Jacqueline DerOvanesian, JD '16 Alumni Spotlight

January 13, 2023

Jacqueline DerOvanesian

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 loved being a GW Law student, and part of a community of people who were so enthusiastic and friendly. I met some of my best friends and created many of my favorite memories there.  Even though I now live in Miami, I wanted to remain connected to the GW Law community and to the faculty I learned so much from. The GWLAA Board is a great way to stay involved with the latest issues affecting the school, and to work with the faculty and my former classmates. I also noticed that there is a large and increasing population of GW Law alum’s in my area who are interested in connecting with each other, and saw serving on the board as a good opportunity to help create regional networks outside of Washington, DC.    

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

The unique work opportunities while in school during my second and third years were really incredible. Sitting through a morning of classes with top-notch faculty and then walking straight from the classroom to my internships at the DOJ Office of the Pardon Attorney and the FBI made for an experience I could not get anywhere else.

I also really enjoyed my experience on the mock trial and moot court boards. It gave more practical context to the research, writing, and argument drafting skills I learned in class, and was a lot of fun.

Outside of the classroom, I had always had a great time with the GW Law Running Club. A group of about a dozen of us, sometimes joined by a professor, would go for long runs every week and explore different parts of the city.

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

Do not feel pressure to have your whole career planned on your first day of law school, or to take the same path as your peers. Take advantage of the wide range of faculty expertise, explore different work opportunities, and allow yourself to find your niche.