Annie Whitney, a student the Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po, was recently admitted to the Junior Deferral Program (JDP) at Harvard Law School. This is the first year that students outside of Harvard College have been accepted into the Program.
The Program allows students to apply during their junior year of college, and if admitted, defer enrollment at Harvard for a minimum of two years, allowing them to pursue other interests immediately after graduation.
“Once I decided that wanted to go to law school, I knew that I did not want to go directly out of college. I was planning on spending at least a couple of years gaining work experience before applying, so I was excited to find a program like the JDP that afforded me the security of not having to go through the application process while working and the flexibility of taking time to gain some field experience before matriculation,” Whitney said.
Whitney’s interest in law school developed during her first two years in the Dual BA Program studying on the Menton campus, located on the French-Italian border. She describes witnessing firsthand the dire circumstances faced by asylum seekers crossing the border, and feeling a deep sense of injustice at the fact that as an American passport holder, she could easily move overseas when others could not.
Since then, she has been deeply involved in immigration issues, volunteering with the Red Cross at a migrant camp in France, and this past summer, working with the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Summer Academy in New York City, which focuses on teaching English literacy, math, and learning skills to newly-arrived refugees, asylees, and other vulnerable immigrant youth.
Whitney is now a senior in the Dual BA Program, and will graduate this May with a degree in human rights. She is currently applying to be a Fulbright Scholar, and is considering Americorps.
“Take advantage of the graduate school support that GS offers—they’re the ones with good advice—especially the Grad School Coaching Series run by Dean Tiffany Decker. It’s all thanks to her that I was able to navigate the law school application process,” Whitney said.
For more information about Graduate School Coaching, and to register for this semester’s workshop series, visit the website. The first workshop will be held Friday, September 14. Registration is required, and students must attend the full series of workshops to participate.