Jordan Franck is the youngest intern that the IAWJ has ever had. In this article, she shared with us what she learned from this experience.
For the last month, I have interned for the International Association of Women Judges as a part of my school’s end-of-year program, Senior Options. Being a high school Senior, I am the youngest intern that the IAWJ has ever had (which are big shoes to fill.) The internship was informative and eye-opening, broadening my prior domestic view of women’s rights to an international perspective. I was eager to jump at the opportunity to intern for the IAWJ as their values and goals both inspired me and made me eager to learn more about women in the judiciary from a global standpoint.
My drive to study politics and law began during my sophomore year while paying close attention to the 2020 presidential election. I was eager to form my own unique opinion based on debates, news articles, and other information that I compiled during the months leading up to the election. My desire to learn more about the foundation of the United States government took hold during my junior year where I spent the last month researching the pivotal Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. This research made me curious to learn more about the U.S. judicial system, specifically women in the judiciary. When I got in touch with Jane Charles-Voltaire, the Director of programs for the IAWJ, and she shared the goals and principles of the organization, I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue my internship with the IAWJ. The internship would encompass my passions for social justice, the law, and the judiciary, while also giving me an opportunity to research women in the judiciary across a number of commonwealth countries.
I was assigned two main tasks for the internship: research and social media outreach. For the first week of my time at the IAWJ, most of the team was at the Biennial Conference in Marrakech, Morocco. During the conference, I was tasked with reposting and sharing content coming from the IAWJ’s social media accounts across platforms like Instagram and Twitter. The primary goal of my social media outreach and advocacy was to make my peers and those of a younger generation more aware of the injustice in our judicial system around the world. I was able to share an array of content from short clips to conversations between female judges from numerous countries. I primarily focused on sharing the association’s content with my classmates in both U.S. government and history classes, as well as the members of my school’s Political Action Club, of which I am the vice-president.
The next component of my internship was a research project, where I was tasked with creating a table highlighting different elements of women in the law and the judiciary. Some of the categories in this table include but are not limited to the first female judge and first female lawyer in a particular commonwealth country, news articles and scholarly research regarding women in the law in each country, and the date that women earned their right to vote in a particular country.
My research of common-wealth countries and the United States demonstrated that there is still so much progress to be made with integrating women into judiciary positions and the law, with my research findings being extremely indicative of this. In the fall, I will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying legal studies on a pre-law track. I will certainly be taking the knowledge I gained from my time at the IAWJ with me for my future college endeavors and beyond.