Service is at the core of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law’s mission. As such, Catholic Law is especially proud of our 2021 graduates who will begin their legal careers in the furtherance of the public good (reported as of May 2021). They will be serving in state and federal government, prosecutor's offices, branches of the U.S. military, state and federal courts, and D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department.
In these jobs, they will build upon the pro bono, clinical, and other public interest/public service experiences they have had while in law school. "During times of great turmoil, our responsibility to serve is even more critical. We can only achieve significant change if we are willing to invest our time and talents to take the first step," notes Tonya Gaskins, Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development.
Assistant District Attorney, New York County District Attorney
In law school, Abigail gained valuable public service experience. She interned with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She also volunteered pro bono with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, The Veterans Consortium, The People’s Law Library of Maryland, and Christian Legal Aid of DC. After graduation, Abigail will continue to serve as an Assistant District Attorney in New York. “I am excited to pursue justice and safety for my community. I look forward to advocating for victims and ensuring that the rights of all who are involved in the criminal justice system are protected, without exception,” says Abigail.
Aimee Nicole Solano
Law Clerk, The Honorable Tania M.L. Saylor, Fairfax Circuit Court (19th Judicial Circuit)
Aimee is “enthusiastic to work for Judge Saylor and serve in Virginia Circuit Court in Fairfax” after graduation. She will be building on two prior judicial internship experiences, one with Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and another with Judge Zuberi Williams in the District Court of Maryland. Aimee also gained experience in law school at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, at a consumer protection firm in Northern Virginia, and most recently in CCLS’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. Additionally, she volunteered at a Wills for Veterans Clinic, with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic, and as a leader and teacher in Catholic Law’s Street Law program.
Amanda Jo Holbrook
Attorney, Intensive Deputy Attorney General Program, Indiana Office of the Attorney General
Amanda has long wanted to work in government and had multiple government internships while in law school. She worked at the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate, gaining skills in advising, policy, congressional hearings, investigations, legislation, federal litigation, military commissions, operations, and oversight. After law school, Amanda will return home to Indiana to serve her fellow Hoosiers in Indiana’s top legal office. “None of my grandparents had a college education. All they wanted was for us all to have a better life, and with my job at the Attorney General’s Office, I will accomplish being the first professional in my family—the first lawyer,” says Amanda.
Brigid Catherine Sawyer
Law Clerk, The Honorable Jeannie E. Cho, Montgomery County Circuit Court
In law school, Brigid was a leader in public interest initiatives and gained substantial public service experience. She interned with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Brigid also participated in CCLS’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and volunteered pro bono with the Human Rights Defense Center and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. On campus, Brigid was an active member of Students for Public Interest Law (SPIL). In advance of the 2020 election, Brigid collaborated with Catholic Law peers and Howard Law students to create Law Students Protect the Vote, a student-led initiative that brought law students together to help ensure that every eligible voter can exercise their right to vote. “All of these experiences helped develop my research skills and my commitment to public service,” says Brigid. “I believe I am well prepared for the challenging and rewarding work of being a clerk due to these opportunities.”
Law Clerk, The Honorable Peter J. Phipps, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Caitlin’s first practical legal experience in law school was interning during her 1L summer for Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. As a 2L she also served the public by interning at the U.S. Department of Labor in the Office of the Solicitor, working on various employment and administrative law issues, including those arising from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, Caitlin feels “very fortunate to have the opportunity to clerk for a federal appellate judge straight out of law school. I'm looking forward to working closely with Judge Phipps, and I hope that the experience will help strengthen my abilities as a lawyer so I can serve as the best advocate possible for my future clients.”
Law Clerk, The Honorable William R. Greer, Charles County Circuit Court
Caroline will begin her legal career as a law clerk for Judge William Greer in Charles County, Maryland. “I am looking forward to spending so much time in the courtroom,” says Caroline. In law school, Caroline focused her public service in the area of tax law. She was a student attorney in CCL's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic for three semesters. She also volunteered pro bono through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program for two tax seasons.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Kenneth D. Bell, The U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
Emmett will begin his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Kenneth D. Bell. “I am excited about the opportunity to learn from a federal judge about what makes an effective advocate,” says Emmett. While in law school, Emmett participated in CCLS’s Veterans Advocacy and Estate Planning Clinic. He also interned with Judge Broderick at D.C. Superior Court and with the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of General Counsel.
Erica Lizette Barrera
Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps
Erica was very engaged in pro bono and public service while in law school and will continue her service in the U.S. Army JAG Corps after graduation. She will bring to the Corps experiences interning with a criminal defense attorney, the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office’s Domestic Violence Bureau, FEMA Headquarters, and–her favorite internship–the U.S. Coast Guard JAG Corps. Erica also represented clients in tax controversies as part of the CCLS Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. “It was the first time I felt like I was doing something important,” Erica says. She added that her pro bono experiences were "truly the best part of my law school career." Erica volunteered with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic, conducting intake interviews with Spanish-speaking workers to identify relevant legal issues and facilitating discussions between attorneys and the workers. She also volunteered with the Election Protection Hotline, the D.C. Court of Appeals Appellate Mediation Program, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center Advice & Referral Clinic, and the Neighborhood Legal Services Program Wills for Veterans Clinic. “These programs really helped me feel more confident during my law school career since I did not know any attorneys before starting law school. I had no legal experience and these programs gave me a good introduction.”
Assistant District Attorney, Bronx County District Attorney's Office
Garrett was engaged in service throughout law school. He interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and practiced as a student attorney in both CCLS’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and Catholic Law’s Criminal Prosecution Clinic. He also interned with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office, where he will work after graduation. “I look forward to utilizing my unique experiences and skills to serve the people of The Bronx,” says Garrett. “The Bronx County District Attorney Office is on the forefront of the fight for justice and I hope to help victims and communities heal.”
Greta M. Chwalek
Law Clerk, The Honorable Richard E. Gardiner, Fairfax Circuit Court (19th Judicial Circuit)
Greta is honored to clerk for Judge Gardiner in Fairfax County next year. “I am excited to serve the public and gain experience with various substantive areas of law,” Greta says. Greta already has significant legal experience, having worked full time throughout law school as a law clerk at a commercial real estate firm. She also made time for pro bono, volunteering with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) to assemble information about state taxation of homestead benefits.
Attorney, U.S Department of Navy, Office of General Counsel
Helena will begin her legal career as a lawyer for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), working on everything from counterintelligence to civilian personnel law. “I clerked for this office my 2L summer and loved the individuals I worked alongside. I have always wanted to get into the national security law area,” she says. In law school, Helena also interned in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation.
Holly Melissa Tripp
Law Clerk, The Honorable Robert D. Okun, Superior Court for the District of Columbia
Holly gained valuable public service experiences in law school through several internships, clinics, and volunteer opportunities. She interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Alexandria Public Defender’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section. She volunteered in a Wills for Veterans Clinic and a Workers’ Rights Clinic, and was co-president of Catholic Law’s Street Law, which combined her love of the law with her passion for teaching. Holly’s favorite law school experience was participating in Catholic Law’s Criminal Prosecution Clinic. “I was able to try my own cases and really develop my skills in a courtroom,” she says. In the fall, Holly will begin clerking for Judge Okun in D.C. Superior Court. She hopes to follow in his footsteps to become a prosecutor in D.C. or Maryland.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Stacy A. Mayer, Baltimore County Circuit Court
Hunter taught Theology and English full time at Bishop McNamara High School throughout law school. He also volunteered with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Now, this aspiring litigator will be working with Judge Stacey Mayer in Baltimore County Circuit Court. “I hope to gain insights into the judicial process, get exposure to various trial techniques, and deepen my knowledge of criminal and civil matters,” Hunter shared.
Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps
Ikrom is excited to be part of the JAG Corps and is looking forward to serving again with his fellow service members in the U.S. Army. While in law school, Ikrom interned with the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and at a distinguished JAG office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “Both of my internships helped me gain more practical experience about the Military Justice system and further solidified my commitment to service after law school,” says Ikrom. In addition to his internships, Ikrom also participated in CCLS’s Veterans Advocacy and Estate Planning Clinic and volunteered with The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.
Jonathan Michael Dorrough
Captain, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
After law school, Jonathan will continue to serve in D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department as he has throughout law school. “I hope to make meaningful contributions to the field of policing—to be an informed and reasoned voice in the dialogue about the role of policing in society, to be a leader in developing a capable and just police force, and to build legitimacy and trust in the communities we serve while preserving public order and safety,” Jonathan says.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Shirley M. Watts, Court of Appeals of Maryland
Maggie kept busy in law school with many service experiences. She served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Peter J. Messitte in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, as a legal extern in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, as an intern in the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, as a law clerk at the Congressional Research Service, as a legal extern at the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser, and as a Student Attorney in the Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic at Columbus Community Legal Services. After graduation, Maggie will be serving as a law clerk for Judge Watts in Maryland’s Court of Appeals. “I feel incredibly excited about this intellectual opportunity,” Maggie says.
Law Clerk, U.S. Government Accountability Office
“While in law school, I held five federal internships in different areas of law including labor and employment, contract and disbarment, and appropriations. Each experience gave me insights as to where I could best utilize my skills to help make a difference,” Mary says. She is now looking forward to her future in the federal government with the U.S. GAO, where she will be providing legal advice, analysis, and services to the Comptroller General, GAO analysts assessing federal programs, and Congress in a variety of areas funded by American tax dollars. Mary also gained experience in law school volunteering with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic.
Law Clerk, The Honorable Judge Michael Devine, Fairfax Circuit Court (19th Judicial Circuit)
As a future family law attorney, Monica is looking forward to her judicial clerkship in Fairfax County, where she plans to practice. During her 1L summer, Monica interned at a Fairfax County family law firm and volunteered in Neighborhood Legal Services Program’s Family Law Unit. She later participated in CCLS’s Families and the Law Clinic, where she argued and won a custody and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status case for her client. Monica also participated in the D.C. Superior Court Domestic Violence Clinic and the D.C. Superior Court Attorney Negotiation Project.
Legislative Assistant, U.S. House of Representatives
After graduation, Patrick will continue his government service as a Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Betty McCollum, for whom he handles a portfolio of legislative issues. Patrick held this job during law school as an evening student.
Richard M. Couch
Law Clerk, The Honorable Edward H. Meyers, Court of Federal Claims
“I'm thrilled to clerk for CUA Law Alumnus Judge Meyers this fall, and look forward to applying the legal research and writing skills I developed at CUA Law,” Richard says. As a law student, Richard interned with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of General Counsel, the ProSe Staff Attorney’s Office for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce
After graduation, Ryan will continue his legal career with the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), where he worked during law school as an evening student. He will advise NTIA leadership on various policy issues, including information privacy, government surveillance and access to data, and artificial intelligence. Ryan is excited to advocate for “technology policy that is fair, equitable, and respects human rights.”
Law Clerk, The Honorable Michael R. Pearson, Prince George’s County Circuit Court
In law school, Shala interned at the Health Justice Alliance Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center and with the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in their Economic Securities Unit. She also participated in CCLS’s Families and the Law Clinic. Now, says Shala, “I am excited to be in the courtroom to examine cases from all sides” as she decides “which is the best route for me to take in my legal career to effectuate great change for the everyday person.”
Law Clerk, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
In the fall, Svantje will be clerking for an administrative law judge on the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, an independent adjudicative agency that provides administrative trial and appellate review of legal disputes arising under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. Svantje is “excited to dive deeply into administrative law tribunals.” In law school, Svantje interned at the Office of the Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for Judge Wingo, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Assistant Public Defender, Prince William County, Virginia
Yasmine entered law school to dedicate her life to protecting marginalized communities of color from the systems in place designed to harm them. As a child of Muslim immigrants who fled the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Yasmine has had a deep passion for advocacy, justice, and assisting vulnerable peoples through matters that impact their freedom. During law school, Yasmine interned with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Arlington Public Defender, FEMA, and the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Office of the DHS. She logged over 1,000 pro bono hours through these experiences. After graduation, Yasmine will get the chance to exact her passions and use her Farsi language skills in her dream role as an Assistant Public Defender I in her own community of Northern Virginia.