Posted by Lily Westergaard on June 20, 2016
I am a rising 2L at Columbia Law School in New York City, originally from Beaufort, South Carolina. I attended Georgetown University for undergrad, studying Government and Psychology. During my time at Georgetown, I developed a fascination with the many ways in which the law and politics intersect. I became interested in many aspects of political campaigning, including campaign finance, elections, and voting demographics.
The summer after my Junior year at Georgetown, I worked as a Communications and Research Fellow on John Foust’s congressional campaign in Northern Virginia. I learned a tremendous amount about the mechanics of a campaign and the political process. Most importantly, I learned about how low-income people and members of minority groups are systematically disenfranchised by the subtle injustices built into elections, in addition to the laws that overtly minimize their voices in the democratic process.
I also spent a summer interning at DC Vote, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing DC voting rights. There, I extensively researched voting rights legislation, revamped the organization’s social media presence, and spoke with DC residents who have been excluded from the political process their entire lives. The right to participate in elections is a cornerstone of our democracy. Ensuring that all eligible voters are empowered to vote is a cause of great importance to me, and I am excited to learn more about the intricacies of voting rights throughout the country.
In addition to electoral reform, I am interested in women’s issues, particularly reproductive rights. At Columbia, I serve as Internal President of the Feminist Society; Head Writer for the Columbia Law Revue; Events Chair for Columbia’s chapter of Law Student for Reproductive Justice. I also serve on the staff of school’s Journal of Gender and Law.
I love DC (especially Georgetown’s cupcake establishments), and I am very excited to learn more about the complex legal, political, and social ramifications of voting rights legislation while interning for FairVote this summer.
Lily is the 2016 Legal Intern at FairVote. Learn more about FairVote's Democracy Fellowships and Internship opportunities on our Employment page.