Meet Ebony Aiken ’25L, AmeriCorps Researcher and Policy Analyst Before starting law school, Ebony Aiken worked in real estate and in policy research with AmeriCorps Public Allies division.
Ebony Aiken ‘25L is originally from Jackson, Mississippi and attended the University of Houston for her undergraduate degree. She also obtained a master’s in public policy from the University of Arizona. Before starting law school, Ebony worked in real estate and in policy research. She is a licensed realtor in Texas, and has worked with researchers at Arizona State University, Penn State, University of Arizona, and Louisiana State University-Shreveport on community-based crime interventions, drug market interventions, food insecurity research, and implementing policy on the microlevel. In her free time she enjoys creative writing, spending time with family and friends, and working out.
Tell us about your time serving in AmeriCorps.
I completed a 10 month service with AmeriCorps Public Allies division in Tucson, Arizona. The work I did focused on community-based crime reduction interventions, drug market interventions, survey design, and policy focused data analysis. I worked on a variety of grant funded projects in Tucson, Phoenix, and Shreveport, Louisiana. My service was very informative in understanding how public policy and the law impact different communities, learning how to work with various community stakeholders, and where some of the gaps in information lie and how to plug in said gaps.
What was your greatest takeaway from your master’s degree in Public Policy?
That research is broad and vast, can lead to many discoveries, and can spark new conversations not just within academia, but also in our communities. Also, that the intersection of public policy and law is very important but often overlooked. Lastly, that one’s upbringing and community impact not only how they see the world and the issues they are often passionate about but also the policy concerns they focus on.
Why law school?
I knew that law school was going to be a part of my plan since undergrad. Being an attorney has been a goal for so long because I feel as if it’s a necessary component to what I want to do short-term and long-term in my career. Short-term I want to litigate, and long-term I want to work in public policy where law is a necessary component.
What was your main reason for choosing W&L Law?
I chose W&L Law because of the close-knit community, the student to faculty ratio, and the amount of support given to each student throughout their entire time at W&L. I knew that I wanted to go to a school where I could have one-on-one time with professors to enhance my understanding of legal concepts. W&L has spent a lot of time thinking about the whole person by curating a positive student experience inside and outside of the classroom. W&L has recognized that in order to get the best out of students, it’s important to prioritize wellness. Essentially, W&L cares about the details.
How did you find out about W&L Law?
I had begun receiving information through the mail from W&L Law in 2019. When discussing the law schools I was considering with my family, W&L was the school that had everything I was looking for in a school.
How has your past work experience prepared you for law school?
I have worked in a variety of industries that have been service focused. My AmeriCorps service focused on research, policy analysis, and implementation, which prepared me for critical analysis and synthesizing large sums of information. My work in the real estate industry taught me a lot about community needs and understanding that so much of those needs are impacted by law and policy even if people do not realize it. All of my experiences have taught me how to manage my time and resources, acknowledging my strengths and the strength of others around me, and also how to build capacity using very little resources.