It has become an Aurora tradition -- celebrating with the Washington Scholars Fellowship program at the Capital Hill Club in August! We are happy to congratulate Nathan Richardson and Mike Nerstheimer, both veterans and both interns under the Aurora Chair. Both are first year law at George Washington University as well as the first recipients of the joint Flag and General Officers' Network Admiral McGrail Scholarships.
Nathan Richardson interned under mentor Samuel Wright, CAPT, USN (Ret) at the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, which as a client base of approximately 60,000 veterans, reservists, and active military members. He put his legal research and writing skills immediately to work supporting client inquiries and projects that spanned issues under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), rights to military and non-military retirement systems, military divorce cases, and voting rights. He even researched one case where a non-member inquired about the possibility to manufacture and sell replica Congressional Medals of Honor, which Nathan confirmed, is quite illegal.
Nathan also authored and co-authored twenty articles for the law center's database. One in particular addressed the gap in re-employment rights for National Guard members. In his final report, which is a requirement for all Washington Scholars and Aurora Interns, Nathan stated that his experience "has been overwhelmingly positive" and provided a chance to put the "lessons learned in his first year law school to real world problems."
Michael Nerstheimer served as the Law of War intern for The Honorable Evan J. Wallach of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Judge Wallach is an acknowledged expert in the field of military law. Michael conducted legal research that will be used for an article of publication in a law journal and in the writing of a book. His researched focused on identifying records of U.S. military Courts Martials, Commissions, and Councils of War in which non-military personnel were tried. He spent many hours in the National Archives, reading records from the War of 1812 and Mexican-American War through the Civil War.
Additionally, Michael supported Judge Wallach and his caseload that pertained to the adjudication of veterans' appeals of rulings by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Boards of Veterans' Appeals and the subsequent reviews of those rulings by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Working with Judge Wallach's four law clerks in this area, Michael gained valuable experience in this area. Since he was also taking Administrative Law during the summer, the experience derived through his internship was well aligned with his course load.
Both Nathan and Michael commented about the benefits of the Washington Scholars Fellowship Program. Many networking events are held and span topics from leadership to public relations. A key focus is placed on building professional networks and relationships that last a lifetime, and many alumni of the WSFP were on hand to congratulate the new graduates. In fact, several who interned under the Aurora Chair, like Jaimie Clark (class of 2013) came by to especially meet Nathan and Michael and extend a warm handshake to his fellow military cohorts.
Aurora Chairman, Tom DeWitt, and Aurora Director of Communications (and volunteer) Beth Miller-Herholtz were on hand to greet them and their spouses as they accepted their diploma from WSF Executive Director Matt Carnovale and MacLane Key, Chairman of Future Leaders of America Foundation. Please enjoy the photos of the evening on Aurora's Flickr page.