Networking has been one of the greatest parts of living in this area. Being in Arlington, and working in Clarendon, I'm as close as I can get to DC from Virginia. Besides the currently unreliable metro and unpredictable traffic, getting to DC is not too bad if you time it correctly.
I've reached out to dozens of people in this area in order to get my name out and to learn more about diffferent places to work. I've looked at the Alumni Directory in order to contact people who work in my areas of interest, and I've gained contacts through colleagues at work. I've spoken to people from the DOJ, EPA, and State Department, and I attended the DOJ Career Fair last week to learn more about divisions in the DOJ. Through making contact with an adjunct professor who works for the EPA, I was able to visit an environmental panel in DC that the EPA has weekly on various topics. Once going through security, as is the norm in any governmental building, I was escorted upstairs where I got to talk to 2 William & Mary Law interns and Mike Walker. It was an interesting panel, and it makes a difference talking to someone in person rather than only corresponding through email.
I ended up seeing the 2 William & Mary EPA interns at a WM happy hour, where we were able to discuss our summers more in an informal setting. Luckily, there are a lot of William & Mary Law interns in the DC area, so it is easy to reach out to others and ask how they got their job, if they like it, etc.
Today, I went with a colleague and another intern to DC to attend the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Panel on Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Although parts of it were rather disorganized, it was interesting to hear about the network they have formed for development of those parts of the world. I'm finding that the Rule of Law community is fairly small, as people seem to always know of each other. Because I want to continue with International Law, it is great to learn more about Rule of Law to see if it is something I would want to pursue. Regardless, I know this geographic area is where I want to be, so it makes it easier to look for potential internships.
This past weekend, I met up with an old family friend who lives in DC. He is the son of the Circuit Court Judge my mom worked for for 10 years, and we have always stayed in close touch. He even officiated my sister's wedding in 2012. His son Justin and his wife met me at the National Building museum, where we got to see the temporary exhibit there on icebergs. After lunch, we got delicious soul food at NuVegan, and it was by far the best meal I've had since being up here. I decided to ask them which landmarks I need to see before I head back home, so I have since then started a list so I can see as much as possible in the coming weeks.