Ellie Miske, 2011, Washington, D.C.
What are you up to? I'm currently in my second year of law school at University of Connecticut Law School. I'm participating in the "Semester in D.C." program. In this program, I'm working on the Judiciary Committee portfolio for Senator Blumenthal. The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over federal judges and other issues regarding the federal courts. For example, handling the Attorney General appointee (Jeff Sessions) hearings, as well as the upcoming hearings for the Supreme Court nomination. I also do a variety of other projects (many of which are regarding current events).
How'd you get here? After graduating from WHS, I went to University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I double majored in Political Science and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. I graduated a semester early and interned in the Northwestern District Attorney. I started law school the following fall.
While in undergrad, I was involved in student government and campus activism. I was working on women's issues such as combatting campus sexual assault and domestic violence. I also worked at our women's center as a rape crisis counselor.
I became interested in law while working on these initiatives. I worked closely with our Title IX Coordinator and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. Both of these women had law degrees even though they weren't practicing lawyers. One of my favorite professors at the time also had a law degree. I started talking in depth to these mentors about a law degree and realized how flexible it was. I realized with scholarships (and especially UConn's in-state tuition) this could be an option for me.
What are your goals? I want to work in a position where I am making a difference. I'd love to work in government, public policy, or at a non-profit. I am also interested in labor law and will be working at AFSCME's International headquarters in Washington, D.C. this upcoming summer.
Advice for WHS Students? Don't be afraid to ask to grab lunch or a coffee with people who have jobs that you find interesting. Getting to know people helps you learn what your options are and then when opportunities come up in the future, they'll already have you in mind. "Networking" is a buzz word, but it is also a really helpful skill and the earlier you master it, the more opportunities you will have.
What do you feel grateful for today? I feel grateful that I have been able to continue my education and have had guidance from people who went out of their way to support me. Which is exactly why I want to "pay it forward" and reach out to help any students at WHS who wants to learn more about my career path.