Karina Grant '20

Karina Grant '20 
Washington, D.C. 
Law student at Georgetown University 

Karina Grant always had a vague idea that she might want to go to law school. 

It wasn't until she attended Winthrop that she decided to focus on preparing to go into the field. “My second year at Winthrop, I took a course entitled ‘The Modern Civil Rights Movement' which explored several monumental civil rights cases that helped shape race relations in this country,” Grant said. “Through this course, I began to understand that the law, as a system, has incredible potential to either facilitate or hinder social justice and equality in this country.”

Knowing that she wanted to pursue a career focused on advancing social justice, she decided to go “all in” on her dream of becoming a lawyer. “I knew that law school would give me the opportunity to further develop my strengths while working toward a fulfilling and meaningful career fighting for a criminal justice system that works for all people,” said Grant, who was a member of Winthrop's track and field team.

The Bristow, Virginia, native graduated in three years in 2020 with a degree in psychology and recently completed her first year of law school at Georgetown University. As a former student-athlete, she was eligible to apply for a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

She was selected as one of 21 women nationwide to receive the NCAA $10,000 scholarship, which is awarded to student-athletes who are nominated by their institutions' faculty athletic representative for excelling both academically and athletically.

"Karina is an amazing young adult," said Trent Kull, Winthrop's NCAA faculty athletics representative. "She is working towards a career as a lawyer dedicated to advocating for social justice, and will no doubt continue to make Winthrop, Georgetown and the NCAA proud with important contributions to society."

Grant said her first year at Georgetown was equally challenging and rewarding. “Starting law school during a pandemic was far from easy, and I definitely struggled to adapt not only to learning an entirely new subject matter, but also doing it online,” Grant said. “It was also challenging to meet new people in those circumstances and living in a new city with little social interaction could be very isolating at times. Despite these challenges, I was able to perform well academically, and even managed to make a few friends in my first year.”

She spent the summer working at the DC Justice Lab, which focuses on police, prison and criminal justice reform. “I enjoy the work of taking a vision of how a particular portion of the criminal justice system could work better, and figuring out what kinds of laws, programs and regulations can be implemented to achieve that vision,” Grant said. “I am also interested in working directly with clients, particularly criminal clients and children, as a defense attorney, and I hope to do some of that work at some point in my career.”

Once she finishes law school, she wants to work as an attorney or a policy advocate with an organization committed to social justice. 

Grant fondly remembers her time at Winthrop. “Though my time at Winthrop was short, I made a lot of good memories,” she said. “Being a member of the track and field team was my favorite part about attending Winthrop. Being a part of that team is what I miss most.”

She also had great experiences representing her team on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. And she loved working on psychology research projects with other student-athletes and enjoyed support from her psychology professors and track coaches. 

“I met so many people during my time at Winthrop who helped me get where I am today,” Grant said. “From professors and advisors to teammates and coaches, I leaned on many people throughout my undergraduate experience.”