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Washington DC Semester Week: Spotlight on Naomi Gemmell (JD '16)

Naomi Gemmell (JD '16)
Externship: International Justice Mission
Current Job: Disaster Legal Services Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I participated in the DC program during the spring semester of my 2L year, during which I externed with International Justice Mission (IJM). IJM is a non-profit organization that works to end violence against people living in poverty. In this role, I worked for the Office of the General Counsel and assisted with a variety of legal research projects related to operating a non-profit organization, in addition to tasks such as drafting employment contracts. After graduation, I went on to complete a 2-year fellowship with IJM in Bangalore, India, where I worked on labor-trafficking and forced-labor casework.

After spending a couple of years working in civil litigation at a firm, I currently work as a Disaster Legal Services Attorney at a non-profit organization called Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles (NLSLA). NLSLA's mission is to combat the immediate and long-lasting effects of poverty and expand access to health, opportunity, and justice in Los Angeles' diverse neighborhoods. My experience with the DC program solidified my passion for pursuing a career in public interest law, and the experience I gained during my externship with IJM was a critical stepping stone in my career path. Also, some of my favorite law school memories are from the DC program—I will never forget waking up at 3am with my classmates to attend an argument at the Supreme Court on a Due-Process, excessive-force case.


Washington, D.C., Externship Semester Week!

This week we are highlighting five alumni, one each day, who have used DC as the launching point for great careers. If you like what you hear and want the chance for a similar experience, reach out to Professor Hunt (nancy.hunt@pepperdine.edu) for more information. The DC Semester will run this spring. We are currently planning for on-the-ground classes, and will be monitoring health and safety guidelines to inform our final decision.