I remember our Director telling us on the first day of the internship that the 10 weeks would fly by, and I must admit that he was right! I can hardly believe how fast the time went by and I will definitely miss Arlington and the NCSC staff when I return to school this fall. The last few weeks were packed as the other interns and I wrapped up our final projects and prepared a joint presentation that we delivered to the staff in our final week. There were 5 interns total this summer, and we presented on the history and implications of the Ukraine/Russia crisis. We talked about war crimes, how Ukraine is handling the prosecution of war crimes, asset seizures and other sanctions that other countries are imposing on Russia, and the history of Ukraine and Russia’s relationship. I gave the closing section of the presentation and I talked about how strengthening democracies can be one tool used to combat the abuse of unrestrained power, like we see Russia doing in its invasion of Ukraine. I talked about some global trends that have been occurring in democratic nations across the globe, including the rise of populist, the decline of public trust in leaders, institutions and media, and rising levels of corruption and authoritarian ideals. Democracy is a complex topic that can not be accurately characterized in a 20 minute presentation; however, since NCSC IP works to implement rule of law programs in other countries, it felt relevant to break down the conceptualization of what a democracy is and how it's been changing on a global scale.
The presentation went well and we enjoyed some sushi afterwards that one of the interns brought since her father is a local sushi chef. Apart from the presentation, I wrapped up some important assignments for the Moldova Legal Education Project. The major assignment that I finished up was a sample answer for the final objective legal memorandum that my colleague wrote as a final assignment for the Moldovan law students. The fact pattern involves a defamation case and the sources include articles from Moldova’s civil code, articles from the Moldovan Constitution, and some European Court of Human Rights cases. It was difficult to complete a sample answer because of the unfamiliar sources of law; however, it was a great refresher of some important lessons from my first semester research and writing course.
In my last week, I took frequent trips to Three Whistles gelato and coffee shop down the street, as well as ForFive coffee with the interns to enjoy our remaining time in the Courthouse district of Arlington. I learned so much at this internship and made so many valuable connections, and I could not have asked for a better way to spend my 1L summer!