For The Record

This summer Halley Taylor, L’19, is getting a crash course in public interest work.

She spent the early weeks with the public defender’s office in Fredericksburg, Virginia, conducting case research, visiting clients at the Rappahannock Regional Jail, and sitting in on court sessions. Then she swiftly switched gears to work on policy with the disAbility Law Center of Virginia.

Taylor said the two internships could be seen as polar opposites but were chances to see multiple possibilities in public interest law.

“One of the first things I learned when I started working is that the public sector attracts all different kinds of people,” she said. “While everyone I have encountered works day in and day out to ensure that justice is served equally for all people, I learned that there are countless approaches to reaching that goal.”

Richmond Law’s Summer Public Service Fellowships, which provide up to $3,500 for students to pursue unpaid work in the public sector, are designed for this kind of exploration. Taylor was one of 141 fellows this summer who interned with federal and state courts, commonwealth’s attorneys and public defenders, the military, and nonprofits.

“It’s so important for students to have practical experience before they graduate,” said Janet Hutchinson, associate dean for career development. “It goes beyond theory and the classroom, and makes them ready to get out in the real world.”