I received an e-mail this week from Felicia Brown, a colleague at Tulane's Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, telling me about the two Tulane law students who are working with the Institute's policy team this semester. Third-year law student Ashvi Sivapalan is completing her Public Interest Externship at the Cowen Institute. (More on our Public Interest Externships below.) Ashvi has been assisting the Institute with its legislative work, researching and writing on legal and policy issues relevant to public education, while learning about policy development and implementation at the local, state, and federal levels. Third-year law student Holly Reid, who has been working with the Cowen Institute for almost two years, has worked on various education policy issues, including Louisiana desegregation litigation and the governance of the New Orleans school system. She has written research memos, reports, a blog, and has even given a presentation to state officials in Baton Rouge. Holly is an alumnus of Teach for America, through which she taught in rural Texas prior to coming to law school.
The Public Interest Externship program at Tulane is an expansion of our original and long-standing for-credit externship program, through which our students have for many years spent an entire academic year in a judge's chambers, or at the National Labor Relations Board, or with a few other selected organizations. Several years ago, however, our faculty significantly expanded the public interest organizations at which students could do supervised, credit-bearing externships during the regular academic year. And this year, the program was expanded again, to include summer opportunities. As a result, we expect to see many more students taking advantage of opportunities to simultaneously gain valuable legal experience and provide valuable service to the community. [This was originally posted in January 2011; a spelling error was corrected in September 2012.]