MSU Law student awarded Peggy Browning Fellowship

from MSU Today

Law student Lindsay Poetz is heading to the nation’s capital to complete a highly competitive, 10-week summer fellowship from the Peggy Browning Fund.

Poetz went to MSU Law with a clear mission: to make a difference for teachers, students, and public schools. She’ll take strides toward that goal by completing her fellowship with the American Federation of Teachers in Washington, DC. Poetz has seen firsthand the immense need for better education policy. She started her career as a teacher, during which time she was also an active member and executive board officer in her local union in Florida, where she was on the collective bargaining team. She also served as a state delegate.

“I’m really looking forward to learning from the attorneys who do this work on a daily basis,” Poetz said. “I feel like a lot of these attorneys have worked for state unions and now they’re at the pinnacle of their career at the American Federation of Teachers. It’s the largest union in the United States. Who better to learn from than these people?”

Peggy Browning Fellows are described as “distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school but who have also demonstrated their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences.” This year, 80 fellowships were awarded out of 450 applicants pursuing careers in public interest and labor law.

Poetz has seized every opportunity to build her skills and experience during her first two years at MSU Law. She participated in the Child Welfare Clinic and several internships, and for the past year, Poetz has clerked for the Michigan Supreme Court. Her history of union work inspired her interest in alternative dispute resolution, and it has led her to assist on a committee rewriting court rules alongside two Supreme Court justices. “I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to learn from the committee members,” she said. “It’s really been an amazing experience.”

Her career journey has taken her all over the country, from her home state of Arizona to Florida, to law school in Michigan, and now on to Washington, DC. Poetz explained that while she came to law school with some uncertainty, receiving the fellowship has given her confidence that she has what it takes.

“This is sort of validation that I can make it happen. I can do it,” she said. “I can become an attorney that helps public schools, and that is my ultimate goal.”
 

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