From left, striped shirt Andrea de la Torre, Kenya Whitaker, Genesis Aguirre Guerra, Shelley Broderick, Stella Iweh, Robert Ward, and Nija Bastfield.

In Spring 2023, eleven UDC Law students are enrolled in the externship seminar, engaging in legal work with DC Circuit and DC Superior Court judges, public interest organizations, and federal and local government agencies. Professor Shelley Broderick teaches the externship course this semester and shares with us these summaries and photographs of the students’ externship experiences this semester.  

Genesis Aguirre Guerra served her externship at Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition which strives to ensure equal justice for all immigrant adults and children at risk of detention and deportation in the National Capital region area and beyond through direct legal representation, know your rights presentations, impact litigation, advocacy, and the enlistment and training of attorneys to defend immigrants. Her major undertakings this semester included travel to a Pennsylvania Detention Center to assist in seeking release on bond for a Mexican client. For this, she researched alternative methods to secure release without appearing before a judge in immigration court. Genesis also assisted in an asylum case where a Honduran mother and her children escaped physical violence from her ex-partner. Using her trauma-informed skills homed in prior internships and the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, Genesis interviewed the clients and various relatives to draft several declarations regarding the abuse that they experienced or witnessed. 

Nija Bastfield served her externship at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, whose mission is to handle all local trial matters, including civil, criminal, family court, probate, tax, landlord-tenant, small claims, and traffic. The Superior Court hosts several initiatives and collaborative projects designed to improve service to the public. This semester, Nija’s major undertaking was to draft compassionate release orders determining whether to release defendants serving significant jail time so that they may avail themselves of the resources, services, and supports necessary to re-enter society successfully. 

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