The moment I decided to attend McGeorge School of Law is still crystal clear, I stood on the steps outside the courthouse and admissions after Admitted Students Day. I could feel calm and certain to my core. Even though I wasn’t certain what kind of law I wanted to practice and had no idea the shape my career would take, I knew McGeorge was the place this journey would begin. I didn’t want to move to Sacramento. I loved the Bay Area and being close to my family and friends. But, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that to be involved in public policy, McGeorge and the Capital Lawyering Concentration was where I was meant to be.
Now, almost 10 years later, I am so grateful I followed my gut and took full advantage of the courses and Legislative & Public Policy Clinic I never thought I would want to be a lobbyist, but it was the feeling of watching our bill get unanimously off the Senate floor, while I was spending the summer at the Office of Legislative Counsel, that I knew to my core, lobbying was what I was meant to do.
My career didn’t take the path I expected. It was a struggle. I sat for the bar four times, the whole time applying for jobs in and around the building and being told I made it to the final round or “it was so close, but…” I stayed ready. I kept at it. Finally, the day I got sworn in, I interviewed at the California News Publishers Association. As a former journalist, it seemed like a great fit. The Director and General Counsel even knew the attorney who talked me into law school and told me about McGeorge. I got hired and the program at McGeorge enabled me to hit the ground running. A little over a year later, the General Counsel retired and I was promoted. It was like drinking out of a fire hydrant. But again, the Capital Center for Law & Policy had prepared me for success and I had a 10 out of 10 on our top priority bills for the session.
As a member of the Capital Center Alumni Board, I get the honor of supporting the program that I credit with my success and that I know will help others succeed as well. I get to work with my fellow Capital Center alumni, attend and support events, mentor students, and help others find their paths. If nothing else, I can be an example that even if your path doesn’t look like what you thought it would, the Capital Center prepares students for success, no matter the obstacles.
By Brittney Barsotti, JD ’17
General Counsel, California News Publishers Association