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News | June 30, 2016

Navy JAG Corps Summer Interns 2016

By Navy JAG Corps Public Affairs

Julianne Surane, Chapman University Fowler School of Law Region Legal Service Office Southeast “Law has always fascinated me. The art of debate, reading, writing, and articulating my point to serve a purpose I believe in are aspects that I look for in a career. I aspire to not only serve my country, but to be challenged every day through discipline and hard work while holding myself to the highest standard. I applied to the Navy JAG Corps Intern program because I wanted to best utilize my talents to develop a proficiency in a variety of knowledge fields in order to serve the purpose I believe in and help further my dream to become a United States Navy JAG.”

Chris Burks, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic "I spent almost nine years as a Marine adjutant and legal officer, deploying twice to Afghanistan with an infantry battalion, aboard ship on a Marine Expeditionary Unit, training and advising in multiple foreign countries. My experiences advising my commanders on military justice matters and working alongside staff judge advocates in the Marine Corps led me to pursue a law degree and service as a judge advocate in the military.  I applied for the Navy JAG Corps Summer Internship Program because I wanted the opportunity to experience first-hand the Navy JAG community and learn from the outstanding naval officers and attorneys and from the experienced Legalmen within a Navy trial shop.   With my background in military justice I've been able to review investigations and evidence, contact witnesses and victims, draft charges, and prepare prosecutorial merit memoranda for review and feedback from senior attorneys. I have also participated in trial as a government representative, and gained other courtroom experience.   This experience is exactly what I was looking for and more, and has reinforced my desire to apply for and serve as a Navy JAG upon graduation from law school."

Robin Mills, Texas A&M University School of Law Naval Air Station Corpus Christi "I hope to join the Navy JAG Corps upon graduation from law school. I want a career where I am serving my country and those who sacrifice their lives to do the same. I admire the honor, tradition, and structure the military offers, and I appreciate the team-oriented perspective the military has, utilizing each service member where his or her skills are best applied. Most of my life I have been traveling and experiencing different cultures statewide and abroad. I love learning and challenging myself with new situations. The JAG Corps would allow me to continue that lifestyle by moving to a variety of locations and practicing multiple areas of law. I am grateful for the opportunity to intern this summer and have enjoyed my time and the experience."

Jonathon Welsh, University of Illinois College of Law Defense Service Office North "I chose to apply to the Navy JAG Corps internship program because the prospect of becoming a JAG was the reason I entered law school. All of my prior work experience had been service-based, and I wanted to focus on a career that would afford me the opportunity to represent clients that I truly respected. To me, there is no greater joy than serving and working alongside our men and women in uniform. This summer, I hope to gain some valuable experience that will help me along the path to that goal."

Amelia Lyte, Rutgers Law School Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic "I applied to the Navy JAG internship program because I want to serve as a JAG officer once I graduate law school. This internship is an amazing opportunity to experience what the job is really like and to help me determine if the JAG is the right place for me. This summer I am excited for the opportunity to learn more about the JAG and to gain valuable experience that I can carry through the rest of my legal career."

Justin A. Pipkins, Cumberland School of Law Samford University Region Legal Service Office Southeast "I applied to the Navy JAG Corps intern program to gain first-hand insight into the career I seek, which is serving as a U.S. Navy JAG. Coming from a family that cannot afford legal services has inspired me to promote public service, practice law, and commit myself to doing well for others. It is important to me that my job challenges me mentally, professionally, and physically in a positive way. The Navy JAG internship program offers me an unparalleled opportunity to immediately apply the skills I learn to the work that I do. I am eager to learn the day-to-day duties of a Navy JAG and experience multiple areas of the law while learning, understanding, and contributing to the mission of the United States Navy. I applied to the program so I could work hard, listen, learn, integrate, and serve."

Valerie Chartier, Florida State University College of Law  Force Judge Advocate for the Naval Education and Training Command "I applied to the Navy JAG Corps intern program to get a glimpse into the life of serving as a Naval officer and judge advocate. I hope to leave this summer with a better understanding of the mission of the United States Navy, how the military justice system functions, and what the responsibilities are for a Navy JAG officer.  I'm looking forward to learning from Capt. Michael Palmer this summer.

Robert E Neal, Emory University School of Law Region Legal Service Office Northwest "My grandfather served as a physician aboard the USS Lansdale in WWII, and I have always admired his choice to use his education and training to serve his country. I am interested in doing the same in the Navy JAG Corps. This summer internship program offers a great way to experience the breadth of work that a Navy JAG will perform, and showcases many of the unique aspects of being a lawyer in the military. It is also an incredible opportunity to work with attorneys who are dedicated to practicing law with honesty, integrity, character, and pride. I couldn't be more excited and thankful to spend the summer learning from everyone in the RLSO NW office!"

Eric Ding, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law Region Legal Service Office Southeast "I knew that I wanted to be a JAG officer before I even took the LSAT. Interning in the JAG office opened my eyes to various ethical and military issues. This internship was a wonderful experience and gave me a taste of a JAG officer's life!"

Catherine Thompson, University of Virginia  Chief of Naval Personnel Legal "The Navy JAG Corps presents an opportunity to explore several varied and unique practice areas relatively early in my legal career in a mission-focused working environment. It also presents an opportunity for an exciting adventure in service to my country.  I am strongly considering applying to join the Navy JAG Corps after graduation, so I wanted to explore the field first-hand through a summer internship."

Kenneth B. Haesly, SMU Dedman School of Law Defense Service Office Southeast  "I applied for the Navy Jag Corps internship program because I wish to one day join the Navy as a judge advocate. I also wanted to be part of a team in a high pressure and unique legal environment, where I could learn from some of the best lawyers and leaders in the world, and challenge myself in various areas of the law. Upon completion of this internship, I hope to utilize what I have learned and experienced in order to benefit my law school community at SMU. I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside and learn from the men and women who serve our country, and I hope to continue to do so in the future."

Annica Mae Mattus, American University Washington College of Law Defense Service Office West "Since I was in high school, I have wanted to be a JAG officer. I always knew that I wanted to help others and my strongest skills were in reading and writing. These pointed me toward a pursuing a legal career in the military as my first choice. Serving in the JAG Corps would give me the chance to serve my country as an officer and assist me in developing myself as a lawyer. This career path provides an opportunity to give back to the community I was surrounded by as I grew up in a military family while also better honing my trial advocacy and legal research skills. Furthermore, working as an intern for the Navy JAG Corps immediately after my first year of law school puts my newly attained legal skills to good use, and I can see the work I produce being in service of a greater goal. Overall, I feel that being a Navy JAG Corps intern is the best first step I could take towards a future military career."

Dan Sawey, Penn State Law Naval Justice School "I feel very fortunate at having been selected to intern at the Naval Justice School.  I will have an invaluable opportunity to see how the Navy JAG Corps operates on a grand scale. In the past two weeks alone, I've had the privilege of learning operational law with senior officers from across the services, observing the instruction of aspiring Legalmen in basic precepts of criminal procedure, and meeting both the NJS Commanding Officer Capt. Shannon Kopplin, as well as the Judge Advocate General of the Navy Vice Adm. Jim Crawford. For the remaining six weeks of my internship, I hope to continue to build upon my knowledge and familiarity of the Navy JAG Corps' place in the world, while assisting the knowledgeable staff at NJS with any matter that needs accomplished. Additionally, I hope to meet as many judge advocates as I can, so that I can hear their stories and learn from their collective wisdom as I complete my application to join the JAG Corps in the fall."

Courtney V. Bassani, Widener University Commonwealth Law School Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic "I applied to the Navy JAG Corps intern program because I hope to serve in the JAG Corps upon graduating from law school. The internship will provide me with insight into what it's like to be in the JAG Corps. The skills and experience that the internship offers is truly unique. Coming from a family of Marines, I was excited to experience the Navy and gain a better understanding of how the legal office helps support military personnel and operations. I believe the internship will be a fantastic way to familiarize myself with the JAG Corps, and see what being a Navy JAG is truly about.”

Nicholas Scotti, University of California Hastings College of the Law  Region Legal Service Office Northwest "I grew up in the post 9/11 era, and since that day I have had the resolve to serve our country in any capacity possible. But I have also always wanted to follow in my father's footsteps and become an attorney.  It wasn't until high school that I was aware that I could combine the two, military service for the United States and being a practicing attorney.  Since that realization, every action that I have taken in my academic career has been with the singular goal in mind of serving in the JAG Corps.  I firmly believe that this internship provides the necessary exposure to anyone who is interested in applying to the Navy JAG Corps and that it offers more than just a look into the daily life and work of a Navy judge advocate; but that it also teaches numerous professional qualities that each intern can extract for use in their own lives.  I love this internship, and if ever given the opportunity to serve in the Navy JAG Corps I will jump at the chance to serve our country in this capacity."

Michael Tuosto, Emory Law School Naval Justice School "When people ask me what I am going to do when I graduate law school, I respond "something interesting". A commission with the Navy JAG Corp would be an opportunity to serve my country while practicing law and the opportunity to see areas of the world I would not otherwise see.  During my summer internship I hope to become familiar with the lifestyle of Navy JAG officers so I can be confident in my decision to apply for a commission.  I believe by the end of my experience I will have a more focused answer when asked what I would like to do with my law degree, but my experience so far has made me believe a career with the Navy JAG Corp is the most interesting path for a lawyer to take."

Jay T. Williamson, University of Virginia School of Law Defense Service Office North "I chose to apply for an internship with the Navy JAG Corps because I was hopeful for insight into the reality of being a Navy lawyer. Having been encouraged by mentors from a young age to explore career opportunities with the JAG Corps,  I was eager to determine for myself whether or not this was an environment in which I could envision myself working in the future. As an aspiring litigator, I was particularly happy that I would be able to spend my summer working in a trial office and have the daily opportunity to interact with and assist  experienced advocates. Although I have only been interning a short time, I have already been inspired by the stalwart commitment shown by the advocates in my office to their country, clients, navy, and practice.  Many of my fellow 1Ls are spending their summers getting similar research, writing, and drafting experience, but I believe that I am fortunate enough to have the additional opportunity to gain a better understanding of the role attorneys play in our republic. I hope that interning will become my first step towards commissioning, but I know for certain that my experience this summer will help me to grow as both an attorney and a citizen."

Zachary Hill, University of Baltimore School of Law Office of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps Criminal Law (Code 20) "I have always been interested in the Navy. After speaking with many Navy JAG attorneys, I decided that this would be an amazing opportunity to learn a great deal about the law and the Navy. I'm extremely interested in the opportunities afforded to Navy JAGs. I believe the diversity of practice areas in the Navy will help better me as a lawyer and as an individual. I'm excited learn as much as possible this summer and to be a team member of Code 20."

Peter E. Simon, University of Tennessee College of Law Defense Service Office Southeast "Serving as a judge advocate has been a goal of mine since I decided to pursue a career in law. Even before that, I have always had a desire to serve my country. The JAG Corps provides members of our armed forces with first class legal advice, and I have always wanted to be part of that. For their sacrifices, they deserve the best representation available at no cost. Serving a as judge advocate would be the highest honor, and I can think of no better way to use my education. This internship serves as an important step towards my goal while also providing valuable insight into the practice of law in the U.S. Navy."

Philip E. Jones, Wake Forest University School of Law Office of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps Criminal Law (Code 20) "I applied for this program because I wanted to get a sense of the unique mission that lawyers in the Navy are tasked with. Learning how the Navy applies its legal resources on national and international levels is an incredible opportunity, and one that I could not pass up. The legal profession and the military both have a strong spirit of public service, so I am excited I have the chance to see both of those fields combined in such an interesting job."

Megan Schultz, University of Virginia School of Law  Office of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps Appellate Government Division (Code 46) "Serving my country has been a goal of mine since my childhood. I enrolled in law school with my eye on the JAG Corps and chose UVA Law accordingly (the Army JAG School is adjacent to the law school). There is something unique about practicing the rule of law to protect the rule of law, and I want to be part of the team that aids in American defense through the practice of law. The caliber of men and women who join the JAG Corps is unparalleled in many other legal fields: not only are they smart, but they are also passionate in their cause, dedicated in their work, loyal to their country, ethical in their legal practice, and humble in their knowledge. For my first summer as a law student, I could not think of more qualified lawyers to learn from; they are who I strive to emulate in my pursuit of becoming a JAG officer in the United States military. Additionally, the work is hands-on and challenging, but ultimately rewarding. No matter the path I take as a future lawyer, I am confident that immersion in the Navy JAG Corps this summer will prepare me for a career of both competent and ethical legal work."

Derek Padilla, Wake Forest University Law School Defense Service Office Southeast "I applied to the Navy JAG Corps because my father is a pilot in the Navy so being in the Navy has always been a dream of mine. The Navy offers a diverse caseload that keeps it entertaining day to day. The Navy also rotates officers through different posts the first two years and that is appealing to me. To try different jobs the first two years is very appealing to experience different legal fields. I hope to experience a wide variety of cases and gain leadership experience. I would like to gain valuable court experience. I wish to sit in on negotiations with clients. I want to gain legal writing experience and writing samples. Overall I hope to have an enjoyable and exciting summer."

Meggie Kane, Vermont Law School Defense Service Office Southeast "The Navy JAG has been on my mind since I started my law school career. I previously served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. That experience broadened my mind and gave me a different outlook in which to view and solve problems. My work was not always easy. But, it was the hardest job I've ever loved. Likewise, I see the Navy JAG Corps as a similar humbling experience; one in which I can give back to my country while gaining a unique experience of my own."

  Nicolette Godfrey, Valparaiso University School of Law Defense Service Office Southeast "I have always been fascinated with the JAG program and it is something I knew I wanted to pursue when I first decided to go to law school.  I am very interested in military law and I admire all of the work that JAG attorneys do on a daily basis to help our service men and women.  After being given the opportunity to intern with the Navy JAG Corps, I now know that JAG is where I'm meant to be."
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