By Maysa Eissa, Esq. Associate Director of Career Services Monique Rodriguez (2L) is one of just a handful of law students across the country to be selected to take part in Just the Beginning Foundation’s Summer Judicial Internship Diversity Project. Together with the Judicial Resources Committee of the United States Judicial Conference, this project aims to provide summer judicial internships for highly qualified minority, underrepresented and economically disadvantaged law students. After a rigorous application and interview process, Monique will serve as a judicial intern to the Honorable Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., Chief District Judge of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri. This summer, she will have the valuable opportunity to draft bench memoranda, judicial orders, and opinions on a variety of substantive matters under the Judge’s mentorship. Monique’s commitment to social justice and access to the courts was inspired long before law school. As an undergraduate student at UC San Diego, she was inspired to pursue a law degree after learning about recent segregation cases within San Diego County. Immediately prior to law school, she worked as a Community Impact Coordinator at the Arrowhead United Way, where she witnessed firsthand the impact of limited resources and lack of access to legal representation within San Bernardino County. With this judicial internship, Rodriguez hopes to gain greater exposure to the judicial process to help her one day represent those in greatest need of legal services. “This whole process has been so rewarding, as I never expected to go so far in the application and interview process, nor to receive an internship with a federal judge,” said Rodriguez. “I am very excited for this opportunity and to learn from this experience.” To learn more about this Summer Judicial Internship Diversity Project, visit www.jtbf.org.