97 VLS students to work pro bono for judges, government agencies and law offices, and nonprofits in summer 2021

Ninety-seven Vanderbilt Law students will do volunteer legal work as interns with federal and state government agencies, in federal and state judicial chambers, for attorneys general, district attorneys and public defenders, in state and municipal legal offices, with public interest and advocacy organizations, and in corporate legal offices. These students will receive stipend support or course credit for their work in unpaid legal positions in 20 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

Students who serve in summer externships may either receive course credit for their unpaid legal work or stipends to help defray their living expenses while they serve in unpaid legal positions with government organizations and legal nonprofits. Stipends are provided by Vanderbilt Law School, the Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society’s Public Interest Stipend Fund, and several academic programs, including the Public Interest Program, George Barrett Social Justice Program, the Program in Law and Government, the Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program, and through fellowships and endowed funds, including the Garrison Social Justice Law Fund, the Hyatt Public Service Grant, the Starrett Family Fund, the Victor S. (Torry) Johnson Stipend Fund, the Damali Booker Fund, the Edward Rubin Public Interest Fund, the Nichols Humanitarian Fund, the Koch Foundation Grant for Public Defender Students, the Cheek Scholars Summer Stipends, the Riley Public Interest Fund, the Henriksen Charitable Trust Fellowship, and Environmental and Racial Justice stipends.

“Every summer, our stipend funds enable Vanderbilt Law students to gain practical legal experience by doing unpaid work in judicial chambers and law offices throughout the country and abroad,” said Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Susan Kay, who administers Vanderbilt’s summer stipend programs. “Students may also opt to receive course credit for working as unpaid legal interns during part of all of their summer. Many discover the area of law they want to practice after graduation while working as legal interns.”

Vanderbilt Law students are working for the following legal employers with stipend support or for course credit during summer 2021:


  • Department of Justice, War Crimes Section, Ottawa, Canada

Federal Agencies

  • Department of Commerce, Office of the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security, Washington, D.C.
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Law Clerk Program, Region III, Philadelphia
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Office of General Counsel, Appellate Litigation, Washington, D.C.
  • Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C.
  • Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Washington, D.C.
  • Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Human Rights Violator Law Division, Washington, D.C.
  • Securities & Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division, Washington, D.C.
  • Securities & Exchange Commission, Office of the General Counsel, Washington, D.C.

Federal Courts

  • Judge Tanya Chutkan, District of Columbia
  • Judge Robin M. Meriweather, District of Columbia
  • Judge Stefan R. Underhill, District of Connecticut
  • Judge Wendy Berger, Middle District of Florida, Orlando
  • Judge Charlene Honeywell, Middle District of Florida, Tampa
  • Judge John Robert Blakey, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago
  • Judge Sara Ellis, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago
  • Judge Donald L. Cabell, District of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Judge Laurie M. Michelson, Eastern District of Michigan
  • Judge Michael A. Hammer, District of New Jersey, Newark
  • Judge Michael A. Shipp, District of New Jersey, Trenton
  • Judge Peggy Kuo, Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn
  • Judge Karen L. Litkovitz, Southern District of Ohio, Cincinnati
  • Judge Karin J. Immergut, District of Oregon, Portland
  • Judge Chip Frensley, Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville
  • Judge David A. Ezra, Western District of Texas, San Antonio
  • Judge J. David Novak, Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond

U.S. Attorneys’ Offices

  • Western District of Michigan
  • Eastern District of New York
  • Southern District of New York
  • District of Puerto Rico
  • Middle District of Tennessee

Federal Defenders

  • Middle District of Tennessee

 State Public Defenders

  • San Diego Office of the Public Defender, California
  • 4th Judicial District of Florida Office of the Public Defender, Jacksonville
  • Miami Dade Public Defender’s Office, Florida
  • Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Charles County
  • Mecklenburg Defenders, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Office of the Post-Conviction Offender, Nashville

State Agencies

  • Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington
  • Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance; Nashville

State Courts

  • Justice Thomas P. Zugibe, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Rockland, New City
  • Colorado District Court, 5th Circuit Branch, Breckenridge
  • Judge Michael C. Baggé-Hernández, 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Hillsborough County
  • Judge Vincent Falcone III, 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Orlando
  • Judge Lisa Firko, New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, Newark
  • Portage County Common Pleas Court, Ravenna, Ohio
  • Judge Joseph A Woodruff, Williamson County Circuit Court, 21st Judicial District, Franklin, Tennessee
  • Davidson County Juvenile Court, Nashville

State Attorneys

  • Illinois Attorney General, Environmental Bureau, Chicago
  • Tennessee Attorney General, Nashville
  • Texas Attorney General, Austin
  • Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs, Austin

District and Local Attorneys

  • Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, California
  • Adams County District Attorney’s Office, Colorado
  • First Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Jefferson County, Colorado
  • Boulder District Attorney, Fair and Just Prosecution, Colorado
  • Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, Georgia
  • Cook County Office of the State’s Attorney, Illinois
  • Metro Nashville District Attorney’s Office
  • Metro Nashville District Attorney’s Office, Human Trafficking Unit
  • Metro Nashville Office of Family Safety

Advocacy and Nonprofit

  • ABA Justice Defenders Program, Washington, D.C.
  • Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville
  • Atlanta Legal Aid
  • Charles River Watershed Association, Weston Massachusetts
  • Choosing Justice Initiative, Nashville
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, Washington, D.C.
  • Disability Rights Tennessee, Nashville
  • Fair Elections Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Georgia Resource Center, Atlanta
  • Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, Boston
  • Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia
  • Legal Aid Society, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Nashville
  • Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, Tullahoma
  • Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, West Chester
  • Pisgah Legal Services, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, Nashville
  • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Atascosa County, Texas

Corporate/Private Law Offices

  • Phillips Black, Philadelphia
  • Rutgers University Office of General Counsel, New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • SESAC, Nashville
  • Vanderbilt Office of General Counsel, Nashville