Brandy Johnson, a third-year student at UIC Law, is spending her Spring semester clerking for United States Senator Dick Durbin. Senator Durbin is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois, the state’s senior senator, and serves as the Senate Majority Whip, the second highest ranking position among the Senate Democrats.
“I am excited about this internship because Senator Durbin has been my senator since I graduated high school, ” Johnson said. “Also, I am very interested in legislative policy work that falls within the jurisdiction of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
As the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Durbin offers a Law Clerk Program for law students who are interested in experiencing the day-to-day operations of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Johnson learned about the position after signing up for email bulletins from both the Senate and the House. The Law School’s Career Services Office then reviewed Johnson’s materials before she submitted them for the position. After a phone screen and virtual interview, Johnson was informed that she had been selected for the clerkship.
Law clerks work with the attorneys on Senator Durbin’s Senate Judiciary Committee team and are given assignments that involve conducting legal research; drafting memos that analyze case law, statutes and legislation; attending briefings; and preparing for congressional hearings. These assignments are related to issues that fall under the Senate Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction, including judicial nominations, immigration, civil rights and civil liberties, criminal law and criminal justice reform, constitutional law, antitrust and intellectual property.
After more than seven years of experience in Human Resources, Johnson decided in 2019 to go back to school and pursue her law degree. Since starting at UIC Law, Johnson has participated in many activities and organizations. She currently serves as Secretary for the Student Bar Association and has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant multiple times. This is one of many clerkships Johnson has had during her law school career. She also clerked for the Shelby County Public Defender, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and the National Center for Youth Law.
Students interested in internships with Senator Durbin’s office should apply as early as possible, as applications received early are given preference. Students can access the application online at https://oampublic.senate.gov/constituent/login/ee8db6fa-988e-44e2-bb42-5c66535aa84e/