That Girl: Kristin Slawter

Kristin Slawter is on top of her game. We planned a meeting at the Daily Grind at 10 a.m. and it hadn’t even hit 10:01 before I got an energetic voicemail from Kristin apologizing in advance for being five minutes late. This gal from the Philly suburbs whirled in only minutes later, wearing a classy blue dress and carrying a bag of books, looking only slightly out of breath. She declined an offer for coffee and we sat down together in a corner. I congratulate her on her new position as Student Assembly vice president, an experience she described as “surreal.” We quickly settled in and stepped beyond the SA flurry of last week’s nomination.

You are a government major with minors in biology and process management and consulting. What are you looking to do post-graduation?
I’m looking at law school two years from now. Right now I’d like to be back in D.C. in some capacity. I worked for a lobbying firm this summer, so, most likely, I’ll be working for them again after graduation. It’s a full-service law firm known for its lobbying sector, so I would be going in as a public policy specialist. I could work for them for about two years. They really encourage people to go back to school, and they help people navigate that process. I worked on a case with Mark Geragos who was the defense attorney for Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson. After that, it was like, “I get it.” It was a narcotics case, so it was a little different in that they were defending drug dealers. I was working for the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. On the government side you see all the work and all the good you’re doing.

Did you hold these positions during summer break?
This summer I did lobbying working for Patton Boggs, a firm in D.C. The summer before I was working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office doing criminal narcotics in Philly, and the summer before that I worked at a marketing and advertising agency.

Did you feel prepared for the work involved?
By the end I guess I picked up on it pretty quickly. I was working with the law students doing all the things they were doing: I was writing motions, writing briefs, doing a lot of case research, working on all their databases. Some of the coolest parts in Philadelphia included going to a firing range with the F.B.I. agents. I was standing there, never even having touched a real gun, and here I am holding a machine gun, firing at this F.B.I. poster, going, “Okay, this is going to be great.” They tell the girls that they are about to fire a machine gun with live rounds, and often, because they are not as strong in their upper body, the machine gun on automatic mode tends to rise up, so they were like, “We’re going to have to hold you forward.” I am not a gun person. We shot handguns, too. We also took a tour of a federal detention center in Philadelphia and were walked through the general prison population. That was when they had the Fort Dix bombers in the federal detention center. Guns and lots of drugs. You go through DARE in high school, so you know what drugs look like, but then when they sit a million dollars worth of cocaine on the table and they’re like, “This is our evidence,” you’re like, “Oh, guess that’s what it looks like.” It was very weird. We also had a rapper who had been convicted, and then got mad at the U.S. attorney who convicted him. So, after he was released from prison, he released a new rap album, and in the song he says, “fuck Curtis Douglas,” and Curtis Douglas is the attorney.

What’s your favorite movie?
See, here’s my problem: I’m one of those people who just doesn’t sit down and watch movies.

What about a TV show?
I love “Project Runway.” I haven’t had much time to watch this season — I’m really disappointed. I used to also have a kind of guilty pleasure with “The Hills.” And I love “The Office.” I think it’s hysterical.

Did you see the first episode of the new season last week?
I didn’t. I have to. I think I might watch it Friday because you’re not supposed to do any LSAT stuff the day before the LSAT. My mom was like, “You’re getting a massage and you’re just going to do nothing.” I was like, “Okay.”

If you had a soundtrack to your life, what would be on it?
I like David Gray and Paul Simon. I like some rap songs every now and then too — they are such a guilty pleasure. My favorite is Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” just because I think it is hysterical. The best part is how it’s all about how Ne-Yo doesn’t like all the hot secretaries in the office; he likes the boss and the independent women. I’m like, “That’s right Ne-Yo. You got it right.”

Is there anything else that I didn’t ask you that you think would be important to mention?
You know what’s funny? I think people think I’m a certain way because I’m put together on the outside. I’m really honest and blunt. I’d rather people say it how it is. I can take criticism, and I can dish it out.

Our interview meanders into conversation, and within a few minutes we bid warm good byes so Kristin has time to make the trek to Morton for her last government course at the College: a seminar on the 2008 Election. At 2 p.m., she’ll head down toward the Marshall Wythe School of Law for her internship with the National Center for State Courts before heading up “What Can Your Student Assembly Do For You?,” attending Student Alumni Council and SA Senate meetings, and studying for a business midterm tomorrow.


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