Service is at the core of the Columbus School of Law’s mission. The law school believes that each student has the ethical responsibility to advance the public interest and increase access to justice. This year, Catholic Law is especially proud of our 2020 graduates who will begin their legal career in furtherance of the public good.
The students profiled below embody Catholic Law’s mission of service. As new lawyers, they will serve our community in prosecutor's offices, the Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, military branches in the Judge Advocate General office, and various state and federal courts. We appreciate their public service. As Assistant Dean Tonya Gaskins says, "the world cannot change if we all refuse to participate in finding the solutions to the world's problems."
Bryn Michaela Baffer
Law Clerk, The Honorable Cynthia Callahan, Montgomery County Circuit Court, Maryland
During law school, Bryn has had several public interest and public service experiences, focusing on families, education, and housing. She interned with DC Public Schools Office of General Counsel her 1L summer. In her 2L year, Bryn interned at Maryland Legal Aid in Rockville and at DC Superior Court’s family court for Judge Lynn Leibovitz. Bryn also participated in the CCLS Families and the Law Clinic her 3L year. After graduation, she will be clerking for Judge Callahan on the Montgomery County Circuit Court. “I am excited to observe the day-to-day courtroom proceedings. Having this opportunity to watch different lawyers on a regular basis will help me hone my own advocacy skills,” says Bryn.
Maria Fernanda Lino Callao
Law Clerk, The Honorable Ingrid M. Turner, Prince George’s County Circuit Court, Maryland
While in law school, Maria focused on the legal needs of immigrants and low-income communities. She dedicated her time as a student attorney in the Columbus Community Legal Services Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic, CCLS Low Income Tax Clinic, and with Rising for Justice. She also interned with the Alexandria Public Defender's Office, traveled to Las Cruces, New Mexico to volunteer with Catholic Charities over spring break, and interpreted for legal organizations. “During these experiences, I learned how to zealously advocate for clients who needed the most.” Maria will begin her post-graduate legal career clerking at the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County in Maryland. “I am thrilled to work for the amazing and accomplished Honorable Judge Turner. Starting my career serving the people of Prince George's County in this capacity will allow me to continue to grow professionally and personally. I will also be able to fulfill my passion for public service,” says Maria.
Alex Jayson Olvez Catiggay
Assistant District Attorney, Bronx County District Attorney's Office
“As an Assistant District Attorney, I will be representing the people of the Bronx in criminal matters, maintaining integrity in the system, instilling trust back into criminal justice, and working to be fair, reasoned, and competent in fighting for community safety and security. I am very excited to be a voice for victims and their loved ones while working together with the judges, my colleagues, and the defense.” As a 2L, Alex interned at Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, where he conducted legal research and drafted human rights complaints for submission to the UN Human Rights Council. He also became a student attorney at CUA Law’s Columbus Community Legal Services, Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Clinic, where he drafted and filed motions for detained migrants in their expedited removal bond proceedings in order to secure them time to adequately prepare for their future immigration hearings. That summer, Alex continued at CCLS in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. He worked with clients in different stages of the tax collection process and helped obtain them fair and reasonable relief plans. And as a 3L, Alex interned at Lawyers Without Borders, helping create trial advocacy training materials on prosecuting wildlife crimes, terrorist acts, and trafficking issues.
April Lynn Currey
Law Clerk, The Honorable Richard Jordan, Montgomery County Circuit Court, Maryland
April dedicated her time in law school to serving others, including her fellow classmates. She led SPIL (Students for Public Interest Law), engaging her peers in public interest law and working tirelessly to raise funds for their summer internships. She also gained a wealth of hands-on legal experience while in law school. April interned for the Innocence Project Clinic and Clemency Project, the Federal Public Defender for the EDVA, the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office Felony 1 Division, and the Honorable Patricia A. Broderick at DC Superior Court. She also participated in the Criminal Prosecution Clinic and many pro bono projects, including Alternative Spring Break with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project. In the fall, April will join the chambers of the Honorable Richard Jordan in Montgomery County Circuit Court. “I am excited to get to work closely with and learn so much from Judge Jordan's years of experience, both as a practitioner and as a judge. As an alum of CUA Law, Judge Jordan is very devoted to helping recent CUA Law grads, such as myself, grow and become incredible young attorneys,” says April.
E.D. White Fellow, Solicitor General’s Office, Louisiana Department of Justice
I am going to be entering public service as the State of Louisiana’s inaugural E.D. White Fellow. The fellowship is an opportunity to work with Solicitor General Liz Murrill, her deputies, and Assistant Attorneys General and support staff on civil and criminal matters involving significant constitutional, statutory, and policy questions. As a fellow, I will provide appellate advice to all LADOJ Divisions; prepare and oversee the preparation of briefs, petitions, and other papers filed in appellate courts; and argue appeals in federal and state courts.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Crystal D. Mittelstaedt, Prince George's County Circuit Court, Maryland
Hannah is looking forward to learning from her judge and experienced attorneys next year as a law clerk in Prince George’s County. As a law student, Hannah interned at the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She hopes to pursue a career as a prosecutor after her clerkship.
Hayley A. Dunn
Law Clerk, The Honorable Laura S. Ripken, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, Maryland
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to gain first hand experience in litigation, trial techniques, and the process of making judicial determinations. I am also excited to practically apply the legal research and writing skills that I've acquired during my time at Catholic, and I feel honored to have a wonderful mentor as I begin my legal career." While in law school, Hayley participated in the CCLS Families and the Law Clinic, and externed with the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet.
Willistine Tarsha Harris
Trial Attorney, Attorney General's Honors Program, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
For almost 22 years, including while in law school, Willistine has been providing legal support to attorneys in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the fall, she will continue with them as a trial attorney, upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. “After supporting this work for more than a score, I will finally be able to sign briefs and argue in court on behalf of underrepresented populations of people who typically do not have a voice. It is an absolute honor to be able to do this work. I hope to encourage others to do public interest work, specifically, working to eradicate discrimination in our country. I also hope to raise awareness of civil-rights issues and ultimately inspire others to put on the super hero anti-discrimination cape as they join the fight.”
Officer, U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps
After graduation, Lauren will serve her country as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer. Lauren will complete training in Newport, Rhode Island, prior to her first assignment as a JAG officer. During law school, Lauren served as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Office of Chairman Ajit Pai at the Federal Communications Commission. Lauren also tried cases in state court as a Rule 19 Student Prosecutor in the Montgomery County State's Attorney’s Office.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Margaret M. Schweitzer, Montgomery County Circuit Court, Maryland
Justin is looking forward to learning a great deal next year as a law clerk to Judge Schweitzer at the Montgomery County Circuit Court. While in law school, Justin interned at the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office District Court Screening Division, the Bronx District Attorney's Office, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office Homicide Section, and the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. He also participated in the Prosecution Clinic with the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.
Officer, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps
Upon graduation Erin will be serving her country as an U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer. The Army JAG Corps represents the legal interests of Soldiers and the U.S. Army, including a broad range of cases in military justice, civil and administrative law, contract and fiscal law, and international and operational law. Erin was committed to service during law school as well. In addition to being enlisted in the Army reserves, she interned with the Department of Justice Service members and Veterans Initiative, the Department of Justice Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, the Alexandria Federal Public Defender Office, Army JAG (1st Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg), D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher, and at a law firm where she focused on Criminal Justice Act matters.
Robert A. McReynolds
Law Clerk, The Honorable William L. Witham, Jr., Superior Court of Delaware
While in law school, Robert worked as a defense contractor serving at the DIA, CIA, and the Office of General Counsel for the Secretary of Defense. In his 4E year Robert participated in the CCLS Veterans Clinic where he, along with his clinic partner, successfully completed a case on behalf of a Marine veteran. As pro bono, Robert also researched Maryland land installment contract law for Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Services. Robert will clerk for Judge William Witham at the Superior Court, Kent County, Delaware, next year. “Working with a judge on such an intimate level affords me the opportunity to learn how all of these principles and theories learned during law school are put into practice. I hope to put my education into overdrive from this experience and prepare myself to move into actual legal practice.”
Paige Francis Markley
Officer, U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps
Paige was selected in September 2019 to commission into the Air Force Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, pending medical clearance and bar passage. After commissioning, Paige will attend Air Force Officer Training School and the Air Force Judge Advocate General's School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. "I am excited to use the legal education I have been so fortunate to gain to support airmen of all kinds and the mission of the Air Force, to be a part of an organization that values what I value, namely integrity, service before self, and excellence, and to practice many different areas of law, from prosecuting and defending UCMJ violations, to drafting wills, to addressing environmental concerns," says Paige. During law school, Paige interned in the Legal Aid Clinic at Bread for the City, the Special Operations Division of DC Superior Court, the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security, and the Military Justice Division of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency at Joint Base Andrews in Prince George's County, Maryland.
Attorney, Federal Communications Commission’s Attorney Honors Program
After graduation, Michael will be joining the Federal Communications Commission through its Attorney Honors Program. “I am excited to immerse myself in the fields of communications law and policy by working for a major player in the space. I am also excited about the program because through it I will receive specialized training and be exposed to a career-development curriculum designed specifically for the program. I hope to grow as an attorney in this field and learn more about areas of communications law that interest me.” While in law school, Michael pursued his interest in the crossover between law and technology. In addition to being a leader in the field on campus, Michael externed at the Telecommunications Industry Association the fall of his 2L year and in Commissioner Carr's Office at the FCC and the First Responder Network Authority his 3L year.
Assistant District Attorney, Manhattan District Attorney's Office
Jamie, an evening student, worked full-time as a business analyst for the Department of Justice while in law school. He also made time to give back, volunteering with the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program, participating in Veterans Advocacy and Estate Planning Clinic, and serving on CUA Law’s Pro Bono Advisory Board. In the fall, Jamie will begin his legal career as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. “I am looking forward to serving the community in the pursuit of justice,” says Jamie.
Chadwick Daniel O'Neill
Law Clerk, The Honorable John M. Maloney, Montgomery County Circuit Court
“I am excited to get immediate courtroom exposure. The skills I will learn as a law clerk are skills that I will take with me for the rest of my career.” Chadwick interned his 1L summer at the Office of Military Commissions, Office of Convening Authority. He also volunteered with the D.C. Appellate Mediation Program.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Dorothy M. Engel, Prince George's County Circuit Court, Maryland
Aubrey aims to have a legal career as a prosecutor in Maryland. To that end, she will be clerking for CUA Law alumna, Judge Dorothy M. Engel, next year. “I am excited to be working in the judicial system in Maryland, particularly in Prince George’s County,” says Aubrey. During law school, Aubrey’s experiences included being a Congressional intern, serving as a law clerk at the DC Office of Police Complaints, and participating in the Montgomery County Criminal Prosecution Clinic.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Mark Crooks, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, Maryland
During law school, Rebecca has served in several public interest positions including the Office of the Public Defender for Anne Arundel County, the Office of the States' Attorney for Montgomery County, and a judicial internship for the Honorable Rudolph Contreras in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. At Catholic, Rebecca was involved in the Student Bar Association as Vice President for Student Affairs and was an active member of Students for Public Interest Law and the Women's Law Caucus. She volunteered for various organizations such as the Washington Lawyers' Committee Workers' Rights Clinic and the D.C. Landlord Tenant Clinic. After clerking, Rebecca plans to pursue a career as a public defender. "I am very passionate about Maryland policy and excited to learn from some of the best attorneys in my home state through my clerkship," said Rebecca.
Law Clerk, The Honorable John P. Davey, Prince George's County Circuit Court, Maryland
“I’m excited to work under an experienced judge and observe the trial process in a new light. I’m looking forward to getting an in-depth look into relevant legal issues that affect the community.” Claudia brings to her clerkship the experience of interning at the Arlington Circuit Court her 1L summer.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Paul B. Matey, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2020-2021); The Honorable S. Kyle Duncan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (2021-2022)
Anika is very thankful to begin her legal career clerking for two judges at the federal appellate level. “My goal is to become an appellate lawyer, and I feel that I have been handed the best gift to see the day-to-day workings of two Circuit courts. I hope that by observing my judges I can learn what makes a strong argument and become a winsome advocate for my future clients and the causes I care about,” says Anika. During law school, Anika interned at DC Superior Court and Christian Legal Aid of DC. She also participated in CUA Law’s Veterans' Clinic at CUA Law. But her favorite pro bono opportunity was assisting with an amicus brief before the Supreme Court.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Jill R. Cummins, Montgomery County Circuit Court, Maryland
Kelsey interned for Judge Cummins her 1L summer, and is excited to return to her chambers. “I hope to learn even more about the litigation process by working directly with the Judge to draft decisions and decide matters before the court.” Following her 1L summer judicial internship, Kelsey continued working at the court with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office in its felony division. As a 2L, Kelsey interned with the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. Kelsey’s pro bono work during law school also included assisting with Prof. Ogilvy’s Innocence Project Clinic and Clemency Project.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Michael R. Pearson, Prince George's County Circuit Court, Maryland
Casey will be joining the chambers of Judge Pearson at Prince George’s County Circuit Court in the fall. She recognizes this will be an uniquely challenging time to work in the courthouse: “I hope that during my year there, I can assist in whatever way possible with rehabilitating the justice system after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the court system...I hope to help get everyone through these unprecedented times by being a helpful point of communication for parties to litigation going forward and an efficient law clerk getting work done behind the scenes to help everything move forward smoothly.” Casey was very involved in service and pro bono during law school as well. She participated in the VITA Tax Clinic and DC Alternative Spring Break with D.C. Law Students in Court, she engaged fellow students in public interest and community service as Vice President of SPIL, and she interned for the Honorable Patricia A. Broderick at DC Superior Court.