Tamara Wyche ’08 takes great heart and mind to law school

An ability to analyze complex situations, coupled with deep empathy, positions Tamara Wyche ’08 of Baltimore, Md., for a successful legal career. Headed to Harvard Law School in September, Wyche values the close relationships with Bates faculty and the critical thinking skills she learned from them.

A religion major, Wyche quickly learned that “at Bates you’re not just another number. Here professors care about their students flourishing,” she says.

She recalled what she felt when first-year adviser Marcus Bruce invited Wyche and her parents to his home for tea and pumpkin pie. “He made us feel like valued members of the community.”

Wyche never took a course with Margaret Imber, of classical and medieval studies, but the two grew to respect each other while serving together on the Student Conduct Committee. Imber, an attorney, served as a role model for Wyche, an accomplished Bates debater. “The most important thing I learned from her was line of questioning,” says Wyche.

Wyche has a great heart and incredible capacity for nuanced analysis, says Imber. “It’s very hard to learn to organize one’s factual questions in a case around the relevant code provisions — often what’s interesting from a human perspective is irrelevant from the perspective of whether or not conduct violates the code. Tamara was just very, very good at understanding what was relevant and important and boring in on those questions.”

Wyche put those skills into practice as a summer intern on Capitol Hill for the Black American Political Action Committee. Asked to research gubernatorial and mayoral candidates and then decide on their suitability for funding, Wyche first doubted her ability to make such decisions. But she then realized that her Bates education had more than prepared her to do the job. As a political liberal working in a conservative organization, Wyche concluded that “considering different points of view allows you to better present your own.”