Feb. 3, 2020

Fascinated by the power of language, law school was always in the cards for 2L Sharon Kimel. The interest took her to the Department of Justice right after graduating from Brandeis University in Boston. There, as a paralegal in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) unit, Kimel saw how language was used to shape systems.

Sharon Kimel

“My work made me realize how much I value a profession that contributes to public good,” said Kimel, who serves as the membership chair of American University Washington College of Law’s American Constitutional Society for Law and Policy (ACS). As a student chapter of the national organization, ASC believes that the constitution can defend democracy and advance justice, reality and liberty.

We spoke to Kimel about how her involvement on the AUWCL campus has impacted her personally, and her professional aspirations.

What brought you to law school?
It wasn't until I started working at the Department of Justice after undergrad that I knew 100% that law school was the right place for me, as my work as at DOJ me realize how much I value a profession that contributes to the public good. The reason why I chose AUWCL was because I wanted a D.C. school with a strong clinical program.

Why did you get involved with ACS? How do you serve in your role as membership chair?
I got involved in ACS during my 1L year. I was motivated to join ACS by the former chapter president, Marissa Ditkowsky, who I happened to also go to undergrad with. My current role as membership chair means I'm responsible for hosting events and other activities that are aimed at increasing membership, both in terms of numbers and diversity of experience and background.

How has ACS impacted you? What do you hope your work at ACS reflects?
ACS has helped me to further develop my leadership skills and critically think about how our community can openly discuss matters of both local and national significance. More than anything, I would hope my work with ACS reflects our chapter's desire to create an inclusive community on campus, as well as provide useful opportunities for networking, mentoring, and 
community engagement for AUWCL students.

How has ACS shaped your legal perspective and career goals?
ACS has strengthened my perspective that, wherever I end up, my work should be geared towards serving the public interest and working against abuses of the law. Moreover, ACS has enriched me as a person by giving me the tools to articulate my belief in a robust, progressive reading of the Constitution.

How do you intend to use your law degree?
Given that I have several varying interests (namely white-collar crime, compliance, anti-corruption and torts), I'm not yet set on how I specifically want to use my law degree. I could easily see myself pursuing my interests at a government agency or a small local firm though.  Much later down the road, I think I'll also probably want to teach part-time at a law school, as I believe that a key part of contributing to the public good involves teaching and sharing your experiences with the next generation.