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Amy Louttit ‘13 Accepts Position as Public Policy Associate in Washington, D.C.

September 10, 2014

Amy Louttit ’13, a South Carolina native, came to California fourteen years ago at the age of seventeen to “build a better life for herself.” At the end of September, she will relocate to the nation’s capital to help build a better future for others. “National Network for Youth (NN4Y) is the nation’s leading organization advocating at the federal level to educate the public and policymakers about the needs of homeless and disconnected youth,” Louttit said. “Moving from state level policy work to the federal level increases exponentially the potential impact I can make. I will have the opportunity to advise organizational members about policy strategies for advocacy in their own states, attend Capitol Hill meetings, and build relationships with policymakers and government agencies while educating them about the unique and diverse needs of our nation’s most vulnerable youth.”

“I knew at that time that I wanted to help adolescents in need of support, as my art teacher had done for me, so I earned my BA in Art Education. After graduating from Humboldt State University, I spent time as an Academic Mentor for homeless adolescents through my two terms with AmeriCorps and then as a residential counselor in group homes for severely emotionally disturbed teens,” Louttit said about her mindset before coming to TJSL. “I knew when coming into law school that I wanted to become a more effective and efficient advocate for unaccompanied and homeless youth. That being said, as a 1L I thought I would be an attorney working in Dependency Law or in the Criminal Juvenile Justice system.”

Louttit’s mentors at TJSL made her receptive to alternative careers and created opportunities, which ultimately brought her to her new position. Working closely with mentor and faculty advisor for Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ), Professor Joy Delman, Louttit began considering, “different alternative career path and looked into the possibility of being more directly involved in health care administration.” By graduation Louttit had acquired significant experience as an intern with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest’s (PPPSW) General Counsel, held leadership positions in LSRJ, participated in TJSL’s student chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild and participated in the legislative process in California  assisting with the passage of  three bills (SB 177, AB 309 and AB 1068) as Youth Director of the San Diego Unaccompanied Youth Task Force and NAEHCY board member. “I already had it set in my sights to find a career in policy work which frequently does not require a bar license, but absolutely benefits from having a JD.” Louttit recognized, “While the role of an attorney going into litigation is not an insignificant one, as they absolutely impact their clients’ lives in a very direct way, this large scale impact was much more appealing to me personally.”

“My advice to 1L’s is to keep an open mind about your professors! Many times, the more intimidating they are, the more you can learn from them,” Louttit said. “My advice to recent graduates is to keep your options open and be fluid in your ideas of who will be coming out of law school; network and explore as many career paths as you can! While you are awaiting bar results, do anything you can to keep building your skills. Be confident in those skills and take any interviews, or even informational interviews, as you can. Through many of my informational interviews, I was able to rule out some career paths altogether. Every interview, and informational interview, I participated in taught me something about my own passions and drive.”

“I feel very blessed to have found the support at TJSL of such amazing, strong women that have truly been a part of paving the way for up-and-coming women like myself and so many others,” Louttit said. “Professors Joy Delman, Judtbeth Tropp and Marjorie Cohn, to name a few, have been true inspirations to me. Professor Delman especially was not only our LSRJ faculty advisor, but became an important mentor in my life.”