Thursday, November 12, 2009

Children’s Defense Fund, Washington, D.C.

By Jennifer Cormier

As a high school student in Boston, Massachusetts, I often visited the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. One afternoon, I attended a civil rights panel at the Library and discovering an inspiring duo of speakers: Peter and Marian Wright Edelman. I was captivated by their stories about the civil rights movement and their dedication to public service.

Years later, I remembered that afternoon when I made the decision to enroll at Georgetown University Law Center. I chose Georgetown because of its commitment to social justice – and because I dreamed of working one day for the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), the advocacy organization founded by Mrs. Edelman.

This past summer, I fulfilled that dream when I served as a Legal Intern within CDF’s Child Welfare and Mental Health Division. The position combined my two passions: child advocacy and mental health. I prepared for my first day eager to immerse myself in the work of the organization that I had long admired from afar.

Just two blocks away from the Law Center campus and a stone’s throw from Capitol Hill, CDF is housed in a small brick building on E Street. While the façade is unassuming, the office is filled with talented, passionate advocates who transform children’s lives every day. I was proud to meet and learn from the three staffers who comprise the Child Welfare and Mental Health Division: MaryLee Allen, Beth Davis-Pratt, and Stefanie Sprow.

During my tenure, I prepared legal memoranda to brief Mrs. Edelman about relevant juvenile justice and special education cases decided by the Supreme Court. I also helped to research and edit testimony of Mrs. Edelman’s when she was invited to testify at a hearing for the Youth PROMISE Act in the House of Representatives. Finally, I conceptualized and wrote content for a new section of the CDF website dedicated to children’s mental health advocacy.

CDF is based on the idea that children have rights but no voices – they cannot vote, lobby, or advocate for themselves. I am grateful to the Equal Justice Foundation and its generous donors for giving me the opportunity to amplify CDF’s voice for children during this summer of a lifetime.

Monday, November 9, 2009

U.S. District Court, Newark, New Jersey

By Shareif Abdelwahab

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work as an intern for the U.S. District Court in the Federal District of New Jersey. My time in chambers proved to be an invaluable experience as I got the chance to work closely with Judge Stanley Chesler on drafting legal memoranda, reviewing briefs and discussing the merits of the arguments presented by the litigants at oral argument. As a culmination to this experience, I successfully completed a judicial opinion that was subsequently approved and used by the judge. The satisfaction gained from that one project alone made the experience worthwhile.

Beyond these tangible gains, I also really benefited from sitting in on oral arguments and seeing legal practitioners apply their craft in everyday real life situations. It exposed me to the different litigating styles that practitioners employ, from the calm and light-hearted approach to the aggressive and in-your-face. One of my fondest memories of this entire experience was walking into oral argument and hearing one of our very own Georgetown Law professors advocate on behalf of the defendant. To see this professor in the court room, after having been taught by him in class, really relayed to me the disconnect that we as law students who study theory and doctrine have with our colleagues in the workplace who combine these principles with real life cases and facts in one coherent and persuasive presentation.

We as law students read a lot and, hopefully, learn a lot about the law. Often times however, we forget that the legal universe extends beyond the classrooms we learn in or the law schools we attend. Being a successful lawyer goes beyond knowing the Erie Doctrine or the UCC; it involves a combination of substance and style, intellect and elegance. My time in chambers this past summer could not have illustrated this point more then it did to me. My very assignment involved drafting a memo regarding a pro se petitioner's motion to amend or revoke his felony conviction under U.S.C. Section 2255. Admittedly, this task seemed intimidating at first; I had never learned about 2255 in my criminal law class. On top of that, I was expected to present my conclusion to Judge Chesler himself and explain the reasoning behind it. Luckily, I was able to learn so much about 2255 that I was able to think critically in applying the law to the facts of the petitioner's case. But it was my ability to articulate these thoughts verbally that served both as my biggest challenge and success of the summer.

All in all, I absolutely enjoyed my time in chambers and the mentoring I received from both Judge Chesler and his clerks. I feel that I have grown by leaps and bounds as a law student and individual as a result of this experience. For that, I am very grateful and thankful for EJF and their contributors in helping making this summer experience possible for me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Photos fom the Live Auction!

Relive your favorite moments or see what you missed!

Photo by Alex Perry, Georgetown 2L.

See more great photos of the Live Auction taken by Alex:

Thank you to all the donors, auctioneers and students who made our Live Auction a great success!

Dept. of Labor- Mine Safety and Health Administration

By Ahsaki Anokye

This summer, I worked at the Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, Division of Mine Safety and Health Administration. I did many different research projects. There was one case in particular that I believed was very noteworthy. When a manager at a mine is responsible for a particular egregious and dangerous offense, the government may bring individual civil penalties against that individual. These are called 110(c) cases. One such case arose out of an anonymous complaint that employees were being directed to climb on an energized conveyor belt, thereby putting them at risk of a slip and fall onto moving equipment. I put a lot of time researching relevant case law that would support my belief that individual civil penalties should be brought against the agent.

Through EJF, social justice was furthered based in the fact that much of our country is powered on the production of coal. That individuals work tirelessly everyday to provide a living for their families and also energy for the entire country, is very valuable. However, the coal mining industry is very dangerous. The risks associated with going underground are great in that at any time the small tunnels that mine workers enter could collapse and kill many workers. That air quality is severely impaired places workers at risk for suffocation. That coal in itself is extremely flammable, places individuals at risk for explosion and fire. Black Lung Disease is also extremely common among mine workers and can permanently and chronically disable anyone afflicted. The Mine Safety and Health Administration is responsible for ensuring that the safety standards set forth in the Mine Safety and Health Act are followed closely. In my time at the Department of Labor, I contributed to those initiatives. I am proud that I did America and the mine workers of America a social justice by protecting the safety and health of one of America’s most precious workers: the mine worker. I believe that regulating the mine industry through governmental administrative agencies is very effective. There is too much money to be made if mine owners break a few rules and cut a few corners. It is my belief that without the strict governmental intervention, many more mine workers would die in the pursuit increased profits. Had it not been for the EJF scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this non-paid internship. Because of the EJF scholarship, not only was I able to realize the social implications of this job, but hopefully I was able to help make mining a bit safer. For this, I am extremely grateful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Slient Auction- Closing Schedule!

Come to the last day of the Silent Auction tomorrow to make sure you get the high bid on your favorite prizes!

We will be closing out the prize categories in Hart Lobby as follows:

6:10pm Salon & Health and Kids

6:20pm Sports and Arts & Entertainment

6:30pm New Additions and Gifts -- and we begin serving drinks!!
(beer, nonalcoholic beverages, and food will be provided)

6:40pm Hotels & Travel

6:50pm Food & Drink

7:00pm Professor Prizes/Student Services -- and the Live Auction begins!

So, come early to make sure you don't get outbid and stay late for the Live Auction!

See you in Hart!

New Additions 10/28

Come to the final day of the EJF Silent Auction tomorrow to bid on these and other great prizes!

$25 gift card for Armand's Chicago Pizzeria

Signed Ravens football

One night weekend stay at the Westin Grand

$100 gift card to any Passion Food Hospitality Restaurant: Includes TenPenh, Ceiba, Passion Fish, Acadiana and DC Coast

Don't forget to wear your finest Auctoberfest costume to the Live Auction in Hart Auditorium at 7:00pm tomorrow (Thursday)! There will be beer, food and great prizes!

Live Auction- New Prize!

Come to the EJF Live Auction on Thursday, October 29 at 7:00pm in Hart Auditorium to bid on this and other great prizes!

Dinner for four with Professor Wolitz at a Korean barbecue restaurant + private-room Karaoke afterward.

See the rest of the live auction prizes here!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Additions 10/27

Come to EJF's Silent Auction to bid on these and other great prizes!

Makeup Comparison Testing session

LEEWS Exam Prep Audio course (2 sets)

Personal Training Tri-Pack at the GULC Sport & Fitness Center

Locker Rental at GULC Sport & Fitness Center for the academic year

Check back daily for new prizes and don't forget to come to the Live Auction!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Live Auction Prizes!

Come to the EJF Live Auction on Thursday, October 29 at 7:00pm in Hart Auditorium to bid on these great prizes!

1) Lunch for 3 at Mehak with Professor Wolfman

2) Lunch for 2 at Bistro Bis with Professor Ernst

3) Dinner for 3 with Professor Edelman

4) Thai takeout for 8 with Professor Cohen

5) OPICS lunch for 6 at Busboys and Poets

6) Kayaking and lunch for 4 with Professor Roe (in WV)

7) Lunch for 4 at Rosa Mexicana with Professor Henke

8) Dinner for 6 with Dean Fernando and OCS counselors

9) Lunch for 6 in Chinatown with Professors Schrag and Schoenholtz

10) Limited-edition Justice Souter bobblehead

11) Lunch for 4 at Bistro Bis with Professors Cole, Moulton, Mlyniec and Bright

12) Dinner for 6 with Professors Forman and Zeiler

13) 4 tickets to Hoyas basketball game vs. Notre Dame on Feb 27

14) Dinner for 8 with Professors Lazarus and Babcock

15) Romance Package (Weekend at the Bethesda Marriot including parking and breakfast, Dinner for 2 at Tosca, 2 tickets to DC Arts Center).

16) White-water rafting trip for 10

17) Lunch for 5 at Matchbox with Professor Aiken

18) Dinner for 7 with Professors Aiken, Epstein, Kohn, and West

19) 4 front-row tickets to the Home Court basketball game. Comes with 4 pieces of pizza, 4 drinks, and 4 t-shirts.

20) Home-cooked dinner for 5 with Dean Bailin

21) Day of climbing with Professor Pillard co-led by experienced climber Maury Birdwell

22) Dessert for 4 at Kramerbooks with Prof. Dolovich

23) Drinks and a movie for 6 with Professors Sirota and Ross

24) Dinner for 4 at Oyamel with Prof. Santos

25) Spanish lessons and tapas with Pablo Molina

26) Seven course dinner for 10 at Marrakesh

27) Cocktail party for 9 with Prof. Henning

28) Beer and bowling for 7 with Professors Mezey, Short and Tsoukala

29) Graduation Package (Weekend stay at Hotel George, 2 tickets to gala, cap and gown, and custom framing from District Fine Arts)

30) Microbrew tasting for 6 with Prof. Byrne

31) Champagne brunch for 4 with Professor Cashin

32) Plane sightseeing tour - 45 minute trip for 2. Take-off and landing from College Park.

33) Dinner for 6 with Professor Vicki Jackson place/time TBD

34) Barristers Ball Package (Hotel stay (location TBD near venue) Shampoo, Haircut, Blowdry, and Style/Spa Manicure from Piaf Salon, $25 gift certificate to Johnson’s Florist, 2 tickets to ball and 75 gift certificate to Lounge 201).

35) Hiking Old Rag and picnic for 6 with Professor Wales

36) Wine tasting for 25 at Best Cellers

37) Dim sum for 12 with Professor Feinerman

38) Whitewater rafting part II

39) Dinner buffet for 15 with Professor Langevoort

40) 2 tickets to the first round of the U.S. Tennis Open

41) 4 tickets to Bruce Springsteen & E St. Band Monday, Nov. 2 at the Verizon Center. Section 107 row N.

42) Lunch for 4 with Professor Ginsburg

43) Trip for 10 to Professor Gottesman’s lakehouse - includes boating, swimming and dinner.

44) Dinner for 10 with John Podesta

45) Cocktail party for 20 with Viet Dinh

46) Dinner for four with Professor Wolitz at a Korean barbecue restaurant + private-room Karaoke afterward.

Check back for new additions and updates!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Additions 10/25

Come to EJF's Silent Auction to bid on these and other great prizes!

Gift basket from Markets & More farmer's market

Dinner for two at Zola

Two-night weekend stay at One Washington Circle Hotel

Check back daily for new prizes and the list of prizes for the Live Auction!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Additions 10/24

Come to EJF's Silent Auction to bid on these and other great prizes!

Two passes to a taping of Pardon the Interruption at ESPN in DC

Trek Bike, either men's or women's, from Westlaw.

Check back daily for new prizes!

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Additions 10/23

Come to EJF's Silent Auction to bid on these and other great prizes!

Volleyball signed by US Men's National Team

Gold ESQ Swiss Watch

Check back daily for new prizes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Silent Auction Prizes- Hotels & Travel

Prize Number & Description

T 500 One-Night Stay at Gibson's Lodgings Bed and Breakfast

T 501 One Night's Loding and Spa Services for 2 Guests at The Country Inn in

T 502 One-Night Stay at the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel

T 503 One Night Stay at the Red Fox Inn

T 504 A Weekend Stay at the Phoenix Park Hotel

T 505 $150 Gift Certificate to the Abbey Bed and Breakfast Inn

T 506 Overnight Weekend Stay and Breakfast for Two at the Washington Court

T 507 Complimentary Two-Night Weekend Stay for 2 at the Renaissance Hotel

T 508 Complimentary Weekend Stay at the Liaison Hotel

T 509 Weekend Stay at the Georgetown Suites

T 510 Two Weekend Night Stay at the Hilton Mark Center

T 511 One Weekend Night Stay at the Capitol Hill Suites

T 512 One night stay at the State Plaza Hotel

T 513 One night weekend stay at the Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner with breakfast

T 514 One night stay at the Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast in Middleburg, VA

T 515 Two nights at the Etta Mae Inn

Please check back for new additions and prizes for the Live Auction!

Check here for Student Donations, here for Professor Prizes, here for Kids, here for Health & Beauty, here for Gifts, here for Food & Drink, here for Sports, and here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes!

Silent Auction Prizes- Student Donations

Prize Number & Description

S 800 6 Hours of Spanish Lessons & Dinner at Central American Restaurant

S 801 1 hour Portugese lesson and Caprhinha making lesson.

S 802 1 hr Tennis Lesson

S 803 1hr Arabic Lesson

S 804 Grocery run to Trader Joe's in Foggy Bottom

S 805 3hrs of French Lessons

S 806 2hrs Farsi Lessons

S 807 Afternoon with ICE including lunch

S 808 Personal Shopping Assistant/Stylist

S 809 3 Course meal for 4

S 810 Dinner during Finals for 2

S 811 Dozen Baked Goods

S 812 Guitar Lesson

S 813 Guiness Chocolate Bread Pudding

S 814 3 Course Meal

S 815 2 hr Yoga lesson for 1 or a Couple

S 816 Ride to Airport

S 817 Music Lessons

S 818 Grown Girl Brownies for 3-4

S 819 Grocery Run

S 820 Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookies

S 821 Chocolate Earl Gray Cake

S 822 Battlestar Galactica Toaster

S 823 Used Toaster

S 824 Brunch for 4-6

S 825 Squash Lessons

S 826 3 Rides to/from NW or Pentagon City

S 827 Bicycle Tune Up

S 828 Tour of the White House West Wing

S 829 Cookie of the Month Club

S 830 Custom Knit Hat

S 831 Homemade pumpkin and pecan pies

S 832 Skiing Lessons

S 833 Song

S 834 Racquetball lessons

S 835 2 Knit Wool Stocking Caps

S 836 Three Course Meal for Two

S 837 Babysitting

S 838 Air Band at Java Hut

S 839 Brownies

S 840 One pound of Alterra Coffee Roasters

S 841 Dinner with DC Jesuit Volunteer Corps

S 842 Tattoo

S 843 Vegan Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

S 844 Flute lessons

S 845 Baked Goods

S 846 Photo Print

S 847 Babysitting

S 848 Cookies

S 849 Banana Bread

S 850 Dinner and Wine for 2-4

S 851 Guitar lessons

S 852 Petsitting

S 853 Black Forest Cake

S 854 Jewish Talks

S 855 One Dozen Cupcakes

S 856 Dog walking

S 857 Baked Goods Monthly

S 858 Lessons in Logic

Please check back for new additions!

Check here for Professor Prizes, here for Kids, here for Health & Beauty, here for Gifts, here for Food & Drink, here for Sports, and here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes!

Silent Auction Prizes- Professor Prizes

Prize Number & Description

P 600 Baseball game with Professor Seidman

P 601 Signed copy of Where is Your Body by Prof. Matsuda

P 602 "Hoya Rowers on the Potomac"

P 603 Chinese peasant art

Please check back for more additions to this list!

Check here for Kids, here for Health & Beauty, here for Gifts, here for Food & Drink, here for Sports, and here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes!

Silent Auction Prizes- Kids

Prize Number & Description

K 1000 Youth Learn to Sail Course at Belle Haven Marina Inc.

K 1001 Dolphin Stuffed Animal from Pulp

K 1002 The Adventures of Max the Minnow (book) by William Boniface

K 1003 "Wow! Words in Our World" Word Labels for Kids

K 1004 Organic Cotton Kids T-Shirt (kid size 2)

K 1005 Private Storytime for up to 12 children at Hooray for Books!

K 1006 $100 off a class, camp or party at Creative Arts Center

Please check back for new additions and the Live Auction Prizes!

Check here for Health & Beauty, here for Gifts, here for Food & Drink, here for Sports, and here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes!

Silent Auction Prizes- Health & Beauty

Prize Number & Description

H 400 One-hour Swedish Massage

H 401 $90 Gift Certificate to The Teal Center for Therapeutic Bodywork

H 402 Skin Renewal Facial at Piaf Salon and Day Spa

H 403 Shampoo, Haircut, Blowdry and Style at Piaf Salon and Day Spa

H 404 $25 Gift Certificate to Comfort & Joy Wellness Spa

H 405 $100 Gift Certificate to Bubbles Hair Salon

H 406 One Month Full Use Membership at City Fitness

H 407 Two Manicures at Elegant Nails Salon

H 408 4-Week Kickboxing Membership at Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do

H 409 4-Week Kickboxing Membership at Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do

H 410 4-Week Kickboxing Membership at Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do

H 411 4-Week Kickboxing Membership at Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do

H 412 4-Week Kickboxing Membership at Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do

H 413 10 Tanning Sessions in the HT60 Booth

H 414 Classic 30-minute Facial at Roxsan Day Spa

H 415 $50 Gift Certificate to Sephora

H 416 3 Month Fitness Center Membership at Fairfax Racquet Club

H 417 Sport and Health Club 3 Month Membership

H 418 3 Class Pass at Tranquil Space Yoga Studio

H 419 Free 30-day Membership at Washington Sports Clubs

H 420 Shampoo, Haircut & Styling at Easel Hair Studio

H 421 10 Yoga Classes at Bikram Yoga Dupont

H 422 Intro Week Pass to Bikram Yoga Dupont

H 423 $50 in Hair Styling services at Divine Transformations Salon

H 424 50-minute Organic Facial at The Boutique Spa in the Ritz-Carlton,

H 425 $60 toward haircut/style at Salon de Yo

H 426 Haircut with Tho Bach at Dupont Hair

H 427 One month of Martial Arts classes from Yong Studios

H 428 3-month Membership at the Capital City Club & Spa

Please check back for other categories and new additions!

Check here for Gifts, here for Food & Drinks, here for Sports, and here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes!

Silent Auction Prizes- Gifts

Prize Number & Description

G 700 $50 Gift Certificate to Joseph A Bank

G 701 Gold, diamond, and blue topaz necklace

G 702 Gift Certificate for a family portrait at Avonlee Photography

G 703 One session of French classes and 1-year family membership at the Alliance

G 704 One-Year Zipcar Membership and $50 Driving Credit

G 705 $50 Gift Certificate to the Brass Knob Architectural Antiques

G 706 $25 Gift Certificate to Second Story Books

G 707 $35 Gift Certificate to York Flowers Inc.

G 708 $25 Gift Certificate to Home Depot

G 709 World's Greatest Lawyer Jokes T-Shirt T-Shirt (size large) from Fit to a

G 710 Navy Blue Long-Sleeved Georgetown Law t-shirt (size medium)

G 711 Gray Georgetown Law sweatshirt (size medium)

G 712 Legal-Size Walnut, Ash, Padauk Clipboard by JK Creative Wood

G 713 L.A. Eyewear Sunglasses

G 714 Casanova Sunglasses

G 715 Ultimate Car Wash at Flagship Car Wash

G 716 "Louis D. Brandeis - A Life" - Signed by the Author

G 717 The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf

G 718 Pair of Club Monaco Sunglasses from Sun Spectacles

G 719 $500 off a purchase of $3,000 or more at Town Jewelers

G 720 $200 toward the purchase of a diamond engagement ring from Town

G 721 $50 toward repairs over $500 at Town Jewelers

G 722 25% off repairs over $100 dollars at Town Jewelers

G 723 $100 toward purchase of over $750 at Town Jewelers.

G 724 $50 toward purchase of repairs over $300 at Town Jewelers.

G 725 Signed copy of "A Good Life" by Ben Bradlee from The Washington Post

G 726 Carlos Mencia, "Performance Enhanced" DVD

G 727 Lewis Black's "Root of All Evil" Uncensored DVD

G 728 Jo Koy "Don't Make Him Angry" DVD

G 729 Nick Swardson "Seriously, Who Farted?" DVD Extended and Uncensored

G 730 "The Best of Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist" DVD

G 731 Russell Brand in New York City DVD, extended and uncensored

G 732 "Important Things" with Demetri Martin, Season One DVD

G 733 The Upright Citizens Brigade: The Complete First Season

G 734 Daniel Tosh "True Stories I Made Up" CD & DVD

G 735 Comedy Central Salutes George W. Bush DVD

G 736 The Best of Comedy Central Presents II uncensored

G 737 Chappelle's Show: Season 2 uncensored

G 738 The Upright Citizens Brigade: The Complete Second Season

G 739 The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget, uncensored and extended

G 740 Russell Peters, "Red, White and Brown"

G 741 Reno 911! The Complete Sixth Season

G 742 Framed & matted photo of the front of the Supreme Court Building

G 743 Two 18th Century style pewter Italian candlesticks from Gore Dean

Please check back for other categories and new additions!

Check here for Food & Drink, here for Sports, and here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes!

Silent Auction Prizes- Food & Drinks

Prize Number & Description

F 100 $35 gift certificate to Capital Q BBQ

F 101 Sunday Brunch for Two at Monroe's

F 102 $50 Gift Certificate to La Tasca

F 103 Dinner for Four at Buca di Beppo

F 104 Saturday Lunch for Four at Café Oggi

F 105 $50 Dinner for Two at Metro 29 Diner

F 106 $25 Gift Certificate to Clyde's

F 107 $25 Gift Certificate to Clyde's

F 108 VIP Tour and Tasting at Ingleside Vineyards for up to 6 people

F 109 Sunday Brunch for Four with Champagne at the Morrison-Clark Inn and

F 110 $25 Gift Certificate to the District Chophouse & Brewery

F 111 $25 Gift Certificate to Cactus Cantina

F 112 $50 Gift Certificate to Café Renaissance

F 113 Two Entrée and Soda Combos at California

F 114 Two Entrée and Soda Combos at California Tortilla

F 115 Two Free Sandwich Tickets to Potbelly

F 116 Two Free Sandwich Tickets to Potbelly

F 117 Sunday Champagne Brunch for Two at Tony & Joe's

F 118 $40 Gift Certificate to Southside 815 Restaurant

F 119 $40 Gift Certificate to Las Placitas

F 120 $50 to the Daily Grill

F 121 $40 Gift Certificate to Peacock Café

F 122 $50 Gift Certificate to The Dubliner

F 123 $50 Gift Certificate to the Phoenix

F 124 $40 Gift Card to Parkway Deli

F 125 $150 Gift Certificate for The Monocle Restaurant

F 126 $20 Gift Certificate to The Original Pancake House

F 127 $25 Gift Certificate to Lucky Bar

F 128 $25 gift card for Giant

F 129 $50 Gift Certificate to Gordon Biersch

F 130 $50 Gift Certificate to El Tamarindo Restaurant

F 131 $50 Gift Certificate to Ireland's Four Provinces Restaurant/Pub

F 132 $25 Gift Certificate to Soho Tea and Coffee

F 133 $25 Gift Certificate to Soho Tea and Coffee

F 134 Sunday Brunch for Four at the Hyatt's Grand Café

F 135 $25 Gift Certificate to Gaffney's Restaurant

F 136 $25 Gift Certificate to St. Elmo's Coffee Pub

F 137 One Peking Duck at Peking Gourmet Inn

F 138 $25 Gift Certificate to Pizzeria Uno

F 139 $50 Gift Certificate at Garrett's Restaurant & Railroad Tavern

F 140 $50 Gift Certificate to Panache Downtown Restaurant

F 141 $50 Gift Certificate to Sushi Aoi

F 142 $50 Gift Certificate to Sushi Aoi

F 143 $25 Gift Certificate to Kelly's Irish Times

F 144 $100 Gift Certificate to Hudson Restaurant and Lounge

F 145 2 Combo Meals up to $20 at Flamers Burgers & Chicken

F 146 Saturday Brunch for Four at Tabard Inn

F 147 $25 Gift Certificate to the Big Hunt

F 148 $25 Gift Certificate to the Big Hunt

F 149 $50 Gift Certificate to Hard Times Café-Clarendon

F 150 Champagne Buffet for Two at Indique Heights

F 151 $100 Gift Certificate to Morton's Steakhouse

F 152 $100 Gift Certificate at Posto Restaurant

F 153 $50 Gift Certificate to Paper Moon

F 154 Burgers for Two at Polly's Café

F 155 Large Starbucks thermos, 2 1-lb. bags of coffee, and 2 free drink coupons.

F 156 Large Starbucks thermos, 2 1-lb. bags of coffee, and 2 free drink coupons.

F 157 Large Starbucks thermos, 2 1-lb. bags of coffee, and 2 free drink coupons.

F 158 Two Coupons for Two Large Free One-Topping Pizzas from Papa John's

F 159 $25 Gift Card to Zorba's Café

F 160 $40 Gift Certificate for The Tombs

F 161 Cocktail Reception for 10-15 guests catered by Quite a Stir Catering

F 162 $25 Tune Inn Gift Certificate

F 163 $40 Pasta Plus Restaurant Gift Certificate

F 164 Dinner for Two at Restaurant Nora

F 165 $25 Gift Certificate good at any of Great American Restaurants restaurants

F 166 $50 La Tasca Gift Certificate

F 167 $100 Café Deluxe/Tortilla Coast Gift Certificate

F 168 $25 Cocoa Bar Gift Certificate

F 169 Dinner for 2 at Café Salsa

F 170 $25 Gift Certificate to Tanyg Sweet/Red Velvet Cupcake

F 171 Saturday Lunch Buffet for 2 at Aroma Indian Restaurant

F 172 $50 Gift Certificate to Mykonos Grill

F 173 Dinner for 2 at La Tomate Italian Bistro.

F 174 Dinner for 2 at TGI Friday

F 175 $50 Gift Certificate to Rock Bottom Brewery

F 176 3 Bottles of Wine - Cascabel Shiraz 2003

F 177 3 Bags of Starbucks Whole Bean Coffee

F 178 $50 Fado Gift Certificate

F 179 Two Burritos for Two Certificates from Chipotle

F 180 $100 Toledo Lounge Gift Certificate

F 181 Three Burritos for Two Certificates from Chipotle

F 182 $30 Gift Certificate to Thaiphoon

F 183 $50 gift card to The Cheescake Factory

F 184 $25 gift certificate to Adams Mill Bar & Grill

F 185 $100 gift card to Posh Restaurant and Supper Club

F 186 $100 gift card to Filomena Ristorante

F 187 Crabfeast for 4 at the Dancing Crab

F 188 $50 gift card to Chadwick's in Friendship Heights

F 189 $25 gift card to California Tortilla

F 190 $25 gift card to California Tortilla

F 191 $100 gift certificate to Shashemene Ethiopian Restaurant

F 192 $100 gift certificate to Burma Restaurant

F 193 $50 gift certificate to Café Citron during dinner

F 194 $50 gift certificate to Café Citron during late night

F 195 $50 gift certificate to Café Citron with VIP Access

F 196 $40 toward dinner for two at Polo India Club

F 197 Catered lunch for 10 people from Dutch Mill Catering

F 198 $50 gift certificate to Mehak Indian Restaurant

F 199 $50 gift certificate to Mehak Indian Restaurant

F 1100 3 large pizzas from Manny & Olga's

F 1101 $75 gift certificate for dinner at Local 16.

Please check back for other categories and new additions!

Check here for Sports Prizes and here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes.

Silent Auction Prizes- Sports

Prize Number & Description

B 200 Buffalo Bills Laser Signed Terrell Owens Photo

B 201 One $99 Group Golf Class at East Potomac Golf Course

B 202 Weekday 18-hole round of golf for four at the Gauntlet Golf Course

B 203 Two Hour Weekday Flying Scot Rental at Belle Haven Marina

B 204 Four General Admission Tickets to a Bowie Baysox Game

B 205 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame sweatshirt (XL)

B 206 Tour for four of the new Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, TX.

B 207 Autographed New Jersey Devils Hockey Puck

B 208 Discover Snorkel Lesson from Sea Ventures

B 209 Discover Snorkel Lesson from Sea Ventures

B 210 Autographed Bowling Pin

B 211 Redskins Tickets

B 212 4 X-Small Brooks Running Shirts

B 213 4 X-Large Brooks Running Shirts

B 214 3 Medium Brooks Running Shirts

B 215 AHL All-Star Hockey Stick - Signed by members of Canadian All-Star Team

B 216 4 tickets to the 2010 Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, 4 Hall

B 217 2 Pro Football Hall of Fame passes from anonymous donor.

B 218 2 Pro Football Hall of Fame passes from anonymous donor.

Please check back regularly for other categories and new additions!

Check here for Arts & Entertainment Prizes.

Silent Auction Prizes- Arts & Entertainment

Prize Number & Description
A 300 Two tickets to any '09-'10 performance at the D.C. Arts Center

A 301 Two tickets to any '09-'10 performance at the D.C. Arts Center

A 302 Two tickets to the Kennedy Center's whodunit comedy, Shear Madness

A 303 Two tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

A 304 Two Tickets to a Performance at MetroStage for the 2009-2010 Season

A 305 Two Tickets to the Potomac Riverboat Company's Water Monuments

A 306 $50 Gift Certificate to Watergate Gallery & Frame Design

A 307 $50 Gift Certificate for Custom Framing at P Street Pictures

A 308 Four Passes to AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center

A 309 Gift Certificate for 6 Dance Lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Center

A 310 $25 Gift Certificate to All Fired Up: Pottery Painted by You

A 311 Gift Certificate for 6 Dance Lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Center

A 312 Two Passes to The Studio Theatre Production of The Solid Gold Cadillac

A 313 Bowling Party for 6 at Bowl of America

A 314 Four Tankard and Tonic Tickets to the Gadsby's Tavern Museum

A 315 Four Tankard and Tonic Tickets to the Gadsby's Tavern Museum

A 316 Gift Certificate for 10 Adult Classes at the Maryland Youth Ballet

A 317 $25 Gift Certificate to Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company

A 318 Discovery/Introduction Flight for 2 in a Cessna 172

A 319 One-Year Individual Membership to the National Museum of Women in the

A 320 Two tickets to Permanent Collection at the Round House Theatre

A 321 $50 Gift Certificate to Mrs. Natalie Tarot Card and Psychic Readings

A 322 Two Boarding Passes for 40-minute narrated sightseeing cruise of Annapolis

A 323 Five Free Class Coupons for Adult Drop-In Classes at Joy of Motion

A 324 Four Tickets to the Smithsonian IMAX Theaters and Planetarium

A 325 Two Tickets to The Light in the Piazza at Arena Stage

A 326 2 tickets to Mannheim Steamroller at the Warner Theater

A 327 Capital Steps Performance CD

A 328 Capital Steps Performance CD

A 329 Capital Steps Performance CD

A 330 2 Tickets to a Peabody Conservatory of Music Performance.

A 331 2 Tickets to a Peabody Conservatory of Music Performance.

A 332 2 Tickets to a Peabody Conservatory of Music Performance.

A 333 Two Tickets to the Washington Performing Arts Society Performance.

A 334 2 Tickets to the Black Cat New Year's Eve Ball.

A 335 5 Theater Posters, Spring Awakening T-shirt, Copy of the book "Honored"

A 336 $100 toward a Dinner Cruise along the Potomac aboard Nina's Dandy

A 337 Certificate for Washington Improv's Intro to Improv class

A 338 Weekend bicycle rental for two from Big Wheel Bikes

A 339 Costume Rental from Gene's Costumes

Please check back regularly for other categories and new additions!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Silent Auction starts today at Wednesday Wind Down!

Have you ever wanted to take language lessons?

Do you need to find a hotel for your friends and family for graduation?

Do you want to take that special someone out for a nice dinner?

Then come to the EJF Silent Auction and Live Auction!

The Silent Auction starts today at Wednesday Wind Down, come help us start out with a bang!

Through Thursday, October 29th, EJF will be at the chapel tables from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Stop by for some baked goods or to bid on great prizes.

Check back here to see a list of prizes!

Put it on your calendar: The Live Auction on October 29th at 7pm in HART Auditorium will have beer, food and great prizes to bid on to support public interest work!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Students: EJF needs YOU!

EJF's 21st Annual Auction is quickly approaching: the Silent Auction kicks off on October 21st and ends on October 29th, the day of the Live Auction.

In order to make this year's auction a success, EJF is requesting student service donations from those who received funding over the summer. Last year, student services were a big hit during the Silent Auction. Donations included things like driving someone to the airport, walking their dog for a week, or making a dinner for four. The hottest ticket items last year were language and music lessons, which can be a lot of fun for both the donor and the winner!

Students who donate their services will get 1 hour credit toward their EJF fall hours requirement. Student Donation Contracts are available in the EJF office in room 208, as well as online here (note: this link will prompt you to download a MS Word document). Please just pick one up, fill it out, and drop it off in the folder marked "Completed Contracts" outside of the EJF office.

Remember, recipients only need to complete 6 hours of volunteering this fall. If you decide to take this opportunity, please just remove your name from the sign-up sheet on TWEN for the hour you are replacing. If you have any questions, feel free to email

Friday, October 2, 2009

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Malaysia

By Jacob Zenn

During the summer of 2009 I interned with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My work at UNHCR was aimed at determining who fit the international law definition of a refugee and then providing assistance to refugees under the mandate of UNHCR. Other NGOs could also provide assistance to refugees in need of support, but UNHCR has legitimacy from UN and very few organizations can exert pressure on domestic governments like UNHCR. During my internship at UNHCR, I performed various tasks. Much of my work was performing research for the Refugee Status Determination Unit office on Country of Origin information for refugees from Myanmar to determine whether they warranted a presumption of eligibility (POE). Those groups of refugees who received a POE would have an expedited status determination procedure and have their eligibility for protection available with immediacy. I also interviewed refugee applicants from Myanmar, such as ethnic Burmese or Arakanese people, who did not warrant a Presumption and made recommendations on their refugee status to the Deputy Representative of UNHCR Malaysia. I also interpreted Chinese language refugee applicant interviews from mainland China and I visited Myanmar for one week and presented the findings from my trip to the Refugee Status Determination Unit.

However, my favorite part of the summer outside of work was experiencing life in Kuala Lumpur. I learned Malay language before starting the internship which allowed me to fully immerse in the society. Kuala Lumpur has an interesting demographic balance with the majority of the people Malay ethnicity and significant minorities of ethnic Chinese and Tamil Indians. There is also an evident presence of immigrants, both legal and illegal, and refugees. During my free time I would meet with Myanmar refugees and migrant workers and study Burmese language with them. This helped me understand the psychology of the refugees with whom I interviewed at the UNHCR office. I had to be careful though not to allow my relationships with Myanmar refugees prejudice my work.

I will follow up with this experience by gaining the credits to satisfy the Certificate for Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies and attempting to work for UNHCR or a similar organization after I graduate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DC Superior Court

By Jennifer Forde

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at the DC Superior Court for an associate judge serving in the Court’s civil division. There I had the opportunity to gain a lot of exposure to various areas of civil litigation. My primary responsibilities were to help prepare the Judge for hearings by drafting outlines of the relevant legal issues and to write orders resolving various disputes.
I worked on a broad range of legal issues, but my largest project of the summer involved a very complex dispute over a series of contracts involving multiple plaintiffs. Getting through the case at first was challenging. It took me nearly a week to read through all the motions, memoranda, and exhibits, but once I finally understood the case and the applicable law, I felt good about giving the judge my opinion on how he should rule.
I also had the opportunity to observe hearings, bench trials, and jury trials. In addition to the in-court observations of cases of my assigned judge, I would sometimes observe the courtrooms of other judges hearing high profile cases. This was a great opportunity to see lawyers present oral argument before the court. I had the opportunity to see what were persuasive techniques and styles of presentation, and what was less effective.
I really enjoyed the assignments that I was given, and the opportunity to work closely with the judge was a huge privilege for me. I know that I have substantially improved my legal research and writing skills through my summer experience. I would like to thank all the EJF contributors for helping to fund my summer learning experience.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

United States Attorney’s Office, MD

By Elizabeth Pittman

This summer I’ve been working at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. This is the office that represents the United States in both criminal and civil cases in the District of Maryland.
Most people know that the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes cases for the federal government, but a lot of people don’t realize that we handle civil cases, too. One of my first assignments was working on a civil case, where I researched the appealability of a magistrate judge’s decision to deny the government’s motion to recover costs from a non-prevailing plaintiff. That case was based on a traffic collision between a postal truck and a motorcyclist. The U.S. government was found not liable (yes, any time there is a car accident between a postal carrier and someone else, it ends up in federal court), but the judge denied the government’s bill of costs. It was my job to research how the government could appeal this decision and whether it would be likely to prevail on appeal. I also attended a deposition with a lawyer in the civil division. It was really interesting, but I can’t discuss the specifics because it is a case that is still ongoing.

I’ve also worked on a bunch of criminal issues, but again, since many of these cases are ongoing, I can’t say much about the specifics. I’ve worked on a couple of government responses to prisoners’ §2255 habeas motions, and I’ve researched evidentiary issues, sentencing issues, and wrote a 4th Circuit brief. At the U.S. Attorney’s office, all of the law clerks are always given substantive assignments, and it’s a great feeling when something you wrote is actually submitted to a judge! The attorneys are also generally pretty good about providing feedback and helping us improve our writing, too.
One of the best things about working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office is the chance to go to the courthouse and see things in action. I’ve seen pretrial detention hearings, a violation of supervised release hearing, sentencings, and trials. The past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a trial, preparing and handing all of the exhibits, meeting with federal agents, preparing witnesses, brainstorming ideas for lines of questioning, and helping prepare closing statements. Earlier this summer, I watched some of a high profile death penalty trial. Before this summer, I wasn’t sure what area of law I was interested in, but after seeing such talented and passionate lawyers in the courtroom day after day, I know that I want to be a litigator. I’m not sure in what capacity, but I want to be a lawyer who actually spends time in court, and not just in front of a computer screen.

It’s obvious that the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office really wants its summer law clerks to have a memorable experience, do substantive work, learn a lot, but also have fun. They’ve planned lunches for us with judges, with U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, and with former summer law clerks who are now clerking for District Court judges. We went on a tour of “Supermax,” the prison that houses federal detainees here in Baltimore, and we visited the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, where we watched autopsies being performed. Last Friday we had the chance to go to a training facility and shoot guns with FBI instructors. It was a great way to wrap up a very fulfilling summer.
I am very glad that EJF made it possible for me to spend my summer working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. I strongly recommend spending a summer working with the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office to anyone who is interested in litigation, and particularly criminal law.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

This summer, three EJF recipients interned at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia ( Betsy worked in the public benefits unit and Drake and Jason both interned in the housing unit.

While I have assisted attorneys with interviewing clients, conducting research, writing briefs, and fact-finding for a variety of public benefits cases, the most exciting case I worked on this summer was an appeal to the federal district court for judicial review of a decision by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on a due process claim. This case involved extensive research into the SSA’s regulations and policy statements, the judicial review provisions in the Social Security Act, and the federal cases interpreting these rules and laws, including the applicability of the Due Process Clause. I considered this case to be pretty unique, since most public benefits cases focus on administrative procedures and appeals, and extremely compelling, because the client is homeless and suffers from several serious disabilities. I am continuing to prepare research for the brief to be filed this fall and I am hopeful that the suit will be successful.

I’ve loved working with Legal Aid to assist clients who have faced difficult barriers to obtaining the benefits they need to survive and who otherwise could not afford legal help. This summer has revived my commitment to working as a public interest lawyer, and I am thankful for EJF’s support.

For ten weeks at the Legal Aid Society of DC I assisted dedicated poverty attorneys representing low income clients in landlord-tenant and other civil matters in DC Superior Court and local administrative agencies. My responsibilities included drafting motions and memoranda, formulating trial strategies, and researching evidentiary issues. I also performed client housing inspections and had the opportunity to spend ample time at both Superior and Landlord Tenant Court shadowing Legal Aid attorneys in the many stages of trial practice.

Working at Legal Aid Society definitely helped me better understand the nature of public interest lawyering. I chose Legal Aid because I wanted to work on the frontlines of social justice and the organization did not disappoint. From listening and observing the uphill battle the majority of DC’s indigent population faces daily and the personal satisfaction I received from supporting them and helping them fight back, I know I will continue public interest lawyering.

As an intern in the housing law unit, I helped serve low-income clients facing eviction and other housing crises. In the District of Columbia, like many jurisdictions, Landlord Tenant court is extremely difficult to navigate without a lawyer, especially for residents with disabilities, limited English proficiency, or limited knowledge of their housing rights. I witnessed first-hand the value a lawyer brings to low-income residents who were able to prevent eviction, secure repairs to dangerous and unlawful housing conditions, or negotiate more fairly with their landlords because of Legal Aid’s assistance.

While I am dedicated to building a career in direct legal services in the D.C. area upon graduation, it would have been more difficult for me to work at the Legal Aid Society without summer funding from the Equal Justice Foundation. The internship was invaluable for my future career. I learned local law and procedure, strategies for motions practice and navigating court proceedings, and best-practices for legal representation that I will carry with me upon graduation. It was an honor to work with such talented and dedicated attorneys and to make a small contribution to the ongoing work to increase access to justice for D.C.’s low-income residents.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

American Antitrust Institute, Research Fellow

By Aron H. Schnur

This summer, I have been privileged to work as a Research Fellow for the American Antitrust Institute, an independent think-tank seeking to promote competition here in the United States and internationally. My duties primarily consist of editing articles written by antitrust practitioners in the European Union and Asia for the forthcoming International Handbook on Private Enforcement of Competition Law, a groundbreaking publication discussing the procedural aspects of bringing suit for competition law violations in nearly every jurisdiction currently allowing private enforcement in some capacity. In addition to acquiring in-depth knowledge of the substantive law in the Netherlands, England and Wales, Germany, France, Japan, China, Turkey, Italy, France and Canada, I have also gained exposure to comparative international law and the practical development of large-scale litigation proceedings.

The highlight of my summer has been two day-long symposia hosted by AAI at the National Press Club. The first symposium concentrated on the potential for analyzing competition in individual industries and the economy as a whole from a systemic point of view, while the second focused on the increasing need for a global perspective in competition policy as businesses continuously expand their activities to multiple jurisdictions. In addition to providing me with the unparalleled opportunity to meet some of the international leaders in the field, I was also assigned at the latter conference to serve as rapporteur for a panel discussion on the direction of international private enforcement, the summary of which may be found on AAI’s website. Throughout the summer, I have been housed in the Washington, D.C. office of Constantine | Cannon LLP, a boutique firm specializing in antitrust litigation, where I have been mentored by a member of the AAI advisory board recognized internationally as a leader in his field. I could not be happier with my experience as a Research Fellow for AAI, as these projects have collectively equipped me with cutting-edge knowledge of international competition law and invaluable experience for a future career in antitrust law and any field involving large-scale litigation.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Appellate Division, First Department, New York

By David Yellin

This summer I have been fortunate enough to intern for Associate Justice James Catterson of the Appellate Division, First Department in New York. The First Department is the intermediate state appellate court hearing appeals from Bronx and New York (Manhattan) Counties. The courthouse at 25th St. and Madison Ave. in Manhattan is one of the most incredible buildings I’ve worked in. The courtroom is covered in frescoes and stained glass with a massive stained glass dome, and the halls are lined with pictures of old judges (there’s a great shot of Cardozo right outside the library), historical shots of New York City, and assorted other antiquities. Unfortunately we’re only in the city about half the time, and when the judge isn’t sitting we go to his chambers in Riverhead (out east on Long Island) where we work in an unused courtroom.
We have spent most of our time drafting opinions for the judge. On the first day, the law clerk gave us a case briefs, record, and law report (bench memos produced by the court attorneys for the full panel of judges) and told us to write an opinion in two weeks or less. So far, two of the opinions I wrote have been voted on by a full panel and are on their way to editing and (hopefully) publication. I drafted two others after the judges stopped meeting for the summer. The opinions I drafted included financial issues, a statutory interpretation case, and a criminal appeal. I even wrote one dissent that ended up as the majority opinion, which was pretty cool.
We have also gotten a chance to observe several sessions of oral argument. The judge prepared us for each session by giving us a stack of bench memos to read to familiarize ourselves with several of the cases, and then grilled us on each case. It was moderately terrifying at first (who wants to get cold-called during lunch over the summer?) but has actually been tremendously educational. And, since he’s one of the more vocal judges on the bench, it gave us a chance to understand the questions he’s asking and how they fit into the way he sees the case. We have also seen various other proceedings and observed pieces of a trial in the Riverhead courthouse.
However, as interesting and educational as the work has been (and it has been extremely so), probably the best part of the internship is probably the fact that we get face time with the judge during lunch almost every day. It has given us a chance to ask questions as well as to get to know the judge we were interning for.
It’s been a pretty amazing summer. I got a lot of experience, learned a lot of law, and honed my writing skills considerably; I’m looking forward hopefully to seeing some of my work on Westlaw this fall.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Split Summer

By Cynthia Liu

This summer, I was able to split my time interning for two very different places. At the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review's Arlington, VA Immigration Court, I got to sit it on master calendar and individual merit hearings and draft 8 decisions throughout the course of the summer. All the interns were assigned decisions as cases came into the Judicial Law Clerk's office, and she basically served as a liaison between the interns and the six Immigration Judges sitting at the Arlington Immigration Court. Of course, we were also able to talk with the judges and discuss with them how they wanted to decide a particular case and present our opinions to them as well. Most of the judges had notes detailing how they wanted to rule on a particular case, but a lot of the times, interns could decide how particular issues within the decision came out. We mostly drafted asylum decisions, but I also drafted a few cancellation of removal decisions. Most of these cases followed the basic format of writing out the Respondent's and witness's testimony, listing documentary evidence, making a credibility finding, going through each necessary statutory element to see if the Respondent was statutorily eligible for the relief sought, and then a discretion section was added if the Immigration Judge was inclined to grant relief. Aside from working at the Court, our Judicial Law Clerk planned several field trips for us. We were able to visit the asylum office in Rosslyn and sit in on an asylum interview. This was especially enlightening because we basically witnessed how asylum applications were dealt with at the level below us. We also visited the Office of Immigration Litigation and were able to head downstairs to talk with some Department of Homeland Security lawyers who always appeared in Court opposite all the Respondents' counsel. Overall, the judges were very approachable, the judicial law clerk very organized and helpful, and the entire summer experience rewarding!

I spent the rest of my time interning at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. USTDA is a small government agency that combines economic development goals with promotion of U.S. exports and commercial interests abroad. The agency funds small technical assistance or feasibility study projects ranging from about $200,000-$800,000 that basically set the stage for implementing much larger-scale projects to be funded by international development banks such as the World Bank, USAID, etc. The general structure of a project involves the agency delegating funds to a foreign grantee/client who will benefit from the project. The grantee/client then chooses (whether through open competition or through other means) a U.S. company to act as a contractor in carrying out the project/study. USTDA then transfers funds directly to the U.S. contractor in installments on behalf of the foreign grantee according to performance milestones that must be completed. During my internship, I helped review contracts and grants, research legal issues that came up from appropriations to Peru's treaty law, and process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. I was able to take part in weekly Office of the General Counsel meetings and even occasionally got to sit in on Project Reviews where each region's country managers and/or regional directors would present memos with new project ideas in their region. I've definitely learned so much and really honed my research and writing skills. This internship has sparked my interest in international trade and development even more.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

United States Attorney's Office, San Diego, CA

By Ryan Harrison Peeck

I am a Law Clerk in the Major Frauds section of the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is housed in two buildings in San Diego, the Federal Building and the AT&T building across the street.

Clerking here has been a wonderful experience and I have had the opportunity to do a lot of very interesting work. The Major Frauds section handles all of the district’s significant white collar crime and other complex criminal conduct aimed at wrongful economic gain. The section makes extensive use of all available investigative tools, including federal law enforcement agencies and grand juries.

My favorite project this summer resulted from being asked to write large portions of an appellate brief to the Ninth Circuit. Because I was entrusted with all of the research and writing for my assigned sections, I learned a great deal. I have also been fortunate enough to take a very active role in the cases being handled in my section, in addition to writing motions, memos, briefs, and researching.

Clerking for the U.S. Attorney’s Office has put me, more often than I expected, in the heart of the matters being handled. AUSAs working in the office excel at what they do, are passionate, and are also quality mentors. For someone seeking to hone his litigation and writing skills this has been a perfect match! I would strongly encourage anyone who wants a career in litigation, civil or criminal, to consider a clerkship with a U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Monday, July 27, 2009

United States District Court for the Western District of New York

By Michael Snodgrass

I work in Buffalo (Go Bills!) for the Honorable Richard J. Arcara, Chief Judge for United States District Court for the Western District of New York. On a side note, "Chief Judge" means the longest serving judge on the court. The main responsibility of the Chief Judge is setting the local rules. While there are minimum federal requirements which all District Courts must adhere to, District Courts can also supplement these rules. For example, Buffalo has a rule that all plaintiffs and defendants must have local counsel. Even if a person's main counsel flies in from Los Angeles or New York and his/her local counsel never appears in court, he/she must have local counsel hired. That way, if the Judge needs something (i.e. an attorney for a five minute status conference), a local counsel will be able to show up immediately.

Most days, I start off the morning by observing court proceedings. The most interesting and distinctive proceedings are oral arguments, which have ranged so far this summer from a products liability suit over tree stands (the seats that hunters strap to trees and sit in all day), two companies fighting about R+D in a navy contract for new scuba gear, supervised release for the leader of a biker gang, criminal charges for the recipients of a crate shipped from LA to Buffalo with 377 pounds of marijuana, and a man who ran a Ponzi scheme (i.e. paying off old investors with the money from new investors) for thirty years by advertising in the bulletins at Catholic Churches. Most days, I will spend an hour or two observing court and the rest of the day working on judicial decisions. I am working on Social Security Disability cases all summer. When a person claims to be too disabled to work, he applies for Social Security Disability. If denied, he can request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. If the ALJ denies his claim, he appeals to a review council. If the Appeals Council denies the claim, he can bring a civil suit in US District Court, alleging that the Commissioner of Social Security did not have substantial evidence for his decision or committed a legal error. I review the cases (usually containing 500-1000 page medical files and multiple briefs from both sides) and write the decision, either denying benefits, granting benefits, or remanding the case to the Administrative Law Judge for further proceedings. As long as my decision is fairly logical, based on hard evidence and precedents, and well-written, my law clerk and Judge will defer to my judgment on the case and my decision will get signed by the Judge.

Working in US District Court has been an amazing opportunity to observe court proceedings of all different shapes and sizes, meet interesting people from the US Attorney's office and local counsel, and see Civil Procedure in action (Professor Abernathy would be so proud). If you are interested in US District Court, be prepared to be very formal in dress and etiquette, and be prepared to learn as much as you can from the smart, friendly, hard-working law clerks (thanks Monica and Joe!), observe important and intriguing oral arguments, and see the American ideal of equal justice for all play out at the trial court level of the Federal Judiciary.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Magistrate Judge, Southern District of Florida, Miami, FL

By Eric Gonzalez

I am working as an intern for Federal Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton of the Southern District of Florida. I work in the Atkins federal courthouse in downtown Miami from Monday through Friday, from 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M.
A federal magistrate judge handles matters that United States District Judges refer to them. While these matters are largely pretrial motions, such as motions to compel discovery and motions to suppress evidence, the parties can consent to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge. The parties’ consent gives the magistrate judge the full powers of a district court judge with respect to their case.
My experience at the courthouse has been anything but boring. I have undertaken a variety of activities. I attended a trial, pretrial detention hearings, and suppression hearings; have toured a federal detention center; and, have attended oral arguments for the eleventh circuit court of appeals.
The projects that I participate in are also unique. I have worked on a federal habeas claim, a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act, have written pretrial detention orders, and am currently researching arbitration agreements as they relate to motions for attorneys fees.
These varied projects represent only some of the things that I learned this summer. Working at the courthouse has shown me a lot of the administrative challenges that the judicial system faces. As a court of first review the Southern District of Florida handles several pre-trial motions, all while conducting trials, holding hearings, and reviewing warrants.
In short, I am having an interesting experience learning about nuanced legal matters as well as broad administrative concepts.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Earthjustice, Juneau, Alaska

By Christopher Peloso

I’m spending my summer up here in Alaska working for Earthjustice. It’s a non-profit law firm that provides legal services to environmental groups. The office up here in Juneau does a lot of work with timber, oil, and mining issues, all over Alaska, but mainly with the Tongass National Forest. Right now I’m working on some Clean Air Act issues with offshore drilling off the northern coast. They’ve got some really solid attorneys here, and they do very important work. For example, we just argued a case in the Alaska Supreme Court a few weeks ago with regards to a toxic mining wastes and the Clean Water Act. Earthjustice has all the benefits of working for a law firm, but you can help save the environment instead of protecting polluters.

They say it rains a lot in Juneau, but in the first two weeks I was here it didn’t rain a drop. The attorneys keep telling me to leave early and take advantage of the sun to go hiking or kayaking (another advantage of working here as opposed to a stuffy DC law firm). The climate here in Juneau is a lot more like Seattle than what most people would think of as Alaska. Plenty of outdoor activities here, pretty much everyone here owns a kayak and hiking boots.

Juneau is a pretty small town, but the people are very friendly and the views are incredible. It’s right at the base of some mountains, and also on the shore of an inlet that leads to the Pacific Ocean. Bears, whales, seals, and bald eagles are all over the place here and you can’t go more than a few days without seeing one in your backyard (although I’d prefer to not see them so close up!). The interns from all the environmental groups here in town (Oceana, SEACC, etc.) get together for activities on weekends. I think next weekend we are going to go kayaking in Glacier Bay.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

By Geoff Rapoport

This summer, I'm interning at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The OSTP is a federal agency located within the Executive Office of the President and headed by the President's Science Advisor, Dr. Holdren. The two major functions of the office are providing science advice to the President and helping to develop the President's budget priorities for science activities.

One major perk of the job is the opportunity to meet and work with exceptional people. In my first month, I got a fist-pound from the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, talked one-on-one with the President's Science Advisor about the benefits of a cap-and-trade system over a carbon tax, and met the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. While I have not yet met Bo, on Tuesdays I volunteer in the White House Garden and I am hopeful that he will make an appearance on the South Lawn soon.

I've been doing most of my work for two people: Rachael Leonard, the Acting General Counsel of OSTP, and Beth Noveck, Deputy CTO for Open Government.

Almost all of my work for Rachael can be traced back to enabling the President to get science advice from the advisors he has chosen. This includes ensuring that the members of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology are in compliance with all relevant financial disclosure laws and providing other employees of OSTP with advice on how to comply with the ethics laws that affect them.

For Beth, I have been reviewing some of the law around open government issues. Unfortunately, sometimes otherwise good law gets in the way of everyone's best intentions. Web 2.0 tools are very hard to reconcile with the Federal Records Act, which envisioned a world where everything that needed to be saved for future historians was already on paper. I am also looking at what is required for an agency to implement an innovation incentive prize program (like the Ansari X Prize).

I'm only halfway through, but it has been a special experience for which I'm very grateful, both to the EJF donors who are keeping a roof over my head and to the people at OSTP with whom I work.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Court Division of DC Superior Court, Washington, DC

By Tasha LaSpina

This summer, I am interning at the Family Court division of DC Superior Court, and it has been a wonderful experience so far. My judge’s calendar consists primarily of child custody cases, although we also hear a good number of divorce, alimony, and child support matters. Often the cases are tied in with Domestic Violence or Abuse and Neglect cases.
Most days, I sit in the courtroom next to the court clerk, and take notes on the orders the judge is granting to the parties. Then I type up these orders , run them by the judge, and then get them docketed and filed, and sent out to the parties. I also sometimes assist in looking up case law or conducting legal research. This has helped me to learn more about DC’s standards for custody, as well as to gain a better understanding of some of the common problems pro se litigants, attorneys, and judges face in custody cases.

However, what I enjoy most about my position is that I have the opportunity to work one-on-one with both the parties and the judge. For example, during a custody hearing, I often talk separately to the parents involved in the custody dispute to find out what their concerns are about visitation arrangements, and then I prepare a draft visitation schedule which I then discuss with the judge so that she can issue a final order. I also speak with the parties that come into Central Intake with an Emergency Motion for Custody – after interviewing them to find out if there truly is an emergency situation such as parental kidnapping or abuse, I report my findings back to the judge and brief her on the case.
I’ve also been lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit in on many other trials that are going on in other Superior Court divisions, such as criminal trials, domestic violence hearings, and arraignments. Last week, I attended a “Guardian ad Litem” training session presented by the Children’s Law Center, where I learned what it takes to become a Guardian ad Litem (an attorney who acts as a neutral party representing “the best interests of the child” in a custody case).
I have really enjoyed learning more about the inner workings of a courtroom, and having the chance to see judges, lawyers, and Guardian ad Litems in action. I love how each day brings a new set of hearings and a new task for me to work on. I feel like I’m learning so much from my internship, and I’m gaining the kind of hands-on experience that one cannot get from a classroom. The experience has strengthened my interest in Family Law and in doing pro bono Guardian ad Litem work in the future.
I'm grateful for the EJF funding that has enabled me to spend my 1L summer working in such an interesting field, and gaining such valuable experience. I would not have been able to undertake this internship without EJF’s support.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Greater Boston Legal Services

By Matty Rich

This summer, I have the opportunity to intern with the Housing Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. GBLS provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people in Boston and the surrounding areas and towns. It assists both clients on an individual level as well as addressing systemic problems. GBLS has many other units besides housing, including but not limited to elder law, health and disabilities, family law, and employment law.

In my few weeks here, I have already gotten the chance to do a wide variety of work. So far I have been able to perform legal research on the requirements to file for supplementary process in order to collect on a previously won judgment, assist with client intake, and file papers in the Cambridge court. Currently, I am working on drafting a complaint to file on behalf of a client who was wrongly rejected for a government housing subsidy.

Beyond my opportunities to perform work myself, I also have the chance to learn from the attorneys I work with by seeing them in action. For example, I was able to accompany my supervisor to a meeting with a tenant association. At this meeting, they planned what legal strategy they would pursue to fight the proposed demolition of a government subsidized apartment building. Getting to see the real world implications and meet the people directly impacted by my work has made this an all the more meaningful opportunity for me this summer.

If not for EJF, I would not have had the opportunity to spend my summer at GBLS. GBLS cannot afford to pay its interns and without EJF, I could not have otherwise afforded to live in Boston. I am very appreciative of EJF for helping to make my summer possible.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Children's Law Center, Washington, DC

By Allison Green

The first few weeks of my internship at the Children's Law Center (CLC) in Washington, DC have just flown by. CLC is a non-profit organization that advocates for children and families. It's largest project is the GAL division, which provides attorneys who represent "the best interest of the child" in child abuse and neglect proceedings. The office also has a Family Permanency Project, which represents caregivers in custody and adoption cases, and a Health Access Project, which works in local medical clinics to address systemic issues that cause health complications for young people.

I've already had the chance to do some really fascinating work. I've observed a number of court hearings, agency reviews, treatment team meetings, and consultations with clients. I've also done substantial research for my supervising attorneys, including legal research on family law issues as well investigation into local social services. The best experiences have been getting to know clients and their families, who are truly inspirational. Each interaction has affirmed my ongoing commitment to this work.

In addition to the first few days of training provided by CLC, there have been lots of opportunities to keep learning along the way. I've already attended an advanced GAL practice training, a caregivers representation training, and a host of other presentations on lawyering skills intended to keep us interns up to date on current issues in the field. My supervisors are also terrific about helping to make this summer a tremendous learning experience. Whenever I observe their work, they take the time to explain their legal strategies and decision-making processes. Especially when dealing with complex family law matters, these are things I can't learn from textbooks, so its great to learn directly from practitioners in the field.

I'm so grateful for the EJF money that has enabled me to spend a summer at this wonderful organization. I'm looking forward to the rest of my time here, and to returning to campus in the Fall feeling refreshed and reinvigorated about my legal career.

Equal Justice Foundation

EJF's Live Auction took place January 29, 2015 in Hart Auditorium and was a HUGE SUCCESS. Check the Facebook page for updates about other ways to help fund public interest activities for Summer 2015