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Beck and Curtis Are Interns in Washington, D.C.

by catherine elvy, staff writer

A pair of Harvard Law School students are widening their professional horizons and skill sets while exploring careers within the public sector. 

Kaitlyn Beck ’19 and Kelsey Curtis ’18 are spending the spring semester in Washington, D.C., where they are completing internships with the U.S. Department of Justice. The pair view such experiences as foundational to careers that will involve government service. 

Beck and Curtis, who are participants in Christian Union’s ministry to Harvard law students, aspire to use their intellectual talents to reflect their faith in professional spheres.

Through Harvard Law School’s Semester in Washington, D.C. program, advanced students receive assignments as legal interns in federal offices, while also taking a government lawyering class. Interns train in offices where lawyers conduct research and provide legal advice and assistance on policy, legislative, or regulatory matters.

“I’ve always wanted God’s plan for me to be most important,” said Curtis, a third-year law student. “Whatever job I do, I want to do it for God and with an attitude that would be pleasing to Him.”

Beck, a second-year law student, echoed those comments. “My hope is not that I preach Christ, but that I live for Him,” the Georgia native said. “I would love to honor Him in what I do.”

HarvardHeadshotSpringMagBoth women expressed deep appreciation for Christian Union’s ministry at Harvard Law School. Curtis, an Alabama native, praised the support system the ministry provided as she adjusted to New England and related stressful and trying times away from family and close Christian friends.

Likewise, Curtis paused to highlight the remarkable number of sincere, inspirational believers she has encountered within the Harvard community, including participants in Christian Union’s ministry. “[Faith] is a very important part of their lives,” said Curtis, who majored in English, Spanish, and philosophy at the University of Alabama. 

{tweetme}Curtis and Beck each expressed gratitude to Christian Union for providing abundant occasions for rich discussions with student believers.{/tweetme}
“We go deep into the Scriptures,” said Beck, who majored in English, Latin, and classical culture at the University of Georgia.

After arriving in Cambridge, Christian Union’s ministry helped Beck to connect with peers with the same group of priorities. The organization supplied a “really welcoming and exciting bunch of people,” she said. 

Ministry Director Michael Wilkinson has delighted in watching “both of these brilliant women grow in the faith by striving to remain in active Christian community during their busy schedules at HLS.” 

Christian Union provided robust training in the meaningful application of Scripture plus prayer for major life decisions, including career direction. Such mentoring has dovetailed nicely with the myriad opportunities Harvard offers to aspiring legal scholars and practitioners, including the law school’s Semester in Washington program. 

With the internships, Beck and Curtis “continue a trend among our students to bring godly character, gifted intelligence, and excellent education to bear on the proper administration of justice,” Wilkinson said.

In the spring semester, Curtis is interning in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs with a team that focuses upon Asia, Pacific regions, Africa, and the Middle East. In addition to amassing insights into the practical inner workings of government, Curtis noted she has absorbed methods for managing complex projects.

“I’m really interested in international relations,” she said.  

After law school, Curtis has lined up a two-year clerkship for a federal judge in Texas. Among her extensive credentials, Curtis served as a summer associate in Sidley Austin LLP’s London law office during summer 2017. Also, at the encouragement of Christian Union, Curtis participated in Alliance Defending Freedom’s Blackstone Legal Fellowship during summer 2016. 

As for Beck, the multi-talented member of Harvard’s Class of 2019 interned in the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division during the accelerated winter semester, before transitioning to the criminal section for the spring semester. 

During summer 2017, Beck interned for Justice Nels Peterson, Harvard Law ’04, of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Of Beck’s time inside the Beltway, the aspiring lawyer said her internships with the Justice Department have allowed her to witness various attorney styles and personalities. Eventually, Beck desires to return to Georgia, where she envisions herself pouring back into her community.

Beck and Curtis spotlighted the role and importance of Christians in the legal profession, especially within influential government positions. “One of the things Christians bring is a sense of integrity,” said Beck.

Curtis agreed. “We need strong, discerning Christians who care about people,” she said.

Wilkinson, also a lawyer, is looking forward to what is in store for the women.

“I know they will serve their future colleagues by continuing to display and call others to the wisdom of God’s ways and a joyful allegiance to Christ,” he said.