In advance of coming to the College of Virginia School of Law, Jordan Kijewski ’24 aided underrepresented substantial college students use to college or university and “adopted” a grandmother who became a near good friend.
Kijewski, a indigenous of Haymarket, Virginia, analyzed U.S. governing administration and politics and American reports as an undergraduate at UVA.
At the Law School, she serves as historian for the Black Regulation Pupils Affiliation, a controlling board member of the Virginia Journal of Global Law, a Regulation Faculty Ambassador and a study assistant for Professor Kimberly Jenkins Robinson.
In our occasional sequence “Star Witness,” Kijewski talked over volunteering for Madison Residence at UVA, doing the job for AmeriCorps and why her Criminal Law class was so significant.
Why law faculty?
Most of my awareness of the legislation prior to starting at UVA Law was shaped by my mother and father, both of those of whom have labored as legal professionals. From a youthful age, I remember listening to their tales from perform and thinking that the legislation was an place with the likely to help extra folks than I could wrap my thoughts all around. This was quickly appealing. My mother and father weighed in with guidance each time somebody they knew experienced a lawful problem, and I keep in mind thinking why anything as ubiquitous as the regulation remained so puzzling to so numerous people. If we are all bound by the legislation, should not we all understand its guidelines? I have remained curious about the legislation and how it influences our culture — specially, variances in the techniques men and women of several backgrounds interact with the legislation. I am absolutely sure that my time at UVA Regulation will assistance me reply that issue and shape my own look at of and conversation with the legislation going forward.
What have been some of your most gratifying experiences as a UVA undergrad?
By far, the most rewarding working experience I had as an undergrad at UVA was my do the job with the Outreach College student Advisory Board, a joint student-faculty board that worked to make college or university admission a lot more equitable and UVA additional available for pupils of all backgrounds. Working under previous Dean Valerie Gregory taught me so a great deal about greater training and the methods to advocate for authentic improve in seemingly rigid buildings. I was able to do the job a person-on-one particular with future college students and their families to plan for and acclimate to school lifestyle as very well as advocate for College-huge adjustments to admission and orientation techniques.
The most entertaining extracurricular activity I participated in was Madison House’s Adopt-a-Grandparent method. Each and every 7 days, my team frequented a local nursing property and used the afternoon with our companion inhabitants there. My “adopted grandmother” and I go through together, labored on puzzles and even had a joint Halloween costume together. (I was Serena Williams — our most loved athlete — and she was a tennis ball, wearing a vibrant yellow outfit!) The method was intended for pupils to invest time brightening the days of local seniors, but our weekly conversations are some of my most cherished recollections from my time at UVA. I certainly benefited greatly from her impact.
Inform us much more about your time with AmeriCorps.
Concerning college or university and law school, I served as an AmeriCorps member in the Virginia College or university Advising Corps, a nearby division of the Countrywide College or university Advising Corps. The purpose is to raise the variety of minimal-income, first-technology and underrepresented higher university learners moving into and finishing increased instruction. For the duration of my services, I was placed at a large university in Richmond, Virginia, and assisted above 700 students with the faculty software and economic aid procedures, recommended on job and job searches and helped with army enlistment. I was also a monitor and industry coach!
My two many years with AmeriCorps have been hard and worthwhile in so several ways. Coming into a school that did not have a notably strong college or university-heading tradition and trying to transform that lifestyle was surely the major problem. Numerous of my pupils felt defeated in advance of the procedure even started, but dedicating time and personalized notice to each and every scholar and their people through the calendar year kept them inspired and motivated to comprehensive and submit college and job apps, attaining self confidence alongside the way. Some of the solutions my co-trainer and I executed are even now used in the university now, and it is particularly worthwhile to identify that our really hard do the job is even now producing application processes much more accessible to the learners there.
In the second half of the 12 months, most of the senior class was thrilled alternatively than anxious about university and the up coming chapters of their life. A couple of of my college students even secured total scholarships to their initially-decision faculties, and I however keep in touch with many of them.
Explain your most intriguing regulation school encounter.
I really do not believe any one particular experience definitely defines my regulation school encounter so considerably, but the courses I have taken have by now been incredibly influential in the techniques I imagine about previous, existing and upcoming authorized landscapes. Having Professor Anne Coughlin’s Legal Legislation training course at a time with this kind of era-defining nationwide circumstances as people of Derek Chauvin and Kyle Rittenhouse spurred a exceptional type of engagement with the law. I am incredibly thankful for the professors I’ve experienced below who make use of modern day debates and functions to boost course dialogue, and my Criminal Law course undoubtedly did so in means that broadened my worldview.
I have also experienced numerous opportunities to find out from well known attorneys and legal scholars I glimpse up to. Lunch with Justice Stephen Breyer and a roundtable discussion with Steve Schleicher — the head prosecutor in Derek Chauvin’s trial — are two ordeals I will have with me in the course of my existence and occupation.
What’s one thing your classmates do not know about you?
I love to operate! My older sister and I have raced the Charlottesville 10 Miler with each other a handful of times over the years, as effectively as a 50 percent marathon. This yr at the race, I ran into my supervisors from my AmeriCorps placement as perfectly as Professor Naomi Cahn. We even ran jointly for a while!
What’s up coming for you?
This summer season I am doing the job at the Department of Labor as effectively as assisting Professor Kimberly Robinson with research for her forthcoming publications. I have generally been curious about regulatory work, and a preceding internship with the Department of Justice’s Civil Division definitely solidified that fascination for me. Just after graduation, I hope to pursue a career in non-public practice in antitrust mergers and acquisitions operate, with any luck , on the East Coast, shut to family members.
Equally importantly, while, I hope my legislation degree will help me to transfer by way of the planet as a much more educated and informed member of modern society. I hope to usually use my law degree to assist advocacy for underserved, marginalized and vulnerable communities in greater and a lot more effective means.