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Law Student Leadership in Action: My Unforgettable Experience at the FBA's Capitol Hill Day & Leadership Summit


Elle Peterson, San Diego FBA Student Member and Ninth Circuit Representative for the FBA Law Student Division Board, at the reception in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court of the United States.

My name is Elle Peterson - I am a 3L at University of San Diego School of Law and Student Member of the Federal Bar Association. With great pride, I serve as the Ninth Circuit Representative for the FBA Law Student Division Board, and was honored to represent San Diego at the Federal Bar Association's Capitol Hill Day and the Leadership Summit this year. Over the course of the weekend, I was very lucky to be able to advocate for causes important to our profession and forge meaningful connections with other inspiring FBA members.

 

On Capitol Hill Day, I was part of the California Delegation, engaging in meetings with House and Senate offices to discuss FBA legislative issues. Chairman Darrell Issa’s remarks at the start of the day set the tone for a series of impactful engagements, resonating deeply with me as a fellow San Diegan and reinforcing a sense of shared purpose. Over the course of the day, I advocated for initiatives to enhance judicial security, support the Federal Judgeship Act of 2024, endorse legislation to alleviate the burden on federal courts, secure funding for the federal judiciary, and for the establishment of an independent Article I Immigration Court. During my engagements with Senate members, I specifically took on addressing the need for updating the FBA Foundation's charter to streamline its operations and enable it to better serve its charitable mission. Through persuasive arguments and informed advocacy, I successfully engaged both House and Senate members, urging their support and action on these key FBA initiatives.

 

Elle Peterson (left) with the FBA California Delegation and United States Senator Laphonza Butler (center) at Capitol Hill Day.

The Leadership Summit provided me with additional learning opportunities, enriching me with invaluable insights and empowering my journey as an upcoming FBA leader. Amidst the vibrant exchange of ideas and workshops, I seized the opportunity to forge meaningful connections, both personally and professionally, on a national level. With each interaction and every session, my experience at the Summit was not just educational but profoundly enriching, equipping me with the tools and networks necessary to drive my leadership forward with confidence and purpose.

 

The highlight of my weekend was undoubtedly the Friday night reception held at The Supreme Court of the United States. It was a distinguished gathering, paying tribute to Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as she was bestowed the esteemed title of Honorary Life Fellow of the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association. I had the privilege of meeting Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in person, where I exchanged greetings and shook hands with her before she gave her remarks. It was a moment I will never forget and an experience that has left an indelible mark on my journey as a budding legal professional. As I eagerly anticipate future opportunities to continue advocating for positive change, I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to make a meaningful impact within our profession!


Elle Peterson (right) and other FBA members with United States Representative Pete Aguilar at Capitol Hill Day.

I want to thank Blake Currey and the entirety of the San Diego Chapter of the FBA's Board of Directors for this incredible opportunity. If you are a law student interested in joining the FBA, sign up for free today!

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