Ashley C. Scott leads the Office of Career & Professional Development as its Senior Director. In her role, Ashley oversees and directs all career counseling, programming, and professional development activities coordinated by the OCPD. Prior to joining WCL, Ashley served as Assistant Director of Career & Professional Development at Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law and as a Senior Career Specialist at the University of Houston Law Center. Ashley is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, summa cum laude, from Florida A&M University and her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.
Following law school, Ashley practiced at two Am Law 100 firms in New York City and Washington, D.C., where she primarily advised clients in their defense against commercial and class action lawsuits and government investigations. She also served on the professional development, diversity, and associate committees and assisted with recruiting at each of her firms. After leaving practice, Ashley spent a year abroad as a teacher and administrator in language schools in Peru, South America. Her experience in Peru confirmed her commitment to working with students, and she returned to pursue this passion in a career services role.
Sector-specific Counseling Specializations: Large Law Firms; Small, Mid-size & Boutique Law Firms; State & Local Government; Non-profit; JD Advantage Positions
Areas of Special Interest: Diversity, Inclusion & Affinity Career Development; First Generation Student Issues; Litigation & Regulatory Practice
Rebecca (Becca) O’Connor brings to her role as a career counselor extensive experience within the nonprofit and government sectors and at law firms in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Following law school, Becca spent nearly a decade serving in the state of Massachusetts in several roles, including as counsel to the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means and coordinator of legislative affairs for the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance.
Most recently, Becca led state and federal government relations for RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. In this capacity, she advocated for policies to strengthen the criminal justice system response to sexual assault and related crimes and represented the organization before Congress and the administration. She has also held leadership roles in organizations including the District of Columbia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Parkinson’s Action Network, and the American Association for Justice.
Becca received her Bachelor of Arts from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and her Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School. She is barred in Massachusetts and D.C.
Sector-specific Counseling Specializations: State & Local Government; Federal Government: Capitol Hill; Federal Government: Federal Agencies; Non-profit; Public Interest Law; JD Advantage Positions
Areas of Special Interest: Legislative Advocacy & Analysis; Gender-based Advocacy Issues; Government Regulatory & Compliance Work
Shanza Qureshi serves as the Career Advisor for LL.M. and International Students at Washington College of Law. She previously worked on American University’s main campus as the Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services. In that role, Shanza managed regulatory compliance and intercultural programs for students, faculty, and the greater university community.
She is a staunch advocate for global education and for the constructive role international students play academically and professionally in broadening perspectives in the United States. Shanza has managed academic exchange programs, in collaboration with U.S. Department of State, and facilitated community partnerships that placed students in career-focused internships. She also has undertaken research on diverse issues international students confront while advancing their educational and career opportunities.
Shanza holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Arts in International and Comparative Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Sector-specific Counseling Specializations: Department of State; International Organizations; Non-Profit Organizations; Local, State & Federal Government
Areas of Special Interest: Academic Exchange Policy; Legislative Advocacy; Government Regulations & Compliance
Raquel Skinner is the Manager of Employer Outreach for the Office of Career & Professional Development. In addition to career counseling, Raquel engages in strategic outreach to private- and public-sector legal employers to cultivate relationships and identify and develop new job opportunities for WCL students and alumni.
Raquel has accumulated significant experience within the private and public sectors. Prior to joining WCL, Raquel was an Adjunct Professor and Staff Attorney in the Harrison Institute for Affordable Housing Transactions at the Georgetown University Law Center and an Associate General Counsel at Fannie Mae. Raquel began her legal career serving on real estate and general corporate litigation and transaction matters at several major firms.
Raquel received her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Spelman College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Sector-specific Counseling Specializations: Large Law Firms; Small, Mid-size & Boutique Law Firms; In-house Positions; JD Advantage Positions
Areas of Special Interest: Diversity, Inclusion & Affinity Career Development; Corporate & Real Estate Law
Prior to joining WCL, Will Thompson was a career counselor at New York Law School and an internship specialist at Johns Hopkins University. Over the course of his career, Will also has worked as a junior associate at plaintiff-side employment discrimination firm, an advocate for LGBTQ+ equality at Lambda Legal, a political coordinator on a major US Senate campaign, and an influencer for two large corporations in the legal tech space, where he worked directly with law students and attorneys at AmLaw 100 law firms.
These experiences have made Will a strong advocate of internship and experiential learning opportunities and given him an intimate knowledge of the different fields in which students can excel. Those qualities allow him to help students discover their passions and build foundations for meaningful careers throughout a diverse set of legal domains.
Will earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Clemson University and his Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School. He also received a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from UCLA.
Sector-specific Counseling Specializations: Non-profit; Small & Mid-size Firms; JD Careers in Politics
Areas of Special Interest: LGBTQ Law; Legal Technology; Employment Discrimination
Grayce Carter works in the Office of Career & Professional Development as the Manager of Recruiting Programs. She develops and executes all aspects of the recruiting programs, including the fall and spring recruitment programs. Grayce brings experience from the nonprofit and private sector. She previously completed work in project management at a social change organization, managed operations at a national association and worked in student services and career development at Howard University.
Grayce was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia and moved to Washington, D.C., where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Culture at Howard University and developed a passion for higher education administration.
Jai Smith-Avery is OCPD’s Data and Communications Manager. Jai spent nearly 10 years in the non-profit sector as a researcher and analyst, focusing primarily on the participation and achievements of faculty and students from underrepresented groups (e.g., women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. He also brings to the OCPD team his experience as a social media coordinator, podcast producer, internship program director, and teacher/school administrator in South America. Jai graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.