William & Mary

Law alumna first recipient in Virginia of EJA fellowship

(Williamsburg, VA) - Geraldine Doetzer, a 2008 graduate of William & Mary Law School, is the first full-time Equal Justice America Post-Graduate Fellow to serve in Virginia.

Equal Justice America (EJA) provides opportunities for law students to work with organizations that deliver civil legal services to those most in need. The EJA Post-Graduate Fellowship Program was created in 2002, according to Joel Katz, EJA Development Director, to expose graduating law students to the possible career choice of public interest law.

"Since 1995," Katz said, "EJA has funded 12 postgraduate fellowships around the country with graduates of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and NYU. William & Mary has now joined that prestigious group."

Doetzer was chosen to serve in the Legal Aid Justice Center in Petersburg, as part of the "Virginians for Equal Justice" program created in 2007 to retain the skills of Virginia law students to work for legal aid organizations in the Commonwealth. She began her work there in October.

At William & Mary Law School, Doetzer was a Graduate Research Fellow, and served on the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law. She was a teaching assistant in the Law School's Legal Skills Program during her 2L and 3L years, and received the Gambrell Professionalism and the 2008 Spong Professionalism Awards, the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Legal Skills IV, and the National Association of Women Lawyers Award. Doetzer was also involved with Students for Equality in Legal Education, the Public Service Fund, and the Student Hurricane Network, a national program in which law students serve the people of Mississippi and Louisiana with legal services and physical labor in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

She graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor of arts degree cum laude in history and studied as an international student at the University of Liverpool during her undergraduate years.

During college and law school, Doetzer was involved in many organizations that provided legal aid services for vulnerable people. Last Fall, Doetzer was an intern for Legal Services of Eastern Virginia in Williamsburg.

"I came to law school planning to work as a public interest attorney," Doetzer said, "but without any specific career path in mind. I used my time at William & Mary Law School to explore as many types of legal work as I could. As a result of the EJA Fellowship, I will be able to work on housing, community outreach and activism, education, and other issues at the Legal Aid Justice Center that strike at the heart of poverty law topics in that they affect an underrepresented and vulnerable part of the population."