Political passion: Law student interned for Congresswoman in DC

Wayne Law rising 3L Sarah Schade is pictured with Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow interns during a 2017 undergraduate internship in D.C.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Schade

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Sarah Schade earned her undergrad degree in international studies and Spanish from the University of Michigan. After her junior year, she interned in 2017 for Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence in Washington, D.C., where she helped answer phones, respond to constituents' e-mails, gave tours of the Capitol, and helped with other tasks.

“I was interested in legislation and government and I enjoyed learning more about how our government works and what our elected representatives and their staff do for their constituents,” Schade says. “I also really enjoyed giving tours of the Capitol, it was so interesting to learn about the history of that building and the entire area and being able to share that with others. I really enjoyed working for Congresswoman Lawrence, and one of the highlights of the summer was during our interns' last day Congresswoman Lawrence gave us a tour of Speaker Pelosi's office and we got to meet Speaker Pelosi.”

That fall, she interned with the Department of Education’s Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs as part of the “Michigan in Washington” program, gaining a different perspective on the work of Congress. She worked on sending education news updates to the other people in the office, attended hearings in Senate and House committees, and helped to prepare the nominees appointed to leadership roles in the Department prepare for their Senate confirmation hearings by conducting research on the members and compiling binders.

The following year, she spent four months as a Legislative Fellow in the office of Rep. William Sowerby at the Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing, responding to constituent e-mails and letters and attending committee hearings.

“While I enjoyed living in D.C., I wanted to return to Michigan and work on issues more relevant to the state,” she says. “Although I enjoyed this experience and being closer to home, I realized I didn't want to continue down this path, especially towards working in constituent services in responding to emails and requests.”

She spent 15 months with the immigration law firm of Antone, Casagrande & Adwers, P.C. in Farmington Hills, before heading to Wayne State University Law School in 2019. Now a rising 3L at, she is enjoying her experience.

She is a summer associate at Honigman, learning about business/corporate law.

“I'm not sure exactly what area I want to practice, and whether I want to focus on litigation or transactional work, but I'm trying to stay open to a variety of experiences this summer to help me figure out what I will practice,” she says.

Last year’s judicial internship at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit helped improve her legal research and writing skills and provided the opportunity to work on interesting and challenging cases.

“I was able to attend some virtual hearings and it was exciting to see how a court actually operates, as opposed to just studying about it at school,” she says. “I worked on research for an order on a motion to dismiss. I also took the judicial internship class at Wayne, so I was happy to get credit and have support in navigating the internship, especially since it was remote.”

With a passion for legal research and writing, Schade was excited to apply as an assistant editor for Law Review in her 2L year.

“It was a lot of fun to select a topic and see how my topic changed and evolved as I did more research and talked to my editors on Law Review, as well as my faculty adviser, Delores Mayer,” she says.

This coming 3L year she will serve as the Media and Technology Editor for Law Review.

“As an Editorial Board as a whole, we’re looking forward to creating a supportive community for our new members and working towards promoting diversity among our new assistant editors,” she says. “I want to increase our online presence on our social media platforms as well as keeping our website up-to-date with news, information about our symposium, and showcasing the work of our authors and student authors by posting copies of our articles on the website. I'm looking forward to showcasing all the hard work of our members online and connecting with the community.”

Schade also has enjoyed her Moot Court experiences.

“I really enjoy legal writing and was excited to write the 1L brief, but I'm not as confident in my public speaking and remember I was very nervous about doing the oral argument at the end of our first year,” she says. “But I realized I actually really enjoyed answering the judges' questions so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try out for Moot Court, which has been a great experience.
I’ve really improved my oral advocacy skills, as well as my legal research and writing skills, and have gained confidence in my abilities as a law student.”

After her first semester on Moot Court Schade tried out for one of Wayne’s national teams and competed on one of two teams for the Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition. She and her partner advanced to the Octo-final round before being eliminated.

“I was happy I pushed myself to do this experience and that we were able to advance to those first rounds of finals,” she says. “Our coaches were so helpful and supportive, and I learned so much about being an oral advocate. Overall, I'm so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone last year and tried out for Moot Court and it’s been so rewarding to see how much I’ve grown and improved since then.”

This coming academic year she will serve as the Problem Writer on the Moot Court Executive Board, working on the problems members will research and argue during the fall and winter In House Competitions.

“I'm looking forward to creating challenging and interesting problems for our members and looking forward to working with the rest of the board as well,” she says.

She has found the Women's Law Caucus a useful organization for connecting with other women at school and making friendships.

“Everyone on the board during my first year was so welcoming and kind which helped me feel more comfortable transitioning to law school because I knew there were always friendly people I could turn to with questions,” she says. “This past year I was secretary, and as a board our goal was to create a similar welcoming environment for the new 1Ls. We wanted to create opportunities for students to connect and meet each other, which was especially important because they had remote classes. We held virtual social events including yoga, a Halloween costume party, and Q&A sessions. Hopefully they all helped make a virtual 1L year a bit better for our members!”

After about a year of virtual learning, Schade is accustomed to having classes on Zoom and studying at home.

“Luckily at home I have an office I can study in, and it’s been helpful to have a space dedicated to school and classes so when I'm done for the day, I can leave that space and step away from school,” she says. “I also like to take walks around the neighborhood to have a change of scenery. I also have had virtual game nights with my friends to have social time and stay connected with them.”


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