Law and Government

Assistant Attorney General, Washington State Attorney General’s Office

  • Majors: English, Literature Concentration; Classics
  • Minor: Religion
  • Graduate Degree: Juris Doctorate, University of Washington School of Law, 2015

How did your English major establish a foundation for your career path?

A dirty little secret about being a lawyer is that a large part of it is writing what are basically persuasive essays to the court, a client, or opposing counsel.  You write your thesis and support it with arguments and citations to advocate for your position. Exactly what I did in my English Literature classes.

What do you love about your job?

Researching legal precedent. Just like literature, every legal case you read has a unique story to tell by an author—or judge—who has their own way of telling that story.  Reading these cases makes you realize that often times “truth is stranger than fiction.”

What was your favorite part about majoring in English?

The English Literature classes I took were not simply reading books and talking about them (though that’s a lot of fun too!). They were dynamic and had you view literature as a piece of art to engage with all your senses. For example, I wrote a song as my final project for one class, and memorized and performed a Shakespearean monologue in another one. Oh, what good times!

Josh Rodriguez