Transcript of "Named Internship Profile Summary - Emma McDermott (McSpadden)"
[MCSPADDEN PUBLIC AFFAIRS FUND INTERN PROFILE]
Emma McDermott graduated from Warren Hills Regional High
School in Washington NJ as salutatorian and an AP Scholar
with Distinction. At Dartmouth, Emma is double majoring in
Government and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures,
with concentrations in Political Theory and Arabic. She serves
as captain of the Dartmouth Parliamentary Debate team, on
the executive board of Dartmouth Clean Water, as treasurer
and co-founder of the Dartmouth Chess Team. She volunteers
with the Haven Adult Homeless Shelter and Link Up. After her
term abroad in Amman, Jordan, she began Dartmouth’s
campus campaign, in conjunction with Syria Deeply and
UNHCR, to increase aid to the Syrian refugees in the Zataari
Refugee Camp. Emma is currently a James O. Freedman
Presidential Research scholar, working with Professor Sonu Bedi on his research regarding the
language of human rights in constitutional and international law. After graduation, her plans
include law school and possibly, a return to the Middle East.
Emma was funded by the Rockefeller Center for a Summer 2013 internship, with generous
support from the McSpadden Public Affairs Internship Fund.
Executive Summary from Emma’s final report:
During Summer 2013, I received funding from the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy as a
McSpadden named intern. Using that funding, I completed the Judicial Internship at the
Supreme Court of the United States. The internship took
“The knowledge and
place in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice, a
similar position to the Chief of Staff in the White House.
experience I gained are
The Counselor organizes the many adjudicative duties of
invaluable to my academic and
the Chief Justice and often serves as his emissary. The
Supreme Court Fellow, the person with whom the interns
work most closely, is a research position for mid-career
professionals and academics that allows them to spend a year at the Court. The interns assist
the Fellow in their research and other endeavors.
The work that I did included briefing foreign dignitaries that visited the Court, such as the
Turkish Supreme Court, the Nepalese Judiciary and human rights lawyers from Indonesia,
among many others. Along with the Supreme Court Fellow, we introduced them to the
workings of the American judicial system and the Supreme Court specifically, answering
questions and occasionally arranging discussions with the Clerk of the Court or current
American justices. I assisted the Counselor with his preparation for a trip to a judicial
conference in Japan and his meeting with the Supreme Court of Japan, researching ways the
American system has responded to a growing caseload and adjusted financially over the course
of the 20th century, a growing issue for Japanese courts. I assisted the Supreme Court Fellow
with her research regarding public administration of the Court and the way former Chief Justice
Burger attended to the administration of the courts, transforming and ultimately expanding the
duties of the Chief. I also assisted both the Counselor and the Fellow with smaller projects, like
an upcoming question and answer panel regarding the role of the Solicitor General that the
Counselor will be moderating in the fall.
The knowledge and experience I gained are invaluable to my academic and professional
pursuits because though I have wanted to go to law school for a while now, I did not have a
clear idea about the kind of professional life I wanted after law school. Daily exposure to the
Court and world class lawyers, such as the Counselor who spent twenty years in the Solicitor
General’s office before his appointment, helped me better define my goals and the kinds of law
I can see myself practicing.
Emma McDermott ’14 standing in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court