Over the summer, Bilqis Wilkerson, Howard University School of Law Class of 2020, lived her dream. She gained three different experiences in Washington, DC that gave her a peek into what her future legal career will hold.
Briefly describe your experience.
"I worked at a small law firm as an apprentice, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to high school graduates who have an incarcerated parent, and with a local organization to develop an anti-racism workshop for yearlong service volunteers from around the country."
What was the selection process like to participate in your summer experience?
"The attorney that I work with came to Howard's campus to recruit in the spring and selected me as a summer apprentice in April.
For the non-profit, I contacted the director via LinkedIn. For the anti-racism training, I was recruited because I was certified in conflict resolution and anti-racism prior to coming to Howard."
What did you like most about your summer experience? Least?
"I love having freedom and having more than one pot in the fire. This summer, I did exactly what I envisioned for myself, and I realized that I was living my dreams.
At my firm, I was able to work from home, on my own schedule. I had challenging projects that were submitted to the Federal District Court, and I learned a lot.
At the nonprofit, I participated in the awards ceremony and met the scholarship recipients. My team valued my ideas and contributions. Anti-racism is always rewarding. I spent the summer planning and preparing for a series of trainings and workshops.
The thing I liked the least about the summer is earning limited income. I am still on a learning curve with the law and it takes me more time to complete legal research projects than I would like.
What's the biggest lesson learned this summer?
"The biggest lesson that I learned is that I can have it all. Everything works out in the end, and I was able to balance my busy personal life, my professional growth and do amazing things."
What are your ultimate career goals?
"To be a fixer. I want to have a private consulting firm that helps small businesses and young professionals solve their most complex issues. I started my company a few years ago, and I realized that in order to truly have the impact that I need to have, I needed to get a law degree. That's why I am at HUSL now."