Tatum Barclay ’22.
Tatum Barclay ’22, a soon-to-be Georgetown Law student, has been inspired by the field of law since childhood. A diagnosis of dyslexia in fourth grade brought with it “extra difficulties” in reading and writing for her, but also a passion for verbal communication and learning. “I found my voice through oral speaking,” she recalled, “My passion for advocacy, conversation, and litigation stems from the hardships and triumphs of having dyslexia.”

However, when it came time to attend Hamilton, Barclay didn’t immediately set herself on the path to law. Instead, she took advantage of the College’s open curriculum, naturally gravitating toward a wide breadth of classes in the humanities, like Philosophy of Incarceration and Disability in Literature & Film.

She eventually found herself interested in the “intricacies of … voting access and political participation.” As both a philosophy major and co-chair of HamVotes, Barclay said Hamilton gave her the opportunity to work her passions into her career goals.

Barclay stressed the importance of the internships and programs she participated in while at Hamilton. An internship in the Department of Homeland Security, for example, allowed her to both shadow attorneys and “the opportunity to articulately deliver direct examination in mock asylum and cancellation trials.” In all of her programs, but especially this one, she recalled how she was exposed to every level of the legal system and got feedback from the best.

She is looking forward to spending the next three years at Georgetown Law. “The future opportunities to participate in Mock Trial and 2L and 3L opportunities in clinical programs are all really exciting,” she said, describing how she will be able to explore the massive breadth of Georgetown’s offerings and resources.  

“At the end of the day, your authentic self is the person companies want to hire, schools want to teach, and the world really needs.”

However, this prestigious school’s true draw was a unique and homey feel, something evident in an activity Barclay is particularly excited for: UnCorked, their wine tasting club. Georgetown’s duality of learning and connection is something that sparked a very similar feeling to Hamilton College in her mind. “Professors at Hamilton are incredibly invested in their students and their students’ success in the classroom and beyond,” she said. “I am incredibly grateful … for their desire to get to know their students.” 

Tatum Barclay ’22

Major: Philosophy
Hometown: York, Maine
High School: Chaska High School (Minn.)
Leadership Roles: Class of 2022 Student Assembly president and representative; co-chair HamVotes; member of Swim & Dive team

As she readies herself for law school, Barclay is set on exploring every area of the field. “I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into one area yet,” she said, “I have only been exposed to the tip of the iceberg thus far.” Currently her favorites are constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights law, and privacy law but Hamilton has taught her that keeping her options open for unexpected interests is important.

“Participate in activities and take courses that foster and develop your most authentic self,” she advised. “At the end of the day, your authentic self is the person companies want to hire, schools want to teach, and the world really needs.”

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