Ten students interviewed justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, their clerks, a former U.S. solicitor general, the counsel to a Senate Judiciary Committee member and other key figures during a three-day trip to the nation’s capital.
The planned itinerary included meetings with Justice Sonia Sotomayor and New York Times reporter Adam Liptak. And Chief Justice John Roberts graciously visited with the delegation during an unscheduled meeting.
The trip was part of the Supreme Court Seminar taught each year by Professor Lisa McElroy.
The seminar features simulations that allow students to immerse themselves in the roles of attorneys, justices and clerks. McElroy encourages students to think of the justices and those who come before them as real people who have followed diverse and unpredictable paths to the hallowed courthouse.
The students were well prepared, McElroy said, adding that 2Ls and 3Ls demonstrated through their questions that they had read Liptak’s articles carefully and studied Roberts’ actions thoughtfully during arguments the delegation observed.
The visit made an indelible impression on 3L Priscilla Jimenez.
"Speaking with Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the highlight of my law school career," Jimenez said. "As a fellow Puerto Rican from the Bronx, I was honored and humbled to have the opportunity to personally tell her how the impact of her life’s work continues to inspire Latinos across the country and affirms my belief that any dream is within reach."