McGeorge School of Law

Matsui Fellows Make Big Summer Splash In D.C.

August 16, 2011

The 2011 Matsui Fellows

The 2011 Matsui Fellows: From left, Amber Simmons, Shawn Kim, Lindsay McCarl and David Stephenson

Four students served internships in Washington, D.C. this summer under McGeorge's four-year-old Matsui Fellowship program.

Amber Simmons, '12, who served as an intern for Representative Jeff Dunham (R-Atwater), had a front-row seat for the biggest political battle of the year — the no-holds-barred fight over the debt ceiling and deficit reduction that dominated front-page headlines throughout the summer.

"Working in the House of Representatives was an amazing and rewarding experience," said Simmons, who has a B.S. in Agribusiness from Cal Poly SLO. "In addition to helping with constituent relations, I was able to research possible legislation on issues regarding national parks and federal reservoirs. As you can imagine, life on Capitol Hill became very exhausting, stressful and hectic during the debates and as the August 2 deadline approached. But I truly enjoyed every minute of the internship."

Shawn Kim, '12, worked at the US Patent & Trademark Office's Biochemistry Department where she was able to integrate her science (B.S. in Biochemistry from UC San Diego) and legal background assisting patent examiners in drafting office actions. Landing the prestigious USPTO internship adds another highlight to the former Morrison Foerster paralegal's resume.

Lindsay McCarl, '12, who holds a B.S. and M.S. in Systems Engineering from Cornell University, interned with the Board of Veterans' Appeals, Department of Veterans Affairs. Building on her summer 2010 experience as an intern with Judge Lawrence Hagel, '76, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans' Claim, she was heavily involved in the review of veterans' cases before the board.

David Stephenson, who completed his second year in the McGeorge Evening Division and has transferred to the Day Division, was a perfect fit as an intern with the same court that McCarl had worked for the previous year. A U.S. Air Force veteran and UC Davis graduate with a B.A. in Political Science, he clerked for Judge Hagel preparing memoranda, opinions and orders for the alumni jurist's review.

Through a grant from the Robert T. Matsui Foundation, McGeorge offers up a limited number of stipends each year to J.D. students for public interest or federal government work as externs in the nation's capital. The awards are named for the late Congressman Robert Matsui, who represented the Sacramento area in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 consecutive terms until his death in 2005.