This summer, Briana Clark, daughter of Debbie Henderson of Covington, and Roger Clark, will take one more step toward realizing her dream — being appointed a Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The University of Georgia student will intern at the U.S. Department of Justice this summer.
“This is my dream internship,” she said. She started applying for it last fall, sent her resume, a 10-page paper, a cover letter and transcripts, and had five people write letters of recommendation for her.
“In February,” I received a phone call from the criminal division of the Department of Justice, asking if I was still interested. In early March, I received an email offering me the internship.
“I don’t know all of my official duties, but I’ll find out more when I get there,” she said. She will be working with the criminal section of the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department, and expects to do legal research, “maybe on gender discrimination or sexual orientation discrimination.”
She also expects to do some work on the website.
Though the internship is unpaid, she does earn class credits. She has been submitting applications at the University of Georgia’s Washington D.C. dorms, trying to find a place to live before she starts work on May 16.
Raised in Covington, Clark is was the 2013 valedictorian at Alcovy High School’s graduation, and is currently a junior at UGA, majoring in criminal justice, political science and sociology. The three majors intersect in the justice system, she said.
“What causes people to do what they do?” she asked. “The history of racism and discrimination comes into play. So does poverty, drug addiction, racial profiling.
“I’m very interested in studying the justice system,” she said. “Why do some communities have higher crime rates than others? Why does it look like one specific race commits crimes, even though in a reality that’s not true? Why does the justice system, why do the prisons have more black male prisoners than white. There’s not a larger number of black men committing crimes, when in reality that’s not true.
“Sociology looks at why it’s it happening, why does this community have more crime and more drug users,” she said. “Political science looks at how do we fix that. Criminal justice is getting in there, feet and hands first, and being an active player.”
Clark will take the LSAT this summer, required for admission to law school, and begin applying to law schools later this year. She has her eye on Ivy League law schools, like Harvard and Yale, the University of Chicago and Stanford, and says she’d be honored to attend UGA’s law school.
Clark is grateful to the people who wrote letters of recommendation for her, and particularly grateful to her mother. “She is why I did well in high school and continue to do well.”
She looks forward to living in Washington and working at the U.S. Justice Department this summer. “No matter what the job or task, being in the presence of people whom I admire and being able to meet and work with people I aspire to be like will be helpful to my future career. My experience will help me help other people.”
“I’m not doing this just by myself and I’m not doing for myself,” she said. “I’m doing it so I can make a difference.”