REP-PP Spring 201​8 Blog:

Blogger:  Shelby Sterling

​Law School Year:  ​​3L, ​Spring 201​​​8 Graduate
Placement:  U.S. House of Representatives, Homeland Security Committee (Majority Staff), Washington, D.C.

Meet Shelby

Why did you decide to participate in the REP-PP?
The REP-PP is a program I have been anticipating since my first semester in law school. I decided to participate in this program because I want to gain hands-on experience in policymaking and understand how new policies are created. This program offers an unparalleled opportunity to be immersed in a fast-paced and demanding environment outside of Texas. I am excited for the opportunity to work in federal service and work towards a better tomorrow in our nation’s capital.

What are you most excited about as you prepare for your REP-PP externship?
I am looking forward to gaining practical experience in an environment where an inexperienced law student can learn from exceptional leaders who are willing to teach you about the day-to-day lives of lawyers and policymakers in D.C. This opportunity will allow a first-hand experience of what my future professional life will be like outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

What skills do you hope to gain from your experiences in the REP-PP?

I hope that my spring externship will allow me to strengthen my research and writing skills, understand the policymaking process and its complexities, as well as reinforce a determined work ethic that goes above and beyond what my duties generally call for. I hope that I leave Washington D.C. after a life-changing experience that will inspire others to pursue policy and a passion to leave a positive impact.

How do you think this opportunity will help you develop as a lawyer?

I believe that this experience will allow me to grow from being a law student to a young professional that may be a good future job candidate. Law school focuses much of its attention on academic ability, but this opportunity will allow me to become a well-rounded professional by gaining practical experience that will bolster the skills I have gained in law school. It will help me develop a stronger and more efficient work ethic, enhance my legal knowledge, and provide various opportunities to enhance my networking skills.

How does your participation in the REP-PP demonstrate the Aggie Core Values?
(Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service)
My participation in REP-PP will demonstrate all of the Aggie core values. This program will push me out of my comfort zone into some type of leadership role at my placement, which will allow me to show my respect for my peers and supervisors. My loyalty to serving the public is demonstrated through the work I will be doing for the good of our country and my willingness to put the good of our nation first. All of the Aggie core values can and will be shown through each action I take and will impact all of the decisions and work I will do. Selfless service and willingness to serve our country has a tendency to bring out each of these values in more ways than one.

What are your personal goals for your semester in the REP-PP?
I love traveling to and living in new cities; it forces you to learn new things about yourself and allows the possibility of meeting new people. I hope to grow and mature into the strong-willed, dedicated, and hardworking individual I want to be. I would like to leave my externship placement knowing that I did my best and I left with the intention and plans to return to continue working in Washington, D.C. I believe this opportunity will allow me the greatest opportunity to truly complete selfless service and impact something bigger than myself.


It was not until I walked into orientation at Texas A&M University School of Law that I began to learn about the Aggie Core Values. To be honest, before I ever applied to law school, I did not even know they existed.

Nevertheless, as I grew up, my parents continuously taught me about the importance of all our values, which I would later learn include all the Aggie Core Values.

Although all of the values I learned about and strive to live through everyday are important, the one that was consistently held in every aspect of life was respect.

Not only was I taught that I should manifest respect to those I loved, I learned that it was equally important to manifest respect towards those I disagreed with. As an Aggie, it is my duty to respect every person that I cross paths with.

During my time in Washington, D.C. thus far, I value respect much more than ever before. In a place full of adversaries and allies, friends and colleagues, and families and singles, one would hope that all, especially given the stress of D.C. politics, would manifest respect.

Nevertheless, D.C. politics thrives on individuals throwing around “respect” while they turn around to tear each other down or demean their points of view. This type of treatment is far from what I have learned as an Aggie.

Working on one part of The Hill has taught me many things already. However, constantly watching the news depict what is happening on another part of The Hill makes me wonder what would happen if more people on The Hill manifested the Aggie Core Values as much as we strive to in our daily lives.

As an Aggie participating in the Texas A&M Residency Externship Program in Public Policy, I see my fellow Aggies emitting respect not only for each other but also for all of the people they have met thus far. Throughout our first month here, we have spent much time together, even some of us have been living together, and I constantly feel as though I am surrounded by people who never cease to manifest respect. From sitting in class together twice a week and discussing current issues to attending networking events together and meeting new people, we never cease to respect each other or each other’s views.

Because being an Aggie is more than just respecting those who you agree with. It is the ability to respect even those who you disagree with and the opinions they share. If more people could emit respect as much as Aggies do, establishing good relationships and potentially finding compromises may become easier.

It is an honor to be a member of this group of Aggies who consistently display the Aggie Core Value of respect. The semester has just started and we are excited to see what D.C. has in store for us Aggies this year!