Sloane Butler ’23 is a political-science major who’s involved with clubs and organizations on and off campus. She’s planning a career in law, and has already served two internships and an externship, including an externship in the office of a U.S. senator and an internship with a federal judge, for which she was awarded a grant through the DTP '80 Internship Fund. Below, she discusses those experiences, why she loves her major, her favorite classes so far and more.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Clubs and organizations:
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (chapter president), Black Student Union, Presidential Fellow, Resident Assistant 2021-22, Community Advisor 2022-23 and student worker.
Volunteer of the Year award for the Arc of Prince George’s County, National Society of Leadership and Success (member, 2020-present) and an internship grant (DTP '80 Internship Fund).
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.
Best thing about my Dickinson experience:
I was able to make some of my closest friends through my time on campus, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Having to leave campus for a year and a half [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] wasn’t helpful, but coming back to campus and still having strong bonds made my junior year experience the best. I can’t wait to see what my senior year will be like!
Favorite place on campus:
The quiet section on the second floor in the library, at a desk that overlooks Britton Plaza.
Best thing about my major:
The variety of classes. The professors in the political science department specialize in different aspects of political science. Some focus on the presidents, some on the structures and some on voting and [voters’] behaviors. You’re given the opportunity to take electives, and I used that time to take all different types of political science courses. Another great thing about the major is that in all the other courses that I take, I find connections to my major.
Favorite class so far:
I have two classes that are neck and neck for the No. 1 spot: Black Feminist Thought and Constitutional Law II. They are my favorites because they were difficult. I found the classes to be hard, and they pushed me to use outside resources, to actually go to office hours for help and to carefully construct my thoughts and then translate them onto paper. I am proud of the work I did in both classes, so much so that my go-to writing sample to submit is my final paper for my Constitutional Law II class, articulating what my decision would be on a Supreme Court case.
Proudest accomplishment so far:
Receiving two intense and exceptional internships to participate in this summer. I applied and was given the opportunity to intern with a U.S. senator and his staff and the opportunity to intern with a federal judge, under the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program. I ultimately chose to intern with a federal judge in New York. I am extremely proud of both of these accomplishments and the hard and soft skills I was able to demonstrate and gain because of the application and interview process. I’m also proud of my experiences at my internship.
I plan to attend law school, and during that experience I want to continue working with judges and clerking for them. Because of my strong love for the law, I’m excited to enter any legal field that is available to me. I find myself diversifying my experience by going into big law, public interest and other areas. As long as I am happy doing the legal work that I plan to do, I am excited to see what the future brings me.
About my internships:
This summer, I interned with a federal judge at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District, in Brooklyn, New York. I was able to do so under the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program. I applied to this internship because I wanted to do more interning in the judicial system specifically in the courthouse.
During summer 2021 I was able to intern with a magistrate judge in the Superior Courts in Washington, D.C., and I loved the experience. I found this internship through a friend of a friend. My community advisor at the time had a friend go through the program last summer, and knew I was searching for an experience like it. I’ve been able to expand my critical thinking and legal-writing skills while also having the amazing opportunity to sit in courtrooms and watch the judge and lawyers actually practice. I think the best thing I can say about the internship is that I arrived to work excited, and I left work excited.
Last year I also participated in an externship with the legislative assistant to the Virginia state senator.
Advice for younger students:
Talk to everyone, because you never know who knows who or what they can bring to the table.
It’s O.K. to talk about yourself and be your own personal hype team, because when you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, other people will be too.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
I’ve learned that, in order to grow personally and professionally, the work that you’re doing should challenge you. It should be hard for you to complete. Opportunities like these, including internships, are there to help you strengthen and develop your skills and critical writing and thinking. You should be challenged in everything that you’re doing to grow and become the best version of yourself.
Read more Student Snapshots.
Published October 20, 2022