included:

  • The Honorable Margaret Bartley (1993), U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Eileen Filler Corn (1993), Virginia House of Delegates
  • Jill Wiessman (1994), General Counsel, DOJ Criminal Division
  • Erica Bomsey (2001), Deputy General Counsel for Intelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Lydia Edwards (2006), Boston City Councilor
  • Sharon Woods (2006), General Counsel DOD Defense Digital Service
  • Kirill Reznik (2003), Maryland House of Delegates

 

A career in public interest law is flexible.

During the alumni panel, panelists reflected on their experience with choosing a career in public interest. They all indicated that there was more flexibility in their choice of career than most law students think. For example, Judge Bartley explained that it is possible to work both inside and outside of the government during one’s career. She explained you can go back and forth between the public and private sector. Another panel member, Kirill Reznik, pointed out that he is able to balance his time in the Maryland House of Delegates with working in the private sector as a government contractor.

 

No other law school has a program like the Program on Law and Government.

During his keynote address, Program Director Fernando Laguarda explained how the Program on Law and Government is a unique facet to AUWCL. He noted that “almost every other major law school in the country sends its students to Washington, DC at some point; but, no other school offers such a wide range of experiential, curricular, and co-curricular programs designed to make the most of being at the center of the modern administrative state.” Indeed, the Program on Law and Government had students busy this year: it hosted events on Capitol Hill, connected with General Counsels, and continued working towards its common goal to prepare students for careers in government, civil society, and lobbying.

 

The Legislation and Policy Brief is relaunching. 

Rachael Soloway, a 2L who has worked for both the House and Senate, took the stage to make an exciting announcement: the American University Legislation & Policy Brief is relaunching! As Editor-in-Chief, Soloway’s mission is to bring bipartisan conversation back to WCL, a school with a Program on Law and Government that has served the DC community for 25 years. Although the brief lapsed for three years, WCL students from diverse backgrounds have come together with the hopes publishing a new volume in December 2018. The Editorial Board includes editors from the American University Law Review, the Administrative Law Review, as well as other students who are pursuing JD/MPPs at AU. “It’s going to be a lot of work, but I know with Professor Laguarda behind us that this Brief will quickly establish itself among the best at WCL.”

 

Congressman Jamie Raskin: “You can take me out of WCL, but you can’t take WCL out of me.”

During the reception, Congressman Jamie Raskin noted how much of an impact WCL and its students have up on Capitol Hill. He explained that he often sees WCL alumni on the Hill and that WCL graduates are often at the forefront of contemporary government issues. Raskin, who is currently on leave from his position as a professor at WCL, proffered how knowledgeable people can make a difference during difficult times. Raskin invoked Thomas Paine’s American Crisis, quoting Paine’s comment that “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” For Raskin, even though he has a new role in Congress, WCL’s values are still important to him. He commented to the reception, “You can take me out of WCL, but you can’t take WCL out of me.”

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