Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Introduction to my Legal/Policy Internship

Hello everyone, my name is Charla Wright. Graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government with a minor in Art History. In the fall, I will be returning to The Catholic University of America Law School as a 2L. But for the summer, I have put down the heavy books and began a summer internship with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

My internship is quite different from the other internship that AAPD provides. Instead of having a congressional or IT internship, I am working directly in the AAPD office as their legal/policy intern. In this position, I will be analyzing specific legislation, court cases, and topics, such as the Elena Kagan nomination, which AAPD will take positions on. Furthermore, I will be filtering issues that organizations have asked AAPD to take a position on. This includes research on the broad topic, legislative history, relevant current legislation and regulations, court cases which provide explanation and elaboration on the issue, and the media’s portrayal of the issue. Then, I take all of that research and analyze the different positions, complications and consequences of different stances APPD could take. After that analysis I make recommendations to the staff of AAPD. These recommendations include a brief summary on the issue, organizations positions, possible implications, the issue’s relationship to the disability community, and whether I believe AAPD should take a stance on the issue and what that stance is.
The most important questions are whether the issue pertains to the disability community and how it will affect the community. Therefore, if a piece of legislation does not pertain to the disability community, AAPD will most likely not take a stance on the topic because it does not correlate enough with AAPD’s mission.

I hope this boring summary helps explain what I do as the legal/policy intern at AAPD.

I promise my next post will be more interesting!!


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