Gibson Tapped For Supreme Court Internship
April 23, 2001
Dan Gibson's search for a summer job has landed him in the Supreme Court, accepted into one of the most prestigious internship programs in the nation.
Gibson, a Davidson College junior from Wooster, Ohio, will be one of two undergraduate students employed for twelve weeks in the Supreme Court's Judicial Internship Program. The program offers a unique opportunity for interns to gain exposure to the field of judicial administration through work in the office of the administrative assistant to the Chief Justice. "Working at the Supreme Court immerses an individual in the charged atmosphere of America's most exalted domain of justice," says a publicity brochure for the internship.
Interns do not work on cases pending before the court. However, they prepare memoranda and correspondence, summarize news articles, conduct background research for speeches, and review legislation on the judicial system. They also do research on the Judicial Intern's legal projects.
Gibson said he's looking forward to being at ground zero as the court hands down various decisions, and anticipates the possibility of a summer retirement of aging justices Sandra Day O'Connor and John Paul Stevens.
Though he enjoyed high school debate, Gibson doesn't have any previous practical experience in the law. However, he is a philosophy major, and has thoroughly enjoyed courses in political theory, Constitutional law, and civil liberties. He intends to attend law school after his Davidson graduation.
He discovered the Judicial Internship Program through a Davidson career services database. He wrote for an application, and it turned out to be as complex as his college application. Applicants were required to write an essay on the importance of the American constitutional system, and a statement presenting the reason for seeking the internship. The application also asked for a resumé, academic transcript, and three recommendations from professors.
After his material had been received and reviewed, the court's current Judicial Fellow, Prof. Barry Ryan of Point Loma Nazarene University, called Gibson to further explore his interest and character. A few days later , the two current interns called him up for an interview. Gibson said they challenged him to talk about cases he felt were the most important in Constitutional history, to talk about the biggest challenge he's successfully met in life, and what might distinguish him among candidates for the position.
He finally found out on April 5 that he was one of the two interns accepted for the court's summer term.
Gibson has distinguished himself at Davidson as captain of the college's track and cross-country team, setting several school records, and winning numerous conference honors. He holds the Ernest H. Barry and Deaton Sherrill scholarships, is active in the College Republicans, and was elected to the Omicron Delta Epsilon economics honor society. He directs the honor society's mentoring program, which helps Davidson students learn about the field through associations with area business people.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,600 students. Since its establishment in 1837, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine. Davidson recently launched "Let Learning Be Cherished," a $250 million campaign in support of student financial assistance, academic resources, and community life.