Day 3–Morning at Superior Courts, Afternoon in Secretary of War Suite

We began Wednesday morning with a trip to the DC Superior Courts where we met Judge Keary ’71, who shared her road to the bench and gave us some information on some of the cases we were going to observe that morning. I chose to observe the court of Judge Saddler ’76, who presides over domestic cases. Domestic cases were very interesting–some were rather entertaining, and others deeply saddening. The highlight of the day was when Judge Saddler looked out into the courtroom, and asked for the Wellesley students to raise their hands. She then took a recess and invited us to her chambers in the back and introduced herself to us. She answered questions that we had about the cases we’ve seen so far and briefly shared with us her experience to the bench. We had lunch in the Superior Court Judges’ meeting room with Superior Court Judges Ann Keary, ’71, Zoe Bush, ’76, Fern Saddler, ’76 and U.S. District Judge, Ellen Segal Huvelle, ‘70. It was amazing to see all these Wellesley alums on the bench and to hear about their post-grad experiences. Their personal stories really moved me and their advice provided me with a lot of insight on the legal field.

After lunch, we headed to the Eisenhower building, which is the workplace of the White House administration. We met with speakers in the Secretary of War’s suite, which is very cozy and reminded me of the Reading Room in Clapp Library. In this intimate environment, we had conversations with Sarah Hurwitz, speechwriter for the President and for Michelle Obama, Heidi Avery ’89, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, Ben Holzer, Director of Research, and Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President. I feel so privileged to have been given the opportunity to hear their personal perspective on working with the President and to have them answer my questions. It was amazing to hear Sarah Hurwitz’s experience of transitioning from writing for Hillary Clinton to President Obama and now for the First Lady, Heidi Avery’s sharing of what she learned from her Wellesley years that prepared her the best, Ben Holzer’s story of how he got into politics, and Pete Rouse’s anecdotes of his working with the President from Chicago to DC. It was a phenomenal day from start to finish–it was an honor to learn from amazing Wellesley alums in the DC courts and members of the White House Administration.

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