A school, a hospital, and a nursing home represent three distinct stages of human experience. All were embraced with equal care and enthusiasm on Friday, Aug. 17, by a group of young men and women who have just commenced a distinct stage of their own lives: law school.
Approximately 60 brand-new Catholic University law students volunteered on the final day of their orientation week (Aug. 13-17) to spend several hours doing what they could to help improve the lives of others.
Student Service Day has become a traditional part of orientation week at the Columbus School of Law, and as in past years, the students fanned out to nearby locations to donate their time, energy, and enthusiasm.
This year, members of the incoming day and evening classes were bussed to St. Anthony’s School to plant trees, clean, paint, and assist with general maintenance; to the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) to help set up an end-of-summer summer party and spend time with young patients; and to Carroll Manor Nursing Home, to interact with its senior residents.
"I had such a memorable experience at the HSC Pediatric Center," said first-year student Casey Lee. "My classmates and I spent the morning throwing a party for the children at the hospital. This service opportunity reaffirmed my decision to attend Catholic University and was the perfect beginning to law school."
All three service locations are located in close proximity to the law school, in Washington, D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood.
Student Service Day offers the first-year class the chance to bond and get to know one another while doing good and valuable work. It also underscores the law school’s emphasis on service to others as a sacred, life-long commitment for lawyers.
“Lawyers stand nearly alone among the professions in their capacity to positively impact the lives of their fellow citizens,” said George Garvey, the law school’s acting dean, during his official welcome to the class on Friday evening.
“There are people in your future, unmet so far, whose lives will brush up against yours,” Garvey continued. “They will need your help, your support, your counsel, and your mastery of the tools of our legal system. And because of the decision you have made to attend law school, you will be ready to respond.”
Student Service Day capped a busy week for the first-year students, who spent much of it going through the timeless rituals of registration, familiarizing themselves with the resources of the library, and attending a number of introductory lectures that covered subjects from Introduction to Case Briefing to Social Justice and the Law.