A George Wythe Preparation for George Washington Law School
By J. Austin Russell (GWU Class of 2005)
At the age of twelve, I decided to pursue a career in law. With little more than a vague idea of what was in store, I began several months of exhausting research. I read and re-read various legal publications, perused historical briefs and rulings, and interviewed several local attorneys all with the express intent of discovering how I might best prepare myself. While they surely made their best effort not to discourage an inquirer as young as I, what I found both surprised and concerned me. Despite the very specific and intense nature of an education in law, there appeared to be no consensus concerning how one might best prepare. Unlike their fellows in other graduate programs, law students come from a diverse spectrum of undergraduate studies--there is no universally accepted or required program in pre law. Consequently, the prospective law student is left with little more than the somewhat discouraging suggestion that, "Attorneys are smart people. If you're going to pursue an education in law, you need to be smart." Yet, after further investigation, I found that, contrary to popular belief, there exists a method of education, and a university dedicated to it, that will prepare the mind to succeed in law and, ultimately, any imaginable field of study.
From the moment I set foot on the George Wythe University campus, I was met by a faculty and student body wholly committed to learning all that life has to offer. With its academic core rooted deep in the foundations of classical thought and liberal arts, George Wythe University stands apart as it seeks to build statesmen--"men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty." Shawn Ercanbrack, one of the original founders, explained the key to the University's academic success:
"In the University's demanding environment, the student's character is developed and refined ... the education is rigorous; students learn to ask hard questions, challenge prevailing assumptions, build consensus or stand on principle alone. Above all, the George Wythe [University] student does not ask what the world has to offer, but rather, assesses needs, takes responsibility and sets out to build, innovate and accomplish."
The education I received at George Wythe University trained me to analyze the world around me, and challenge the status quo in a manner that will promote human progress through principles of liberty. Upon graduation, I began studying for the Law School Admission Test. While I was initially frustrated by the difficulty I encountered, the skills I had learned at George Wythe University allowed me to advance in such a way so that, when the time came, I was ready.
This fall, I will enter George Washington University School of Law. I can say that the greatest asset in my preparation has been the education I received at George Wythe University. I am confident that throughout my studies and as I begin my career, the lessons I learned as a George Wythe student will undoubtedly prove the foundation of my success.