The Catholic University of America

Front row
 (L to R): Maria Natera, Gemma Forest, Kristin Mitcham, Casey Wiggin, Emma Eckert, and Gabriella Giannini.
Back row (L to R): Zahra Syed, Hannah Dier, Katelyn Holbrook, Caitlin McClay, Sarah Ensenat,
Logan Samuels, Jacqueline Cipolla, and John “Jae” Terry.

CUA Women’s Law Caucus Visits the United States Supreme Court

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On February 23, 2018, members of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law Women’s Law Caucus (WLC) toured the Supreme Court of the United States and met with Marshal Pamela Talkin, the first female Marshal in the Court’s history. CUA Law Professor Sarah Duggin facilitated WLC’s contact with Marshal Talkin.

Led by Kristin Mitcham, WLC Co-President and 2L, 14 CUA Law students arrived at the Court and were escorted to the Lawyer’s Lounge. There, they met Marion Zaczkiewicz, the Marshal’s assistant, who welcomed the group and escorted them to the Courtroom. The students were the first to enter the Courtroom and were seated in the first two rows for public seating. They listened to Docent George deliver an informational lecture on the Court’s history, learning that Supreme Court Justices traveled with the Capitol from New York to Philadelphia, and finally to Washington D.C. But even after arriving in Washington, D.C., the Justices held Court in many locations, including the Capitol Building, until they moved into the present Supreme Court building in 1935.

After the lecture, George took the students on a private tour of the building. He showed the students the courtyards, the library, the East Conference Room (with portraits of Nineteenth Century Chief Justices), and the West Conference Room (with portraits of Twentieth Century Chief Justices). The students learned of the various activities that take place in the building—in addition to oral arguments—the building’s architectural significance, and Court symbols found throughout the building.

Finally, the students had a private meeting with Marshal Talkin. She enchanted the students with her adventurous life story and how she came to work at the Supreme Court in 2001. She gave the students a glimpse into her work life with the Justices and shared many entertaining stories from her seventeen years at the Court. She described the Court as a tight-knit working family, which engages in many activities together. When asked for life advice, Marshal Talkin told the students to take life in stride and not to worry too much if a decision you made was the right one because everything works out for the best.