Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to Work

Exactly a year ago I took a flight down to Alabama to spend the summer working at the Equal Justice Initiative, helping indigent defendants through the death penalty appeals process. This morning I set out to begin my second summer as a law student, when I hopped on a bus down to Washington, DC to come work as a summer associate at Venable, LLP, a commercial law firm that was originally founded in Baltimore, MD. Admittedly, I don’t feel the same level of excitement as I did last year when I embarked on my journey to the Deep South, probably because I don’t expect this summer to be as unique, challenging or inspirational as the last one. (That, and the fact that I won’t have the same opportunity this summer to stuff myself with grits.)

Nevertheless, I do anticipate this summer to involve more than just being taken out to nice places for lunch, which is a reputation associated with many summer law firm experiences. (Not that I would complain if people want to take me out to lunch. Or dinner, for that matter.) Having worked in the corporate world already, I know the benefits of working in settings where project resources aren’t in short supply and where entrepreneurship or hard work isn’t hindered by bureaucratic red tape. By working at Venable, I’m also looking forward to getting a healthy sampling of the DC legal and political scene. Six years ago I spent a summer interning on Capitol Hill, and I loved every minute of it: the dynamic politics, the substantive issues that I helped to tackle, and the history that reverberated around me as I walked through the Senate office buildings’ hallowed halls. This summer I plan on replicating some of those same feelings and experiences, through my work at the firm and through simply living in DC. I also plan on looking ahead and considering more seriously how I want to apply my law degree in the future, and whether DC is where I ultimately see myself. And who knows….maybe along the way I’ll be able to find a decent bowl of grits. DC is technically in the south after all.