Ashley Carter, JD '16 Alumni Spotlight

February 23, 2023

Ashley Carter

What made you decide to apply to be a member of the GWLAA board? Have there been any particularly rewarding or challenging experiences serving on the board? 

I think it’s really important to give back to the communities that helped me grow. GW Law gave me so many opportunities, and I wanted to pay that forward. It’s really important to me to see GW Law engage our students and our alumni, and bring them together whenever we can.

So far, the most rewarding experience has been the opportunity to connect with admitted students through our alumni admitted student outreach program. The admitted students are so excited and also anxious so it’s been great to have a chance to relieve some of their concerns and talk about the things that make GW Law such a great place!   

What made you want to be a part of the Open Doors Scholars mentorship program? Would you encourage others to participate? 

When the alumni office reached out about Open Doors I was really excited for the opportunity to be a mentor. It’s so important to me to offer opportunities to students from all sorts of backgrounds and life situations - I grew up in a small town in Kentucky where no one I knew had ever gone to law school or even considered it, and coming to law school was kind of a culture shock! I’ve really loved being able to connect with my mentee about her passions and her hopes for law school, and I hope that other alumni will consider getting involved with our Open Door Scholars as well. 

Is there a class or experience during your time as a student at GW Law that you found particularly helpful or impactful?  

My clinic experiences completely changed the trajectory of my career, for the better. I came to law school knowing that I wanted to work in poverty law, but my time in the Family Justice Litigation Clinic and the Criminal Appeals & Post-Conviction Services Clinic both helped me understand what kinds of litigation I really enjoyed and what areas of law I was passionate about. I’m now a managing attorney for the Domestic Violence and Appellate practice areas at a local non-profit so it’s not an exaggeration to say that my clinics shaped my career! 

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself as a 1L?  

Focus less on what everyone says you have to do to be successful as a law student and focus on what you love instead! You’ll be happier and you’ll succeed when you’re passionate. 

Anything else that you want to share with us? 

The best decision I made in law school was to take classes that I was really interested in rather than taking classes that I thought would be on the bar exam. Your bar prep will teach you what you need for the bar. The only exception to this rule was Secured Transactions - if you can take that class take it!