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Pathways to Practice Exemplars

Civil Rights and Equality Pathway

Alberto Ortiz

Alberto Ortiz, ‘16
Attorney Advisor, US Department of Justice, EOIR, New York, NY

The Immigration & Human Rights Clinic sparked my interest in Immigration Law. I had the opportunity to represent a woman going through immigration proceedings and to prepare her for her individual merits hearing; it was truly an invaluable experience!

Alberto is in the US Department of Justice Honors Program, working as an attorney advisor for an immigration judge. He previously served as a judicial law clerk for DC Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher. At UDC Law, Alberto performed his community service for CASA DC and had Summer Fellowships with the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia-Mental Health Division and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. His clinic work was in the Community Development Law Clinic and in the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic. He was Vice-President of the Latino Law Student Association and is now a member of the Florida Bar.

 

Immigration Law and Human Rights Pathway

 
Ahn Vu

Ahn Vu, ‘16
Refugee Officer, US Immigration and Citizenship Services, Washington, DC

I am where I am today because of everything I learned from the endless list of decorated and dedicated law professors at UDC Law – with a special shout out to Professor Lee, Professor Cohen, and Professor Campbell!

Ahn is an honors dual degree graduate from George Mason University with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Global Affairs-International Development. In addition, she was a Confucius Institute Scholarship recipient and studied abroad in Shanghai for a year. At UDC Law, she did her community service for DC SAFE (Survivors & Advocates for Empowerment), which works to support victims of domestic violence. Anh was a student attorney in the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic and General Practice Clinic. She also volunteered at the Dilley family detention center in South Texas on a Service-Learning trip. In addition to her academic and clinical activities, Anh was the president of the UDC Law Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Senior Editor for UDC Law Review, Teaching Assistant for Contracts and Property courses, and had Summer Public Interest Fellowships at the US Environmental Protection Agency and at the US Federal Aviation Administration. She is a member of the DC Bar and is now a Refugee Officer with the US Immigration and Citizenship Services. She travels internationally and domestically to interview refugees and asylum seekers.

 

Family and Juvenile Law Pathway

AJ Amissah

AJ Amissah, ’16
Staff Attorney, Children’s Law Center, Washington, DC

Transferring into UDC Law was the best decision I could have ever made for my career. The experiences I gained from our clinics were invaluable.

AJ earned a B.A. in Political Science from Benedict College. He is now a special education staff attorney at Children’s Law Center. At UDC Law, AJ completed his community service hours with the Washington Bar Association, helping them with the Knowledge is Power series, a program to educate members of the community about constitutional rights involved in voting and in interactions with the police. While in law school, he worked for the US Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights as an Equal Employment Opportunity specialist. AJ is a co-founder of an organization called the Brown Bag Project DC, a nonprofit organization encouraging working professionals to give back to individuals experiencing homelessness. AJ participated in the Juvenile & Special Education and the Legislation Clinics. He is a member of the DC Bar.

 
Jennifer Laskin

Jennifer Laskin, ’15
Educational Advocate, Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Prince George’s County, MD

During my three years as a full-time student, I integrated previous experience as a teacher and community advocate, focusing on the intersection of education and juvenile law to invoke educational rights and stem the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

Community Service Project: Ayuda

Post-1L Summer Public Interest Fellowship: Legal Aid agency in California

Post-2L Summer Internship: Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

Clinics: Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic & Housing and Consumer Law Clinic

Leadership: Executive Board of Student Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild UDC-DCSL Chapter, and Latino Law Student Association

 

Solo and Law Firm Practice Pathway

Karrie Dodson

Karrie Dodson, ‘16
Associate, Maddox & Gerock, P.C., Falls Church, VA

Not only did I have the best support system with the faculty and staff, but especially so with my peers. It wasn’t a competition with my classmates. We knew that the more we all succeeded as a whole, the more we could give back to our communities and the field of law!

Karrie, who is an associate for a small firm that specializes in family law, earned her B.A. in political science from the University of the District of Columbia. While at UDC Law, she earned her clinic credit protecting whistleblowers with the Government Accountability Project and represented juveniles with special educational needs in the Juvenile & Special Education Clinic. She is a member of the Virginia Bar.

 
Brandon Wallace

Brandon Wallace, ‘16
Founder & CEO, APEX Group LLC, Washington, DC

My time at UDC Law was simply one of a kind. What I appreciated most about the law school is its diverse student body. When law classrooms are filled with people from different cultural, economic, spiritual, geographical, sexual, and racial backgrounds, the result is a legal mind that has been challenged and is ready to take on the complexities of the legal field.

Prior to founding his own boutique legislative consulting firm, Brandon served as a Legislative Assistant for the Committee on Business and Economic Development of the District of Columbia Council, which exercises oversight over several DC government agencies, including the Department of Small and Local Business Development, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, and Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. While at UDC Law, Brandon served as President of the Student Bar Association (SBA) and chairman of the SBA’s Budget Committee. He completed his community service at Legal Aid Worldwide, and his clinics were in Community Development Law and General Practice Law. He served as a Rauh Summer Fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Administrative Law Judges and, after his second year, was an Equal Justice America Fellow at the UDC Law Community Development Law Clinic. He earned his B.A. from Howard University.

 

Criminal Law Pathway

Naji Fenwick

Naji Fenwick, ’16
Assistant Public Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Pursuing a job as a public defender is not easy. One of the things that I believe gave me an edge was that by the time I had graduated, I had so much in-court experience.

Naji, now a public defender in Philadelphia, PA, earned a B.A. in History from the University of the District of Columbia. At UDC Law, his clinical work was in Community Development and in Criminal Law with DC Law Students in Court. He had Summer Fellowships with the Office of the Public Defender for Alexandria (Virginia) and for the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s office (Charlotte, NC). He also interned at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. He was the President of the UDC Law National Lawyers’ Guild chapter and a member of the Black Law Students Association mock trial team. While in school he was also on the planning committee of www.Law4BlackLives.org. He is a member of the Pennsylvania bar.

 
Julia Rupert

Julia Rupert, ‘14
Assistant State’s Attorney, Prince George’s County, MD

UDC’s emphasis on clinical legal education prepared me not only for the intellectual challenges of being an attorney, but for the professional and ethical challenges that arise in the workplace, as well.

Served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Nicholas E. Rattal of the Prince George’s County Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro, Maryland after graduation.

Post-1L Summer Public Interest Fellowship: US Attorney's Office in DC

Academic Externship: Rule 16 Student Prosecutor in the Prince George's County State’s Attorney’s Office

Clinics: Housing and Consumer Law Clinic & Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Of Interest: Julia served as Editor-in-Chief of the UDC Law Review

 

Transactional Law Practice Pathway

Candace Holmes

Candace Holmes, ‘16
Associate, Schmittinger & Rodriguez, P.A., Dover, DE

The experience I gained was relevant and practical, and participation in the General Practice Clinic solidified my interest in Family Law. Upon graduation, I was confident that I had been prepared to practice law.

Candace, who earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware, is now an associate attorney for a small law firm. At UDC Law, she participated in the Legislation Clinic and in the General Practice Clinic. She took advantage of the Rauh Summer Fellowship, working as a law clerk for Delaware Volunteer Legal Services. Candace also served as an intern in the Misdemeanor Crimes Unit for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. In addition to her academic and clinical activities, Candace was an Associate and Senior Editor for the UDC Law Review and an Evening Division Senator for the Student Bar Association. Upon graduation from law school, Candace secured a judicial clerkship at the New Castle County Family Court in Delaware, and was admitted to the Delaware Bar in December 2016.

 

Housing and Community Development Law Pathway

Madeline McKeller

Madeline McKeller, ‘14
Staff Attorney, Pisgah Legal Services, Hendersonville, NC

At UDC, you are responsible for your cases and real lives are hanging in the balance. Slowly but surely, you build the skills necessary to serve your clients in the best way possible, under the guidance of brilliant and experienced clinical professors.

Community Service Project: Research on DC public school literacy levels for TimeBanks USA

Post-1L Summer Public Interest Fellowship: Interned for DC Superior Court Judge Harold Cushenberry, Jr.

Post-2L Summer Internship: Worked on housing cases at Neighborhood Legal Services Program

Clinics: Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic & Housing and Consumer Law Clinic

Of Interest: Madeline was Notes Editor of the UDC Law Review

 

Public Service/Public Policy Pathway

Matthew Kaplan

Matthew Kaplan, ‘16
Attorney Advisor, US Department of Justice, EOIR, Washington, DC

The legal training at UDC is in a class of its own. Even before graduation, I gained courtroom experience in clinic it normally takes years of practice to develop.

Matt is an attorney in the US Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer in Washington, DC. Matt was hired through the DOJ Attorney General’s Honors Program after a year-long judicial clerkship for the Senior Judges at the DC Court of Appeals. A graduate of Oberlin College, at UDC Law Matt served in the Housing & Consumer Law Clinic and in the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic. He undertook two Rauh Summer Fellowships, at the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Compliance and Enforcement and as a judicial intern for Judge Reggie Walton in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. He is a member of the DC Bar.

 

 

more Calendar

7/22/2019 » 7/26/2019
18th Annual Human Rights on the Hill

7/27/2019
Law Review Notes/Comments Kickoff Meeting & Selecting a Topic Training

8/7/2019
National Voting Rights Planning and Strategy Conference

8/8/2019 » 8/16/2019
Orientation and Start of Classes for First Year Students (8/8-8/16)

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