Meet a Student: Janet Harrison
Janet Harrison somehow found time to be involved in more than “just” her internship at the U.S. Supreme Court—and the first one of its kind, at that—while an evening law student at UB. Along with UB teammate Latoya Francis-Williams, Harrison placed among the top eight teams in the national Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition in Houston, Texas, in March 2011.
For the past two years, Harrison has also competed in the American Bar Association Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition with UB teammate Al Moseley; they placed second in the February 2011 regional competition, held at Widener University in Chester, Pa.
Taking on the considerable task of managing law classes and an internship on top of her day job was nothing new for Harrison. During her law enforcement career, the mother of four also earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems management from the University of Maryland, University College, and a master’s in management from The Johns Hopkins University before enrolling at UB in 2008. But we digress; as she prepared to begin her last semester of law school, Harrison was kind enough to tell us a little bit more about her U.S. Supreme Court internship.
Q. How long did you intern with the Supreme Court?
A. I was originally assigned to intern for 30 days. After beginning the “Capital Case Summary” document, the clerk asked me to work an additional 30 days to complete the summary. I interned during June and July 2011 and worked there three days a week.
Q. Has this experience opened any new doors for you?
A. Not yet. This internship was extremely valuable to me because I used it to learn and improve my writing and communication skills and [my] knowledge of civil and criminal procedure.
Q. Why did you decide to continue your education?
A. I began my bachelor’s degree right out of high school but only attended for a year. I … had taken a pause in my education when our two oldest children were very little to spend time as a homemaker. But as my children got older and I stressed college and higher education to them, I returned to school to lead by example.
Q. Which family members have supported you through law school?
A. Everyone in my family was highly supportive, especially my husband, Maynard “Smoki” Harrison. The encouragement of my children, parents (George and Jayne Simms) and husband is integral and keeps me going.
I would also like to acknowledge my brother, George E. Simms III, an assistant state’s attorney in Montgomery County, who has given me guidance through law school.