UCI Law students talk about their experiences in the UCDC Law Program

Through the UCDC Law Program, UCI Law students may spend a semester in the capital working full-time in one of the many government agencies and non-profit advocacy organizations headquartered in Washington D.C.

April 15, 2015

Video Transcript:

Crystal Adams, 0:10 – 0:23
I found out about the UCDC program from researching UC Irvine and other law schools. I knew that I wanted to work and live in DC after law school so I wanted to find a way that I could get experience living in DC before then.

Andrew Rothenberger, 0:24 – 0:38
I decided to do the program because I wanted to explore the opportunities to get into political jobs. For me, the only thing I really wanted to accomplish was just branching out and looking at other opportunities or avenues that I could pursue with a law degree that would be beneficial.

Claire Stanley, 0:39 – 0:55
My favorite part about it was it’s such great tangible legal experience. You do take the class, but otherwise you’re literally working a forty-hour work week. And I think that’s so great. You know, we learn so much in school and it’s so helpful, but until you take those skills and actually apply them, you don’t really know what that looks like.

Crystal Adams, 0:55 – 1:21
In the UCDC program I worked at the Department of Education in their office for civil rights, and I mainly worked on racial justice issues, racial discrimination issues. A lot of the work that we did was in the K through 12 school system all across the country and I helped the office prepare policy documents as well as think about big picture strategies for making sure that the civil rights enforcement that they do is really effective and really meaningful for all different kinds of students.

Andrew Rothenberger, 1:21 – 1:51
My position over there was on a Senate committee. The Senate Committee for Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. There wasn’t a lot of black-letter law. The projects ranged from legal to very much non-legal. At times, you’re looking at pictures, going through news articles, trying to create a dichotomy of which police agencies were involved in the Ferguson situation, other times you’re reading legislation that’s been proposed and looking for errors or problems or comparing it to other laws with similar provisions.

Claire Stanley, 1:52 – 2:13
I worked for the disability rights section of the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. That subdivision is charged with a few different things; it’s charged with promulgating regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as some related laws. It’s charged with an enforcement of those laws. It does mediation and it does outreach. So I did a little bit of everything under those umbrellas.

Crystal Adams, 2:13 – 2:22
It’s also just such a vibrant community. There are a lot of young professionals who are really ambitious, who are really idealistic, and trying to make a difference across the field.

Andrew Rothenberger, 2:22 – 2:29
The best part about living in DC was the fast pace and the availability, the options – you always had something to do.

Claire Stanley, 2:30 – 2:45
I love everything about living in DC. I’ve always known I want to go back. Because I’m blind, I love the public transportation. It’s so much easier to get around; it’s very walkable. I love the energy there, everybody’s just so excited about politics and the government.

Crystal Adams, 2:46 – 2:52
And it’s just a really fun place to be as a young person because there are a lot of other people who share your similar goals and interests.

Andrew Rothenberger, 2:52 – 3:01
I think that everybody’s short term goals as a lawyer include finding work straight out and this definitely put my foot in the door for a couple positions.

Crystal Adams:, 3:01 – 3:12
I encourage all students to consider the UCDC law program seriously. Even if you are not sure whether you want to work in government or policy or even live in DC, it can be a really valuable experience.