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My W&L: Jackie Yarbro ’15

“W&L has certainly taught me to expect the unexpected in a community of unique individuals.”

There was no way I could have anticipated the sense of community that comes from attending a small school like Washington and Lee. When I first stepped foot on campus and everyone greeted me with a smile and “hello,” I knew that I had found a place that I could call my home. My love for W&L and its community grew even more when I decided to join our mock trial program. When I walked into our first practice, a boisterous and friendly crowd of individuals eagerly began to explain the nuances of college mock trial to me. I was swept away by the excitement and enthusiastically committed to be part of the team. It is strange to think that I found my closest friends in a group of people who pretend to be lawyers and witnesses on the weekends. W&L has certainly taught me to expect the unexpected in a community of unique individuals. I have laughed so hard that I have cried, travelled to places I never thought I would see, and competed alongside my 20 best friends over the past three years. I love every moment of the journey. My time at Washington and Lee has passed like a whirlwind and I attribute much of the fun that I have had to the wonderful friends I found in my mock trial team.

My experience with mock trial has given me more than a family. It has also provided me with the skills that I need to pursue a career in the legal field. By competing up and down the East Coast against other prestigious universities, I have become a better advocate and critical thinker. The skills that I have learned as a W&L mock trial competitor have helped me in all arenas of my life. The thought of speaking my mind in class or doing a presentation no longer gives me butterflies, but rather fills me with excitement. My experience with mock trial has also helped me to improve as a learner. I never thought I could discover so much about my strengths and weaknesses by leading and listening to my team. But I have, and I am so happy that I found my home away from home at Washington and Lee.

Hometown: Suwanee, GA

Majors: Philosophy and Religion

Minor: Women and Gender Studies

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Mock Trial
  • Panhellenic Council
  • Student Faculty Hearing Board

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Interned at the Dancing Goat Theatre for 2 summers
  • Shepherd internship this upcoming summer

Post-Graduation Plans: Not Known Yet, hopefully law school

Favorite Class: My sophomore year, I took a class on Heidegger and Augustine through the Religion department. There were only four students total in the class and we were truly able to learn a lot through class discussion. In a way that seems to be unique to Washington and Lee, all of the students were comfortable talking about the difficult subject matter and asking questions. Our professor was very interested in the material and facilitated discussion in a way that always left us wishing there was another hour for class.

Advice for prospective or first-year students? Do not be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone. You never know what you will find in some of the clubs here at W&L. There are many intriguing opportunities that are waiting just around the corner.