Rutgers Law student Ashley Maddison '19 answered five questions about her summer internship.
1) What is your summer job and what are you doing there?
This summer, I had the privilege of working at Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP), the designated protection and advocacy organization for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. DRP focuses on ensuring that adults and children with disabilities receive equal treatment and access to public accommodations, and safe and appropriate services. I provided support in the areas of legal research, drafting documents including informational publications, following up with clients to gather more information after initial intake, assisting with assessing sites for accessibility, and reviewing suggested policy comments.
2) How did Rutgers Law School help you get this summer internship?
Through the Social Justice Scholars Program, Rutgers matched me with a faculty mentor who met with me to help guide my search for a summer internship, as well as my career path generally. She suggested various organizations that matched my strengths and interests so I could begin to research them and apply. I also received support through our career development office during the application process. DRP hired me for their internship through the Greater Philadelphia Area Law Schools, Public Interest/Public Service Job Fair. Rutgers also provided me with a stipend for my otherwise unpaid work this summer through Maida Public Interest Funding.
3) What activities are you involved in at law school?
Currently, I am a Social Justice Scholar, Mediation Pro Bono Project volunteer, Association for Public Interest Law marketing/fundraising chair, and secretary for the Women’s Law Caucus. I am also an Estates and Trusts teaching assistant, and I will be helping organize our Pro Bono Estate Planning Project. My favorite activity from last year was participating in I Dare to Care Academy through Women’s Law Caucus. I Dare to Care is a mentoring program for girls ages 7 to 18 that focuses on relationship building and empowerment. I also volunteered with the Voters Rights Project, registering voters on campus and at the Camden County jail.
4) Where are you from? Where did earn your undergraduate degree? Why did you pick Rutgers Law?
I grew up in Kirkwood, N.J., and attended Drexel University for my undergraduate degree. Prior to law school, I worked for social service organizations in South Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Waco, Tx. I first became interested in Rutgers Law because I dreamed of returning to South Jersey and serving the community there. I was especially interested in its commitment to service to the local community, and when I was invited to apply to the Social Justice Scholars Program, I knew I belonged at Rutgers. The program seemed like it was custom-made for me, and it offered me a cohort of like-minded law students and extra resources to help pursue my dream of a career in public interest.
5) How will this summer's experience help you in your future legal career?
This summer's experience offered me one-on-one experience working with extremely talented, knowledgeable attorneys, and I really feel like the relationships that began to form will be the most valuable assets for my future. I received practical tips, feedback on writing, and plenty of support. Being able to work on many different projects and cases in various stages of completion also helped me gain perspective on various issues facing the disability community and the ways in which legal professionals can help address those issues through both education and litigation.