Felicia Washington-Valentin

Felicia Washington-Valentin

For U.S. Army veteran Felicia Washington-Valentin, law school has been one of the most difficult pursuits she’s undertaken, but ONU Law has equipped her with the resources and support she needs to be successful throughout her law school journey.

Felicia chose ONU Law specifically for its Summer Starter Program, which is geared toward students whose outstanding undergraduate performance indicates probable academic success in law school despite a lower LSAT score. The eight-week program was certainly rigorous, but it was exactly what she needed to set her up for success in her first year. She benefited greatly from weekly meetings with an academic support advisor to work out the kinks of briefing cases, outlining and studying for exams.

Law school has been quite a different challenge than any other she’s faced, but she always finds support when she needs it, whether it’s a walk-in help session with a faculty member or personal assistance from a Taggart Law Library staff member.

“Being a non-traditional student, I have found law school difficult and very time consuming. You learn the law through self-teaching. On my own I have not always been able to obtain a full understanding of the varying legal subjects,” she says. “This is where the professors and staff come in. The professors create a professional atmosphere conducive to learning. They are readily available to help close the gaps on a one-on-one basis by appointment or walk-in. Students are encouraged to seek the help they need. The library staff, especially the circulation desk personnel, are always helpful. It is where I laugh the most.”

Over the summer, Felicia participated in a judicial externship at a local juvenile and probate court, where she was able to work one on one with the judge. Using the research and writing skills she developed in class, she observed how the judge takes provided material and applies it in practice. She was also able to see attorneys in action prior to and during court, and interacted with court staff, attorneys, probation officers and local police.

After law school, Felicia aims to gain employment with the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and between bar prep courses, academic support and career services, she has mapped out a plan to get there. It’s a dream that’s certainly within reach, thanks to the tools, resources and support she’s received from ONU Law.