Washington and Lee University School of Law

Washington and Lee University School of Law

Friday, July 10, 2009

You Can Get It All at the Pentagon

Gene Hamilton, a rising 3L from Grayson, Georgia, is working for the Air Force General Counsel's Office at the Pentagon.

Like so many summer employers, the Air Force General Counsel’s Office entices applicants to its program by telling them they will be able to work on a broad range of practice areas. Unlike many summer employers, however, it actually comes through with its promise and provides a truly unique opportunity to work on a broad range of practice areas. Without going into too much detail, I have thoroughly enjoyed working on my assignments this summer, which have ranged from issues focusing on administrative law, government contracting, contractor responsibility, international law, military personnel law, and a number of other fields. Additionally, the attorneys and other summer law clerks in the General Counsel’s office are fantastic to work with.
One of the greatest benefits of working in this office is its physical location inside the Pentagon. It can be intimidating at first, with the sheer size of the building and the fact that some 23,000 people work there. With its different floors, rings, corridors,  and office numbers, it’s easy to feel like a mouse looking for cheese at the end of the proverbial maze. It really is like a little city within a city. Need something to eat? There are lots of dining options at the Pentagon (including an outdoor café where the “most dangerous hot dog stand in the world” stood during the Cold War). Need to go to CVS? No problem, there’s one there. Shoe shine, doctor, bank, florist, barber, gym, gift shop? All available here.
Something that takes some getting used to is seeing all of the brass as you walk the halls of the building. Outside the Pentagon, it’s not common to see a 3 or 4 star general when you are out and about. Inside the building is quite a different story. Overall, the place is as impressive as it is massive. If you ever have the opportunity to tour the building, do so. The Pentagon Memorial is a must see for any American, as it provides an opportunity to reflect on the events of 9/11.
We have had the opportunity to tour the Supreme Court, the Capitol, Andrews Air Force Base, visit the GAO, and attend meetings and panel discussions off-site. I’ve really enjoyed being in the D.C. area this summer. It’s hard to summarize an entire summer in just a short blog, but so far everything has been outstanding.
Lastly, I encourage anyone with family or friends who are in the military, or who previously served, to take time out to thank them for their service to our country. Their dedication, commitment, and sacrifice ensure our continued freedom.


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