Prospect High School
Class of 2021
Click Here To Learn More About Madeline
Interned With Goodwin Weber PLLC On A Case Of National Importance
Collaborated With Top Law Professors And Experts To Prepare My Client For Trial
Advocated For My Client To Capitol Hill Representatives, Senators, And Congressional Staff
Maddie Cowen is a rising senior at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect. Maddie is a straight-A and B student who is very dedicated to maintaining good grades while also handling extracurricular activities such as varsity soccer, ultimate frisbee, knights way, the underground, and branches. Maddie takes multiple AP classes each semester as well as multiple honors courses. The courses that she has taken throughout highschool are AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP US History, AP Language and Composition, Honors Bio, Honors Chemistry, Honors World Lit and Composition and Honors Written and Oral Composition.
Maddie takes part in many extracurricular activities involving sports, service, and clubs at school. At school, she is part of the varsity soccer program and trains for 2 plus hours each day of the week. Another sport that Maddie is involved in is the Ultimate Frisbee team. Last but not least, Branches is another extracurricular that Maddie participates in. Branches is a youth group through her parish that meets every Sunday night to talk about their faith and current events going on in the world everyday. This group also participates in many service opportunities such as food drives, donating clothes, going to feed my starving children, and meeting with retired veterans. In her free time Maddie really enjoys traveling and seeing new places. Maddie Cowen is excited to be a part of the Advanced Law and Trial Internship Summit to expand her knowledge in the law field. Maddie enjoys learning about the law field and she is ecstatic to be a part of this internship and get a bigger picture on what the rest of her life may look like. Maddie thinks this internship will be good for her because she will be able to get a hands on experience and get a better understanding if the law field is right for her. The skills and lessons Maddie learns on this internship will help her through her studies and possible careers in the future!
Click Here To View Madeline's Achievements
Gender disparity, discrimination, and sexual harassment have been found to be widespread in the National Park Service (NPS). Thirty-nine percent of NPS employees say they have experienced harassment or discrimination on the job.
Although the women of NPS have made it clear they can perform to the same standards as their male counterparts, gender discrimination still holds many back. The NPS is failing to provide a fair and inclusive environment for all employees across the country.
To advocate for our client, we met with representatives and congressional staff members. We explained to congressional members that our client had faced gender discrimination in her attempts to become the Regional Chief Ranger of the National Capitol Region.
Many of the congressional offices that we met with agreed to write letters of inquiry to the Department of Interior to find out more about our client’s case.
We worked with lead attorney David P. Weber to examine complex case documents, explore legal precedent, conduct thorough legal research, and advocate for our client to congressional officials.
We prepared documents and advocacy strategies for our client, one of the only high-ranking female Chief Rangers in NPS history.
As a team, we gained valuable real-life experience as we worked on what could be a historic case for gender equality.
As interns of Goodwin Weber PLLC, we focused our efforts on a gender discrimination case that was brought forth by a high ranking official from the National Park Service.
Case Research & Preparation
After meeting our client, we worked with David P. Weber and his team to learn how to create a meaningful direct and cross-examination.
Through this process, we learned about courtroom procedure as well as the various layers of complexity encompassed in conducting a direct examination, holding a witness credible, and protecting a witness during cross-examination.
We met with our client in order to hear her side of the story. According to the hiring officer, the client was denied the job because she was not the most qualified applicant. The client later learned that a male ranger two rank below her was pre-selected for the position.
The client then went on to describe how the discrimination occurred and the specific factors of discrimination she faced after the event. She also went into detail on how workplace discrimination is currently impacting her life. The client hopes that her case will make a difference and help change government policies.
Meeting with multiple members of Congress allowed us to demonstrate the importance of our client’s case. For many, it helped show them that the issue of gender discrimination in the NPS is an issue that their constituents care about. By advocating for our client, we fulfilled a civic duty and showed our representatives that this is an issue which needs to be addressed within the NPS and the country.
Being able to meet with a congressional staff member was a unique opportunity for our team to broaden our perspective and learn how much we can accomplish together.
Throughout the internship, we developed skills to effectively advocate to congressional officials on our client’s behalf. To prepare for this audience, we developed solid briefing materials, which focused on improving working conditions for women in the National Parks Service to advocate on behalf of the client.
Legal research and evidence of discrimination that our client has endured were presented to Congressional Representatives and Senators. We highlighted the facts of our client’s case and advocated for possible solutions to the broader problem of gender discrimination within the NPS.
At the end of the two-week internship, we conducted a witness preparation session to help our client prepare for her upcoming trial. As a team, we developed direct and cross-examination questions to replicate what she might experience while in court.
The presentations were set up to resemble an appellate court system. Our team was given thirty minutes to present arguments and ten minutes to receive feedback from David P. Weber.
We played a crucial part in the legal strategy of our client's case. In future legal action, the arguments made during this presentation will be considered as they strongly pertain to the client's case.
After the presentation of arguments, the client stated that she felt relieved to have such thorough research and advocacy completed on her behalf.
This case has the potential to establish legal precedent in favor of women who face gender discrimination in the workplace, particularly those in federal law enforcement, as the federal government is supposed to be a “model employer.”
If our case is successful, this case will be used to ensure equal payment, equal evaluations and equal promotions for millions of women who work within the United States government. Changing forever how women may advance in our society.
Our team interned for Goodwin Weber PLLC. We worked with top attorney David P. Weber and focused our efforts on a retaliation case brought against the National Park Service.
As a team, we read through many complex case documents and wrote a direct and cross-examination to help our client prepare for trial.
Our team met with several key congressional officials to gain support for our client and fight against retaliation. We created briefings for members of congress and staff so they could clearly grasp the unfair treatment our client is facing.
Since this case is ongoing, we have to opportunity to return next summer to continue our internship with Goodwin Weber PLLC and help our client find justice with his fight against retaliation.
We worked directly with Goodwin Weber PLLC and the client to develop a line of questioning that would serve as direct and cross-examinations in order to prepare the client for trial.
Law Firm Internship
National Re-Entry Panel
Internship Program Highlights
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Goodwin Weber PLLC Internship
Several congressional officials agreed to write letters of Inquire to the Department of Interior. All of the congressional staff members and representatives were understanding and supportive of the issue of gender discrimination.
Direct advocacy on Capitol Hill is one of the most powerful and advantageous ways to advance and impact legislative policy priorities.
By the end of our internship, we were uniquely qualified to communicate with Congress about effective policies to combat gender discrimination in the workplace.
We pushed lawmakers to publicly support our client and left them with all the tools and information necessary for them to create an informed opinion.
Professor Michael J. Cedrone’s teaching and scholarship are rooted in the belief that professional identity is formed when law students must reason, act, and reflect as lawyers do. He is currently the chairperson of Legal writing at Georgetown University.
Chip Kunde leads the development and execution of a comprehensive government and public affairs engagement strategy for Ferrero in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Chip Kunde - Ferrero-Senior Vice President, Government & Institutional Affairs
Michael Cedrone - Georgetown Professor of Law, Legal Practice; Chairperson, Legal Writing Program
Bonita Prewitt - Civil Rights Investigator
Bonita Prewitt has an MBA in Systems Management and is a graduate of Akron Leadership Academy. She has been a Civil Rights Investigator for 14 years. She was the Director of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action at the University of Akron for 12 years
National Re-Entry Panel
Courtney Stewart, chair of the National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens in Washington, D.C., is a prison reform advocate who was released from prison in 1985.
Courtney exposed our team to the idea of the school-to-prison pipeline and the ‘War on Drugs’ that targets black people to a greater extent than others in our society.
Courtney's goal is to create more living-wage jobs, permanent housing, and economic self-sufficiency for returning citizens.
He brought with him recently released inmates who spoke out about their criminal history and their life before, during, and after prison.
Listening to the returning citizens speak out about their experiences and gave our team a deeper understanding of how important it is that all people are properly represented in the court of law.