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
My name is Reina Oliver, and I am a sophomore at Saint John’s College High School. For my freshman year I have enrolled in general education but for my sophomore year plan to go for AP classes, and am a Girl Scout and a Jack and Jill of America member. I attended the Maryland Leadership Workshop at the Washington College in Chesterfield, MD. While i was there, I learned about myself and how others perceive me, how I can influence change in a positive way, how biases and stereotypes can hurt people in our community and the world, and how to communicate in an effective way. I also attended the University of Maryland Cybersecurity Camp. I learned so much about my Internet footprint, cryptology, the dangers of social media, programing, animation, digital art etc. My community service background includes being in Girl Scouts and Jack and Jill. In Girl Scouts, I have earned both my Bronze and Silver Awards for community service and I’m starting to work on my Gold Award this year. My two favorite projects were the beautification of a church courtyard in honor of the minister who passed away and helping kids and families at the Ronald McDonald’s house. At my old middle school, i used to spend my time helping out the school’s aftercare service with the smaller kids.
Class of 2020
Class of 2022
Hi, my name is Sophie Billings, I am 13 years old and live in Upper Marlboro Maryland. I am an uprising freshman in Elizabeth Seton high school. I got excepted into the pre-law program and will be doing that this year with all my other extracurricular activities including dance and swimming. I was on honor roll my entire eighth-grade year and have also been accepted to my local public schools IB program.
My favorite things to do are helping other less fortunate people and doing sports and activities. I am very excited about entering high school and finally getting to study law which has been something I have loved learning about at the Georgetown University Leadership Initiatives Camp. Working on real cases and getting to research and talking with all these intriguing speakers. I am extremely grateful for every opportunity I have been given and can’t wait to pursue my dream in law!
Class of 2020
My name is Stephanie Odom, and I am a junior at Bishop Moore Catholic High School. In my high school career, I have taken multiple AP history and political classes. I also spent over a month in between my freshman and sophomore year studying the power of political ideas at Brown University. I am the proud captain of Bishop Moore’s Speech and Debate team and one of the presidents of Hornet Model United Nations. Being on the Debate team since my freshman year has not only helped me with my argumentation building and public speaking, but it helped me determine and also confirmed what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and that is to speak for those without a voice. As for Model United Nations, it has helped my understanding of International Relations and has taught me how got work with other people to find the best global solutions. I have had much success in both of these teams and have competed on the national level in both programs, My community service background includes volunteering as a teacher’s assistant at a K-8 school for children with special needs called UCP, helping the homeless at the Orlando Mission, creating new soaps and hygiene products at clean the world, and even creating a group at my school called HOPE which stands for helping others to protect the enslaved. This group focuses on those who are victims of sexual assault, abuse, and human trafficking. I am truly happy that I get to work with the LI law program, and look forward to doing what I always knew that I wanted to do. Speak for those without a voice.
Class of 2021
Hello, my name is Taylor Robinson, and I go to Elizabeth Seton High School. I am currently a rising sophomore. When I was younger, I was in a girl scout troop for about six years, and that has taught me a lot of the leadership skills that I have now. In eighth grade, I was accepted into the Junior National Honors Society because of my leadership qualities and because of my grades. This year I have done a lot of volunteer work with different programs. For example, I have worked with Sandwiches for S.O.M.E. which makes and delivers peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to those who are in need of a meal. I have also volunteered at my dance studio which is called The Washington Ballet. Here I taught kids from the ages of 7-10 how to do ballet. These kids came from less fortunate communities, and each of them received a scholarship to come dance. I enjoyed that a lot because I was introducing them to new things that they might have never tried before. I also love working with our youth because they have the brightest minds and you can learn a lot from them. This summer, I participated in a law camp because I want to make a difference in my community through the federal justice system. I think that if a person wants to succeed in life, then the key is to stop, step back from what they are doing, and look at life differently. I say that to say, we live in a beautiful country, but there are always ways to make it better. We can make it better by helping people realize that it is not about just themselves but it is about their community.
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