8.31.2011

Regent Law Interns Gain First-hand Experience in Nation's Capital

Stories about summer internships often stress the importance of what a student does during the summer. This year, for several Regent University law students, where they interned was also significant.

Tristan Cramer and Patrick McKay both interned with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Washington, D.C. Cramer returned to the National Right to Life Committee as a legal intern providing research expertise. This was her third summer with the group. "I enjoy learning the most effective methods of changing hearts and minds through education and saving lives through legislation," she explained.

McKay worked for a technology and political advocacy group called the Center for Democracy and Technology. As an intern, he worked on a variety of research projects related to copyright law and telecommunications policy. He was also involved in drafting a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission over a company engaging in deceptive business practices. "Since I ultimately hope to pursue a career in internet and intellectual property law, this was a great opportunity to gain experience working in that field," he said.

During the summer, McKay also won a video contest sponsored by the technology policy group, Public Knowledge. The contest invited videos made in response to YouTube's "copyright school" video that inaccurately dismisses a key exception of copyright law. McKay won $1,000 and his video was featured on the web.

Third-year students Thomas Miller, Paul Boller, Keely Norman and Ruth Maron also spent the summer in D.C., working with committees and legislators on Capitol Hill.

Norman interned with U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's office.

Boller interned with Virginia Congressman Scott Rigell '90 (Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship) and, as a result, had a front-row seat to the national debt crisis that unfolded over the summer. "From answering the phone calls of concerned constituents to talking with my Congressman personally, I witnessed firsthand how our American system works through important and controversial issues," he said. "While a professor's instruction may acquaint one with the general processes of Washington, no words could have communicated all I experienced this summer."

Miller was a clerk for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. His primary responsibilities included drafting questions for hearings, researching and writing legal memoranda ranging from international treaties to fraud and abuse in government agencies, and researching the backgrounds of federal judicial nominees. "The experience helped me prepare for my career by allowing me to make valuable personal and professional connections," he said.

Interning with the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, Maron conducted research for the subcommittee's counsels and assisted with preparation for hearings. "I am still amazed that I walked by the U.S. Capitol each day on the way to work in the Rayburn House Office Building," she recalled. "It was an honor to intern with the subcommittee—to work and learn under talented and hard-working attorneys and to have learned a great deal about the legislative process."

By Rachel Judy