Whitney Pulliam '15L

Whitney Pulliam '15L, from Cockeysville, MD, is a graduate of the University of Maryland. She will be working for the law firm Troutman Sanders after graduation.

Let's be real-law school is not easy. The amount of work and time away from your family and friends can certainly take its toll. My decision to come to law school was also not an easy one to make.  It would require me to leave my full time job and move to a state far away from my friends and family. Needless to say, the past three years have required me to step way out of my comfort zone and push myself to a level I didn't think was possible. W&L is not a perfect place, but it was the perfect place for me to learn critical lessons about myself in my journey to becoming a stellar lawyer.

After thinking long and hard, I decided to come to W&L due to the small size, the top-notch academics and faculty, and the third-year program. Thankfully, each one of these aspects is something I will remember most about my time at W&L.  

All three years of law school, I was privileged enough to be a member of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). I served as an executive board member my 2L and 3L year. Being a part of this close knit, talented group has shaped me and pushed me to be a better lawyer. The accomplishments of my peers in this group demonstrated to me that anything is possible, and I am so thankful for the friendships I developed because of BLSA.  

Many times, I would read online about a faculty member who published an article in a top journal, received a distinguished award, or who continued to excel in their field. W&L is privileged to have such an amazing class of professors, and each one of them is willing to do anything they can to see their students succeed. Neither of my small section professors hesitated when I asked them to write letters of recommendation for me. One of my small section professors even had us to his house at the end of the semester for lunch and to meet his wife. The connection professors at W&L develop with their students is unprecedented, and the mentoring and guidance was invaluable.  

This year, I had the opportunity to participate in the Access to Justice Transnational Practicum as part of the third-year program. Each week, my class of four students and our professor held a videoconference with a legal clinic in Hebron University in the West Bank. The focus of the class was juvenile justice in Palestine. Our class researched Palestinian law and put together a poster, pamphlets, and brochures to be used in various capacities as a way to educate Palestinian youth of their rights if they were ever questioned or detained by the Palestinian Authority. The high point of the class was our trip to Israel and the West Bank. We met with the students from the legal clinic in Hebron, held mock trials all over the West Bank to demonstrate the American jury system, and traveled around the country visiting some of the most famous historical sites.

Our professor also took us to meet various public defenders, judges, and members of nonprofit organizations. Needless to say, because of all this, W&L provided me with an opportunity that few will have and one I am so grateful for. It was an experience I will never forget.  

During my time at W&L, this community has experienced tragic loss, frustrations, failures, successes, triumphs and achievements. Throughout it all, I was blown away by the ability of this community to come together and support each other. While I am happy to be moving to a place near a Starbucks and Target, I am sad to be leaving such a close community. I doubt I will ever experience such a place again.