During a summer internship in the State Senate, I caught the political bug and haven’t looked back. When I first joined the Legislature, I briefly worked with a McGeorge School of Law alumnus that connected me with the McGeorge Rugby Team. Full of other alumni and current students, the team really got the ball rolling for my consideration of attending McGeorge. Sacramento is my hometown, so I was eager to come back to work in the Capitol and play rugby. Without question, McGeorge fit the bill as my next step.
It came as no surprise to me that many professionals in the Capitol community attended McGeorge, and I was pleased to learn about the Capital Lawyering Concentration. Through the Concentration, I’ve had great access to career advice, course scheduling assistance, job postings, and the curriculum has been more than I could have hoped for.
Despite working in the Senate and Assembly, I chose McGeorge and the Capital Lawyering Concentration to become a better advocate and legislative staffer. One of the first things that hooked me on working in public policy was the opportunity to learn about countless issues and challenges, and also getting to craft solutions that help countless people. So, I jumped at the chance to learn how to become a more effective policy staffer. Courses centered around policy analysis, negotiations, and the legislative process are front and center in the Concentration to develop the next generation of policymakers coming into the Capitol.
The Concentration is a great complement to the JD program in general. The courses offer insight into how the laws we study in other courses are made, and the Legislative & Public Policy Clinic puts students into the Capitol as they develop, draft, and staff legislation. Early experience with the legislative process is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring policy staffers, lobbyists, and advocates. A legal education is a huge asset in policy development, and the Concentration offers a distinct blend of the two fields. Advocacy, conflict resolution, and the interest in learning about a diversity of issues drive many of us in the Capitol community, and are important tenets of working in policy that are stressed in the Concentration.
McGeorge is also tremendously well-positioned in the political community with a strong alumni network that is excited to help recent and soon-to-be graduates. Relationships are critical in politics and policy. When it comes to career development or working a bill through the Legislature, it goes a long way to know the right people. There is always a need for smart and passionate people in public policy.
The JD program and rugby team have been central parts of my life for the last few years keeping me busy and preparing me for what’s next. With another year to go until graduation, I feel very prepared and excited to continue my career in public policy.
By Spencer Street, a third-year evening law student at McGeorge School of Law.