"Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can."
In September 2019, the AUWCL Clinical Program announced its theme for the 2019-2020 academic year at its annual swearing-in ceremony for new Student Attorneys. The theme, "Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can," is a quote from late African-American tennis great and activist Arthur Ashe.
Ashe, whose career rise began during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, protested racism in his sport and in general, apartheid in South Africa, and the treatment of Haitian refugees in the United States. Today, his voice provides encouragement and support to those who are advocating for their clients' legal rights, basic dignity, and sometimes survival in the face of harsh governmental policies and societal and institutional bias. While the volume of need can feel overwhelming, Ashe reminds us that everyone can do something to help improve the situation.
This year's swearing in included a "pep rally" segment, led by Practitioner-in-Residence Katie Kronick (Criminal Justice Clinic), highlighting recent achievements in each clinic, along with remarks from Associate Deans Brenda Smith and Jayesh Rathod and from Prof. Nancy Abramowitz (Director, Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic). The Hon. Zuberi Williams '03, an alum of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and currently an Associate Judge for the Montgomery County District Court, officiated over the swearing-in and delivered closing remarks. Judge Williams encouraged students to savor their time in Clinic and develop good relationships with their fellow Clinic students so that they will have peer support networks throughout their careers.