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Career Paths: Diane Gremillion ’19L

Diane Gremillion ‘19L is an avid runner and native of Lafayette, Louisiana. She attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford Connecticut, then graduated cum laude with a degree in Leadership Studies and a minor in English from the University of Richmond, where she was a Bonner Scholar. Diane spent her 1L summer working with the Montgomery County [MD] State’s Attorney’s Office, and her 2L summer working with Venable, LLP in Washington, DC.

Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?

I will be working with Venable, LLP in Washington, DC, focusing on regulatory matters. Depending on the firm’s needs, I will focus on either government contracts or political law.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in this field?

I came to law school wanting to practice international human rights law. As passionate as I am about that area—and helping others will always be central in my life—I am thrilled about working in the regulatory/administrative law realm.

Working at Venable, I am surrounded by extremely motivated and wildly intelligent professionals. I love that work environment—especially the mix of creative thinking with formulaic processes within administrative law.

This past summer I worked on a pro bono case, defending an immigrant family after nearby construction flooded their home, which culminated in mediation at the Venable office building. Being with a large firm allowed us to defend the family with first-rate legal representation against multiple large corporations in ways that we would not have been able to otherwise.

Intellectually I love the complex problems that will come across my desk within a firm and the opportunities to engage with my local community through pro bono work.

What role did the size and location of the firm play in the search and decision process?

Venable is a big law firm, which entails accomplished mentors, a wide net of resources, and especially interesting clients with complex and unique problems. Even more, Washington, DC is a hub for regulatory work and administrative law, making it ideal for my practice area of interest. As a young attorney, I am at the ideal place to learn and to begin my career.

Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this career choice?

I was so terrified of having worked so hard, committing the time and money to law school, then getting to my summer experience and realizing I did not like the work. Luckily, the opposite was true for me. Being surrounded by brilliant professionals is inspiring— they all want you to achieve just as much as they do. I love my firm environment. Seeing the standards that the attorneys set for themselves makes me want to strive for excellence.

What classes do you think are helpful to take to prepare for this job?

Administrative Law was a mandatory 1L course, unique to the Washington and Lee curriculum. Prior to taking this course I did not understand anything about—or even recognize the existence of—what my professor described as “the fourth branch of government.” Yet, the entirety of my future work, especially in the regulatory practice group, will be exclusively in this arena.

Can you describe your job search process?

1L summer I worked right outside of DC and that is when my search process began. After interning during the day, I attended receptions at various firms, and during lunch breaks I arranged phone calls with Washington and Lee alumni in the area. They offered many tips, sometimes helped me with mock interviews, and often would pass my resume on to recruiting at their firm. I applied to some firms online through their websites, but I achieved the best results from attending the OCS Interview Programs and from networking beforehand.

What are you most looking forward to about working at this job?

I absolutely loved my time in Lexington, but I am very excited to be in a city and to start gaining professional experience. My favorite courses 3L year were those with experiential learning opportunities— after three years of studying, it will be great to finally be practicing every day and gaining experience!