Bo Garfinkel '21 Law Student, Harvard University

What have you been doing professionally since graduation?

After graduation from Washington and Lee, I moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend Harvard Law School. I absolutely love law school, as the people I've met and the opportunities that have been presented to me have truly changed my life. I plan to work in plaintiff's law after graduation, where I hope to use my law degree to seek justice for those who have been wronged in employment discrimination and in mass torts.

What's the most exciting part of your professional work?

There are two things that make my work exciting. The first is that the critical thinking and creative problem-solving that law requires ensures that I am always intellectually engaged. I love being presented with a unique problem and using the entire precedence of case law to show why a case should come out a certain way. The second thing that makes my work exciting is the people. At Harvard Law, I am surrounded by some of the smartest, most thoughtful people in the world. I feel like I am constantly learning new things and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my classmates and colleagues both in and out of the classroom.

How did your studies in SOAN at W&L help prepare you for your work?

My work as an anthropology major at Washington and Lee prepared me in many ways. I am a better law student because of the unique perspective that I have in being able to analyze the intersection of law, society and culture. I approach the law from a very humanist approach, which I think will make me a more compassionate and effective lawyer.

On a similar note, during my senior year, I was able to work with the amazing Professor Alison Bell on a research project regarding legal institutionalization. This research helped me learn about the intricate history of the legal system. By learning about both the power and dangers of law, I was able to define what I want my role in it to be and how I want to shape it going forward. Ultimately, I am incredibly grateful for the incredible training that I received through W&L's SOAN Department, and if given the choice, I would choose to major in anthropology every time.