Student Spotlight: Editor-in-Chief of the AU International Law Review on her Path through Law School and Maintaining School-Life Balance

Marissa Hill
Marissa Hill at the International CriminalCourt while participating in AUWCL’ssummer program in The Hague.

Editor-in-chief of the American University International Law Review Marissa Hill is no stranger to hard work and busy days. As a 1L, Marissa spent half of her summer studying abroad with American University Washington College of Law’s Hague Summer Abroad Program, and the second half interning for Judge Gary E. Blair at the Montgomery County Circuit Court.

As a 2L, she worked at the non-profit Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights and externed for Judge Rudy Contreras at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Also during that year, she authored the comment “No Due Process, No Asylum, and No Accountability: The Dissonance Between Refugee Due Process and International Obligations in the United States,” which was published in Volume 31.3 of the American University International Law Review. Following her extremely busy 2L academic year, she spent the summer as a law clerk at the Department of Defense.

Now that Marissa is a 3L, you can find her in the journal office, overseeing the International Law Review and preparing to extern at the Department of Justice in the National Security Division next spring. I took the opportunity to ask her about what advice she would give to AUWCL’s current 1Ls and prospective students, now that she has made it this far through her law school career with so much success:

Q: What is your best advice for achieving balance in your life during law school?

A: Balancing your life during 1L year and through all of law school is far from easy, but it’s not impossible. Like most law students, I consider myself detail-oriented and organized; maintaining a strict schedule of sleeping, studying, exercising, and having fun made my time as a 1L more than manageable. Don't forget to take care of your body! Join a yoga studio, use the AU gym on main campus, or go on a walk around the National Mall. If you don’t take a break from studying every once in a while, you’ll crash. For me, this means taking class at Pure Barre every day. Make time for your favorite TV show each week, whether you watch it in bed on Sunday morning or while you eat dinner on Wednesday.

Q: What about during finals?

A: For me, it helped to stay out of the library during finals… you can cut the tension with a knife and the anxiety is contagious. Instead, check out cool coffee shops in your neighborhood or visit the public library in Tenleytown. Make a study plan for finals and stick to it! If you hold yourself accountable, you will succeed.

After graduation, Marissa will clerk for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals for one year.


Interview conducted by Communications Dean's Fellow Erin Nanovic.