Emily L. Drake ’22: Be Prepared and Know When to Ask for Help

As an officer in the National Guard, Drake balanced serving her country with attending law school—during a pandemic. She shares how her experiences have helped her be “prepared for anything.”

Hometown: Mahwah, New Jersey

Before Columbia: As an undergraduate student, Drake was inspired to join the ROTC program because “I’m very competitive with my brother [who did ROTC previously].”  The experience proved to be so rewarding that she decided to commission as an officer in the National Guard. 

Favorite Law School Moment: “Winning the Jessup [Moot Court] Northeast Regional my 1L year. Being able to experience that in person with my team and all of the alumni after spending so much time preparing made me realize just how skilled we were and how much the hard work paid off.”

Columbia Law Activities: Note editor, Human Rights Law Review; competitor and student-adviser, Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court; vice president, Columbia Law School Military Association. 

After Columbia: Drake will work in the New York County District Attorney’s Office, and she is in the process of applying to be a JAG officer in the New York National Guard.

“[When COVID began] I got a text from my commander saying we just got activated. . . . Professor Blasi, my Torts professor at the time . . . said, ‘Emily, don’t worry about this. I will do whatever it takes so that you pass Torts.’ All my friends even, they were there to give me their outlines; they were checking in with me every single day. And we had only known each other for a semester. That’s why you come here. I think if I didn’t have that community of support, I would have absolutely crumbled.”