Advanced Law & Trial Internship Summit
Our Case: Gender Disparity Lawsuit
Our Internship Court Case
Gender disparity, discrimination, and sexual harassment have been found to be widespread throughout the National Park Service (NPS). Thirty-nine percent of NPS employees say they have experienced harassment or discrimination on the job.
Although women who work for NPS have made clear they have the ability to perform with the same skill and success in every endeavor engaged in by males in their position, the issue of gender discrimination still holds many back. The NPS is failing to provide a fair and inclusive environments for all employees across the country.
We met with Senators, Representatives and congressional staff members to advocate for our client. We explained to congressional members how our client has been treated unfairly and has been subject to employment discrimination and reprisal in her attempts to become the Regional Chief Ranger of the National Capitol Region.
Our client is still fighting against discrimination. This case is currently seeking further legal action and is likely to proceed to litigation sometime within the next year. We have the opportunity to continue working on her case as interns during the summer of 2019.
In total, three Senators, eight Representatives, and eighteen congressional staff members spoke directly with students about the case our client was bringing against the National Parks Service as we demanded fair treatment for her and all people working in NPS.
Case Research And Advocacy
We worked with lead attorney David P. Weber to examine complex case documents, explore legal precedent, conduct thorough legal research, and advocate for our client on Capitol Hill.
We worked tirelessly to prepare documents and advocacy strategies for our client, one of the first Chief Rangers in NPS history.
As a team, we gained valuable real-life experience as we worked on what could be a historic case for gender equality.
As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we focused our efforts on a gender discrimination case that was brought forth by a high ranking official from the National Park Service.
Case Research and Preparation
Through discussing the case with the client, learning how to use law databases, and developing a list of relevant cases, we learned how to effectively research and prepare for discrimination cases.
After meeting with our client, David P. Weber and his team taught us how to conduct basic legal research using WestLaw. Throughout the week, we reviewed relevant cases in order to find legal precedent which could benefit her case in court.
The client then went on to describe how the discrimination occurred and the specific factors of discrimination she faced after the event. She went into detail on how workplace discrimination is currently impacting her life, and how she hopes her case will make a difference and change government policies.
We met with our client in order to hear her side of the story. When meeting with her and her husband, we learned about our client’s personal background and employment history within the NPS, as well as the perceived discrimination within the NPS itself.
Case Advocacy On Capitol Hill
Throughout the internship, we were trained in effective ways to advocate on Capitol Hill and prepared for our congressional audience by developing solid briefing materials. The focus of the materials and the overall messaging of the meeting was on improving working conditions for women in the National Parks Service and advocating on behalf of the client.
Legal research and evidence of discrimination that our client has endured were presented to Congressional Representatives and Senators. We highlighted the facts of our client’s case and advocated for possible solutions to the broader problem of gender discrimination that NPS is experiencing around the country.
Meeting with multiple members of Congress allowed us to demonstrate the importance of our client’s case. For many, it helped show them that the issue of gender discrimination in the NPS is an issue that their constituents care about. By advocating for our client, we fulfilled a civic duty and showed our representatives that this is an issue which needs to be addressed within the NPS and the country.
Being able to advocate and experience Capitol Hill on the inside with such access offered a new perspective for everyone on the team. Most people do not get to meet with representatives in this way. The most valuable lesson we learned through advocating for our client and meeting representatives was how much we can accomplish together.
Georgetown University Law Center
Oral Argument Preparation at the
At the end of the week, we presented our research findings to the client at the Georgetown University Law Center's Moot Courtroom. The team had prepared oral arguments for three different cases which were helpful in setting a good precedent in our client’s case. The team had been conducting research throughout the week, as well as meeting with experts in order to learn how to present our findings.
The presentations were set up to resemble an appellate court system. Our team sat at the counsel table and each of us presented our arguments at the podium. Our team was given thirty minutes to present arguments and ten minutes to receive feedback from David P. Weber.
We played a crucial part in the legal strategy of our client's case. In future legal action, the arguments made during this presentation will be considered as they strongly pertain to the client's case.
After the presentation of arguments, the client stated that she felt relieved to have such thorough research and advocacy completed on her behalf.
Our team gained a valuable perspective on how to present oral arguments in real life. We also learned how to complete successful research and advocacy, as well as how to successfully speak in front of a judge and our peers.
Our Client Advocacy Team
Class of 2020
I am Mike O’Shea, I am a junior at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, IL. In my school community, I am involved in National Honor Society, Math Team, and attend many Leadership Workshops. Along with these activities I am a starter on the Varsity baseball team at St. Laurence. I challenge myself everyday during school, by taking all honors courses, and am currently ranked number one in my class. Along with school, I do volunteer work around my town and help in any way possible.
Class of 2019
Anna Captain is a member of the Class of 2019 at Lake Washington High School. She currently serves as Senior Class President but has taken on past roles that include Junior Class Vice President and Clubs Commissioner. She is also President of her school’s Philosophy Club, which placed in finals at the Washington state high school ethics bowl. Outside of her professional life Anna loves to write and has been written for several publications including HelloGiggles. Among other passions, Anna has interned with a state senate campaign, Thrive Causemetics, and was nominated for Running Start’s 2018 Young Woman to Watch Award.
Class of 2020
My name is Melissa. I am a rising junior. I play soccer, do mock trial, and track. I volunteer at my local church for two hours every Sunday. This is my first time working with Leadership Initiatives and it has made me really passionate about law. My favorite intern is Stella (actually it’s Isa lol)
Class of 2020
My name is Emma Mayo and I am a rising junior. I attend a rigorous magnet school in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I have spent the majority of my life growing up. I love to write and do research, and hope to pursue an education and career in the Legal Field. I am a big believer in being heavily involved in the community and various extracurricular activities. Personally, I am a member of my school’s Hispanic Student Union, National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Bible Club, and Mock Trial Team. Besides these activities, I am an active member of a religious youth group.
Class of 2019
Hello, I’m Ella Farrell, and I’m a rising senior at Los Alamitos High School in Orange County, California. At school, I am a member of the dance team, student government, and many clubs including Spanish Honors Society and the California Scholarship Foundation. Outside of school, I am a member of a pre-professional dance company. On average, I dance approximately 25 hours per week. In addition to these hours, I’m also part-time dance instructor for younger children in styles such as ballet, jazz, and tap. I also partner with Leadership Initiatives through the International Business Internship Program. In the next few years, I’m hoping to study international affairs and business in college.
Case Accomplishments And Updates
This case has the potential to establish legal precedent in favor of women who face gender discrimination in the workplace, whether it is within the NPS or in another field.
If our case is successful, this case will be used to ensure equal payment, equal evaluations and equal promotions for millions of women who work within the United States government. Changing forever how women may advance in our society.
National Park Service
The day after the Advanced Law and Trail Summit students met with congressional officials on their client's behalf, the Deputy Director of the National Park Service sent out an anti-harassment statement and anti-gender discrimination statement to all National Park Service employees.
This was the first time in the history that National Park Service sent out an email of this nature.
With this case proceeding to further legal action, the client is focusing on her current position as a director within the National Park Service.
The client continues to advocate for other female National Park Service employees working to ensure they are treated fairly and have a support network within the organization.
Due to the success of the internship summit, program sponsors will be expanding the program to fund whistleblower cases that affect the national discourse.
Leading high school students from across the United States will be able to work directly on cases that impact the nation for years to come.
Goodwin Weber PLLC Internship Highlights
Since this case is ongoing, we have to opportunity to return next summer to continue our internship with Goodwin Weber PLLC and help our client find justice with her fight against gender discrimination.
In the final presentation, we presented Goodwin Weber PLLC with three cases that would strategically prove legal precedent in our client’s favor.
Our team meet with several key congressional officials to gain support for our client and fight against gender disparity and discrimination. We created briefings for congress members and staff so they could clearly grasp the unfair treatment our client is facing.
As a team, we read through many complex case documents and used WestLaw to research legal precedent for our client.
Our team interned for Goodwin Weber PLLC. We worked with top attorney David P. Weber and focused our efforts on a Gender Disparity case brought against the National Park Service.
At The National Parks Service
Direct advocacy on Capitol Hill is one of the most powerful and advantageous ways to advance and impact legislative policy priorities.
We pushed lawmakers to publicly support our client and left them with all the tools and information necessary for them to create an informed opinion.
As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we became immersed in the facts of our client’s gender discrimination case against the National Parks Service. By the end of our internship, we were uniquely qualified to communicate with Congress about effective policies to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.
the Deputy Director of the National Park Service sent out an anti-harassment statement
and anti-gender discrimination statement to all National Parks Service employees.
Twenty-four hours after we meet with members of Congress on our client's behalf
Legal Expert Panel
Partner at Barnes & Thornburg
Former US Attorney For The District of Columbia
Roscoe C. Howard, Jr.
Public Defender Service
Sarah C. Stiles, Ph.D., J.D.
Roscoe Howard, Jr. is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg’s Litigation Department in their Washington, D.C., office. He is a member of the White Collar and Investigations Practice Group. Dan Pond is a criminal defense attorney who has dedicated his career to working as a public defender representing indigent people at all stages of the criminal justice system, from initial arrest through trial and incarceration, and eventually back into the community.
Professor Sarah Stiles of Georgetown University lead our team to engage in a debate between Roscoe C. Howard, Jr. and Dan Pond on their different points of view of law and their experiences as a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor. We had the opportunity to ask questions about difficult cases which enabled us to understand the ethical aspects of the justice system better.
We learned about topics such as civil and criminal law, human rights, the distinctions between state, federal, and local laws, felonies and misdemeanors, and other facets of the legal system. We were even briefed on crime scene and homicide investigations. We now have a better understanding of the justice system and ethical and political issues associated with policing.
Two District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Officers visited to discuss how local government and law enforcement officials work in the nation's capital. The discussion was delivered by experienced senior police officers who brought a wealth of theoretical and practical knowledge to enhance our understanding of the law.
Courtney exposed our team to the idea of the school-to-prison pipeline and the ‘War on Drugs’ that targets black men, women, and children, to a greater extent than others in our society.
He brought with him recently released inmates who spoke out about their criminal history and their life before, during, and after prison.
Listening to the returning citizens speak out about their experiences and gave our team a deeper understanding of how important it is that all people are properly represented in the court of law.
National Re-Entry Panel
in Washington, D.C. is a prison reform advocate who was released from prison in 1985.
Courtney Stewart who chairs the National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens