1L Evan Dale: Spent Two Years on Capitol Hill Working for the House of Representatives
In the next installment of our "Meet the J.D. Class of 2024" series, we introduce you to 1L Evan Dale, who spent two years in Washington, D.C. working as an operations manager and space and science advisor for U.S. House of Representatives. Hailing from Golden Valley, Minnesota, he is happy to be back in his beloved home state and plans to use his education to "fight for the little guy."
Could you discuss your professional background?
I was drawn into politics and community building during my time in undergrad, interning at various Minnesota political organizations, including the Minnesota DFL. Following college, I moved to Austin, Texas to work on a congressional campaign, and then to Washington, D.C. to work for a Texas member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
What were some of your experiences on Capitol Hill?
I was responsible for preparing the first draft of the space policy section of the 2020 Democratic National Committee Party Platform. I worked for one of the seven impeachment managers during the first Trump impeachment. I was one of just a few Congressional employees selected to be on the stage for this year's Presidential inauguration (which for COVID and security reasons the general public was not allowed to attend). Less fun, I was in the Capitol complex during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
How does your work in the legislative branch connect to your decision to pursue law as a career?
Working in Congress gave me an intimate look at the power of responsible policymaking and the primary role lawyers play in that process. Good lawyers can create better and more responsible institutions which in turn create more empowered individuals and healthier communities.
What do you hope/plan to do with your legal education (realizing, of course, that may change during the course of your studies)?
Primarily, I hope to use a legal education to fight for the little guy. Whether that’s as an advocate, in the nonprofit sector, or by returning to government, my motivation as a lawyer is in being able to fight on behalf of those who are victimized by or in our legal system.
Why did you select Minnesota Law?
Growing up in Golden Valley, the University of Minnesota has always had a special place in my heart as my hometown school (there was no bigger fan of Marion Barber III in 2004 and 2005). After the racial justice protests in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. following the murder of George Floyd, I was motivated to come home to the community I deeply love to contribute in these fights.
Minnesota Law strives for a diversity of perspectives in the classroom. What are you hoping to add to the mix?
I hope to bring my experience in policymaking as a different perspective into the classroom. I am by no means an expert, but my first-hand understanding of how Congress works should prove to be insightful for both myself and my classmates during our legal education.
Minnesota Law as an institution emphasizes leadership. What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is complex; one of the things I think is most interesting about leadership is that it looks different in every person. Nonetheless, what I think is consistent is the courageousness to decide to put others before yourself and to be accountable in that decision.
Thing you are most looking forward to about being a law student?
Especially after this prolonged period of quarantine and isolation, meeting my new classmates!
What are your hobbies/ interests?
Running, biking, reading, cooking, sports, and Twitter.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I love to be active. Whether hanging out with friends, working out, or trying a new bar or restaurant, being out and about is the best.
Favorite inspirational quote, book, or personal hero that you would like to mention?
My Senior quote in high school was “Getting busy living or get busying dying” from “The Shawshank Redemption,” and I suppose that it is still relevant.
Anything else you’d like to share?
There is no bigger fan of the state of Minnesota than myself, so I’m thrilled to attend Minnesota Law and help write our state’s next chapter.