Laying down the law

Becca Johnson ’14 shines at Harvard Law School

Becca Johnson ’14

There are some places you can just feel the energy beneath your feet. At Gettysburg College, students walk the same grounds as the leaders who helped to shape our nation’s history. And with each passing step—even if in a small way—today’s students become a part of that history.

Gettysburg alumna Becca Johnson’14 knows this feeling well—and acknowledges how rare it is to find on a college campus. Yet, as she strolls the corridors of Harvard Law School’s Wasserstein Hall, Johnson once again finds herself retracing the footsteps of American icons.

“It’s hard not get inspired when you recognize all those who came before you,” said Johnson, a current J.D. candidate at the prestigious Harvard Law.

One glance at the building’s photo wall tells the story—Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Rutherford B. Hayes, Antonin Scalia, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Janet Reno, Ralph Nader, Mitt Romney, and the list goes on…

JohnsonJohnson hopes to one day join this distinguished company. She’s developed a passion for litigation, as well as labor and employment law, through her demanding course work and a recent internship at Fox Rothschild LLP in Pittsburgh.

“I found that I really enjoy legal research and writing. It’s a fun puzzle to look at the case law and determine the best way to represent your client,” Johnson shared.

Back in Cambridge, she also serves as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and director of external affairs for the Women’s Law Association, which sponsors or co-sponsors more than 10 events per week.

It’s a lot to balance, but Johnson believes her alma mater provided the perfect foundation for her to succeed in the Ivy League.

“Gettysburg prepared me really well,” said Johnson, who graduated magna cum laude in 2014. “My English and philosophy majors prepared me to read and retain dense materials; to understand and process problems; and to find logical solutions.”

Johnson shares how faculty advising impacted her Gettysburg experience.

At Gettysburg, Johnson’s enthusiasm for writing also led her to serve as a sports editor for The Gettysburgian, a nonfiction editor for The Mercury, and as an assistant for English Prof. Dusty Smith at the Peer Learning Office.

From studying abroad at the University of Queensland to joining the Delta Gamma sorority, Johnson can recite a litany of opportunities that enhanced her undergraduate experience.

But like the College’s historical roots, it’s always been about the people.

“When I visited Gettysburg, I sat in on a few classes and I liked the campus—it was beautiful—but it was more about the people I met there who made me feel really comfortable,” she reflected. “The faculty were incredible, and I don’t think my friends and I have gone a day without talking.”

Today, Johnson is etching her own legacy at Harvard Law School. But that doesn’t mean she’s ready to trade in her orange and blue for crimson anytime soon.

“I just obsess about Gettysburg to anyone who will listen to me,” she joked. “I don’t think people quite get it unless you’ve been there. I tell them it is the happiest place in the world and it was the best four years of my life.”


She plans on graduating from Harvard Law School in May 2018.