REP-PP Spring 201​8 Blog:

Blogger:  Joshua Ramirez

​Law School Year:  ​​3L, ​Spring 201​8 Graduate
Placement:  Association of Public & Land Grant Universities, Washington, D.C.

Meet Josh

Why did you decide to participate in the REP-PP?
As soon as I heard about the program I knew it was something I had to be a part of. It is a unique opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream of working in D.C. while also applying all of the professional and technical skills I’ve acquired during my three years at Texas A&M University School of Law. All my life I’ve wanted to make a difference. I truly believe public policy is the best way for me to have an impact on the communities, both foreign and domestic, that I care about.

It is also the best way to beat Greg Franklin (2017 graduate) in the “most photographed student” category. ;-)

What are you most excited about as you prepare for your REP-PP externship?

The opportunity to gain a firsthand understanding of what our elected officials and their teams really think, experience, and weigh when determining the best course of action. I think it will be a great experience to learn how policymakers draft with an eye to the future while maintaining a thumb on the current social and political issues. I am also excited to get back to the East coast to experience all the various weather and food experiences that go along with it.

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

I hope to improve my writing of course but I also hope to learn how to effectively think prospectively about issues from multiple points of view, viewpoints I don’t typically use to analyze situations as a student. Furthermore, I seek to acquire the skills and practices that others with years of experience and success have learned so that I can learn from their mistakes, start from a higher platform for change, and be that springboard in the future for the next generation of Aggies on the Hill.

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

There are many skills required of an attorney beyond those of absorbing, processing, and analyzing copious amounts of information regarding the law. There are also soft skills, people skills, skills requiring lawyers to think not as lawyers but as those whom their work is effecting or geared toward. I believe my semester on the hill will afford me the opportunity to practice these other skills.

In addition to these “other skills” that our school tries to shine a light on through programs like the REP-PP and Professional Identity, I have passions about Immigration Law, International Law, Human Rights issues, and Foreign Policy. I know this program will provide me with the chance to unite all of my interests and experiences into a work experience where I can effect change and be challenged yet leave fulfilled at the end of the day. That is what I want in a career and this program allows me to dip my toes in the water so to speak. Hopefully this will lead to a job back in D.C. after the bar exam.

How does your participation in the REP-PP demonstrate the Aggie Core Values?
(Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service)

In full disclosure I was not an Aggie prior to coming to the law school nor did I have any family relations who were Aggies. That being said, I am now proud to say I am one because of these very core values. I truly believe that each of these values is necessary to be an exceptional attorney or person.

I could try and list how each of the six values will be specifically demonstrated but I’d rather just show you when I’m there with journals and when I get back with pictures and stories of how Aggies are taking the nation’s capital by storm. It should suffice to say that each of the Aggie core values are traits I hope to see exemplified in my placement at every level because these are the characteristics I want those in authority to practice. I believe public policy drafters should exhibit excellence in their writing, have integrity at all times, be leaders by example, display loyalty to their public and values, be respectful of everyone, and serve selflessly for the greater good of all. I will strive to uphold these tenets and see if it’ll catch on and manifest in our representatives.

What are your personal goals for your semester in the REP-PP?
My personal goals are twofold: first, to accomplish all of the “tourist-y” things I have yet to accomplish in D.C. like tour the White House, meet some of the people on my “must meet list” (perhaps a ​Justice from the Supreme Court!), eat at “We The Pizza,” visit every museum, discover some secrets about our nation’s capital and more.

Second, I want to give this experience my best, excel, and have fun while maintaining personal balance. This is my opportunity to really test my mettle and see that I have what it takes to be an effective attorney who can be a voice for those who are otherwise not heard whilst still finding the time to care for and be myself.


The core values are often considered to be what defines an Aggie. The core values are excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service. I find that the first five are embodied by the final value of selfless service.

Excellence of character, integrity through action, leadership in leading by example through service, loyalty to the spirit of brotherhood instilled in every Aggie, and respect for the humanity of our fellow man.

That being said, selfless service is a phrase which can be found all over Aggieland and all things A&M precisely because it is one of our core values but I struggle with this phrase more than the others, and that is because, like the tooth fairy, I don’t think it truly exists.

Allow me to explain. I have difficulty wrapping my mind around the idea that any one who performs an act of service is truly selfless. I believe the opposite, those who dedicate their lives to such service are actually doing so because anything else would be untrue to their “self” and result in an unsatisfying career or lifestyle. I believe a better term is self-aware service or self-sacrificial service but, in my experience, those who perform selfless service tend to enjoy a sense of fulfillment.

Here in D.C. as a part of our externship we attend a class with guest speakers. This past week we had Martin Gold, author of "Senate Procedure and Practice" and former Congress Parliamentarian, share that he worked on a million dollar project for three years as pro-bono simply for the goodwill. That is selfless service and yet he was clear that to do any less would have been disingenuous to his passions and life experiences.

Like Mr. Gold there are many public and private actors on the Hill that perform acts of selfless service but the ones that stand out are Aggies. I think there are lots of Aggies that don’t wear the Ring, or maybe went to other schools, but are Aggies at heart. I say this because being an Aggie is more than just a ring or a degree or a place, it is a way of being and a lifestyle choice, which is exemplified by such things as selfless service.

For an Aggie selfless service is an obligation, for others it is just a commitment. Merriam-Webster defines a commitment as an agreement or pledge to do something in the future yet an obligation is defined as something one is bound to do, morally, by duty, or responsibility. This is the difference. I was committed as a student to complete my assignments to earn my degree. I am obligated as an Aggie to care for my fellow man, I am duty bound and morally obligated to do so. Any less and I wouldn’t be a true Aggie.

I see selfless service performed in D.C. everyday by Aggies and non-Aggies alike when staffers, administrators, lobbyists, representatives, and others go beyond the call of duty and beyond their salaried time clock to effect positive change, to be civil servants, to feel like they are making a difference. That is selfless service and anyone can participate.

Opportunities are presented to us daily to be kind, or go above what is required of us. That is the spirit of an Aggie and that’s what selfless service is to me.