Discovery        2L builds relationships, pursues passion for practice of law through D.C. Summer Program

Bronx native 2L Devona Adjei-Baafuor always knew she wanted to practice law, but she didn’t start exploring any new or unfamiliar paths within the legal profession until last year, when she enrolled at the Moritz College of Law.

“I was inspired to pursue a law degree because I feel like lawyers can help give people a voice or help them find justice during times when they’re not being provided it,” Adjei-Baafuor said. “I feel like I could be an advocate for the people.”

Adjei-Baafuor was one of 20 students selected this year for Moritz’s Washington, D.C., Summer Program to spend time living in the nation’s capital. In addition to taking a two-credit course on The Ethics of Washington Lawyering, students also partake in a rigorous seven-week externship. Past placements include stints at an array of prestigious federal agencies including the White House, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Spending a summer in D.C. opened Adjei-Baafuor’s eyes into the ways in which administrative law intertwines with her passion for labor and employment law. Throughout the course of her externship at the Federal Election Commission, she processed Freedom of Information Acts—oftentimes for journalists—worked on employment practice projects—like probation procedures—and attended commissioner’s hearings. She also had the opportunity to meet a handful of D.C.-area professionals whose law degree led them to jobs at agencies like the White House, the U.S. Senate, and the Supreme Court of the United States.  

“I would definitely recommend the Washington, D.C., Summer Program to other students,” Adjei-Baafuor said. “I loved it because I was able to intern at a federal agency and experience a different type of law. Professor Dakota Rudesill and Professor Chris Walker also do a great job of making sure that we learned so much about Washington, D.C., in just a couple of weeks. We were able to meet a lot of professionals that had different backgrounds in the law.”

Adjei-Baafuor is also a staff editor for I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, secretary of the Black Law Students Association, and an active member of Moritz’s Mediation Clinic, one of the most prestigious and longest running alternative dispute resolution clinics in the country. After extensive training, the clinic’s students have the opportunity to mediate dozens of actual disputes throughout the course of the semester at both the Franklin County Municipal Court and the Columbus City Attorney’s Prosecution Resources Unit Mediation Program.

“Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is really growing in the legal profession, so it’s great to have that type of skill, especially because this school has the number one ADR program in the country,” Adjei-Baafuor said. “I feel so honored to be trained in mediation and to be able to take classes in such an amazing place.”