Liberty Law Alumni Secure Capitol Hill JobsJuly 30, 2014
Author: Dave Thompson
Two 2013 Liberty University School of Law alumni recently secured jobs working on Capitol Hill. Will Gardner and Gizelle Babik are now working for U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
Gardner was hired in July as a full-time legislative correspondent, while Babik, hired in June, works part-time as a press assistant. Press secretary Steven Smith credited Babik and Gardner with “a positive attitude with the desire to learn.”
"Both Gizelle and Will showed a strong balance of enthusiasm and experience necessary to be assets as Congressional staff,” Smith said.
Gardner said in an interview Tuesday that he wasn’t initially interested in politics when he came to law school. “I came to law school with the intention of practicing law,” he said. “I’d say about halfway through school my focus started to change.”
As he began to focus on the legislative process, Gardner said he found himself drawn toward the idea of a political career as he found he had a gifting in that area. “I feel like I’m really good at building relationships, building coalitions, doing the kind of things it takes to get legislation passed.”
Gardner credited his Liberty education with helping him develop the necessary skills to succeed at his position.
“My time at Liberty was fantastic. Academically and spiritually it prepared me to succeed,” he said. “Law school at Liberty is challenging, and they intentionally make it that way. Not just academically, but as far as the heart of why Liberty exists … I carry that message with me everywhere I go.”
Babik, who works full-time as an attorney in addition to her part-time job with Gosar’s office, said that the humility and professionalism she learned at Liberty were instrumental in preparing her for her work.
“Coming in as an intern from law school is a very humbling experience,” she said, adding that attorneys around Capitol Hill don’t have a reputation for humility. “I think by being a Liberty student and being taught how to be professional and humble … I think that really brought a great start for me in the office.”
Babik didn’t have an easy time finding employment. “Every door kept shutting, shutting, shutting, shutting,” she said, recalling her days of pounding the pavement, handing out résumés, and doing her best to network.
So Babik sought guidance from her law school dean, Mathew Staver. Staver put her in touch with Mark Trammell, Legal Director for the Liberty Center for Law & Policy, and she also spoke with Suzanne Caruso, Associate Dean for Career and Professional Development at the law school.
After that, she was able to secure her internship in Gosar’s office, which shortly thereafter became the part-time job she works today.
“I think by … being who I am, being natural, trying to get along with everyone in the office, not using my degree as a pedestal and showing them that I was willing to work in the trenches … was a great experience for me,” Babik said.
Babik also highly recommended interning with The Leadership Institute, as she did in her days before coming to law school, calling the experience “a great jumping-off point for people who want to be involved in politics in Washington D.C."
Smith said Gosar’s office is excited to work with Gardner and Babik, and said that he believed their education at Liberty, far from being a drawback, was a benefit. “Liberty University is well known by employers on Capitol Hill and a degree from their law school is well respected,” Smith said.