WCL welcomes its newest class
American University Washington College of Law welcomed its newest class this week — an accomplished group of students drawn from across the globe.
In their first days on campus, 1L, LL.M., and SJD students received an introduction to living, learning, and working in Washington, D.C., and met with WCL alumni who have taken leading roles in public service and private practice.
“From my first conversations with these newest members of our community, it’s clear they are here to both learn and create positive change in our school, our city, our profession,” said WCL Dean Roger Fairfax, Jr.
Fairfax welcomed the new class with a fireside chat about law school and a career in the law with alumni including the Honorable Reggie Walton (’74), Senior District Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Stacy Linden (’98), the Senior Director of Ethics and Compliance at AstraZeneca, Eric Huang (’05), Senior Counsel in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel, Professor Cynthia Goode Works (’92), Director, Stephen S. Weinstein Advocacy Program, Christina Ravelo (’18), Associate, Ropes & Gray, LLP, and Daniel Zelenko (’97), Partner, Cromwell & Mooring LLP.
J.D. students also took a professional oath, administered by Judge Jill Cummins ‘88, and Judge Louis Leibowitz ’02, pledging to uphold the “high standards and ideals” of the profession.
On August 15, students joined WCL’s annual “In My Backyard” day of service and learning about the District, and fanned out across the city to volunteer with organizations like Bread for the City. They also met with community leaders, including Karim D. Marshall, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for the Juneteenth Foundation, Camille A. Thompson, Assistant Director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, and Erin M. Calloway, Director of Community Initiatives at Community Family Life Services.
On August 16, the new students took in a baseball game, watching the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs play at Nationals Park. Before the game, Dean Fairfax was honored on the field with a Nationals Spirit Award in recognition of WCL’s commitment to the DC community. Groups of students also toured significant sites around the city with staff and faculty as part of the Explore D.C. session.
Students engaged in a discussion with Professor Andrew Ferguson about adapting to law school, and heard from Professor Christine Farley, Professor Anita Sinha, and Professor Brandon Weiss, who shared their scholarly “Big Ideas” and connected them to solutions for real-world problems.
This year’s orientation also featured the inaugural WCL “First Generation” Orientation, during which nearly 90 incoming students who are the first in the family to attend college or law school participated in a rich program highlighting opportunities and resources within WCL and the legal profession.