Community, Unity, and Respect

protesters at Lincoln memorial in Washington DC

As I boarded the plane at San Francisco International Airport, my mind was racing with pending uncertainties. Would I like my internship? Would I enjoy living in such a politically charged city? Would I freeze to death? Fortunately, my transition to the DC weather and the city itself was smoother than I could have ever imagined.

In the past three weeks, I have already been lucky enough to attend two marches. The first was a peace walk on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was filled with marchers from a variety of political movements and affiliations, ranging from Black Lives Matter to DC Statehood. It was the first time I had ventured outside of DuPont Circle, the neighborhood UCDC is located in, and I was immediately overcome with a sense of community, unity, and respect. The following weekend I attended the second annual Women’s March. The theme for this year’s march was Power to the Polls, and I spent several hours of the afternoon crowded around the reflecting pools leading up to the Lincoln Memorial listening to a variety of speakers, including men and women running for Congress, nonprofit leaders, and women’s rights activists, who spoke out not only about women’s issues but the importance of voting in the midterm elections. As the speeches concluded, women, men, and children united in a positive and peaceful march to the White House. As I walked among women and men who are determined to change the future, I felt proud to be a part of a movement that is making history.

Aside from exploring the monuments of DC, I have been working 4 days a week as a legal intern at Keith Watters & Associates, a small personal injury law firm.  Although I am not necessarily interested in pursuing personal injury law, it has already been an extremely rewarding experience. I have had the opportunity to attend pre-trials, depositions, and court hearings with the head attorney, which has given me an inside perspective on court proceedings and what legal work entails. The work environment is fast-paced, and on a day to day basis I interview potential clients, assist the attorneys in drafting legal correspondence, and update case files by communicating with insurance companies and clients. I feel honored to work for a law firm that takes cases many other lawyers would not, particularly with low income or disadvantaged clients.

Overall, I am looking forward to exploring more of DC and taking advantage of all that it has to offer. I believe that DC is unique in that each time I meet someone new, the question “What do you do?” is typically answered by how an individual is trying to change the world through their work. As much as I love Berkeley, DC has already facilitated my growth to be more aware of politics, policies, and people. I know that over the next three months I will continue to learn and grow in more ways than I could have ever imagined.