Beauheim, Neely Named Caplin, Fairstein Fellows
The Law School has named Alice Beauheim the 2008 Mortimer Caplin Public Service Fellow, while Victoria Neely will serve as the Linda A. Fairstein Public Service Fellow. The honors, which fund recipients' summer jobs, are given to exceptional law students committed to pursuing a career in public service.
Neely will use her fellowship to work under a family law facilitator with the California Superior Court in Santa Cruz.
The facilitator works in one of the state court system's self-service centers, which are designed to help residents represent themselves in divorce, custody, child support and guardianship cases. The centers help clients find and complete forms for legal actions and make sure their arguments are appropriate, Neely said. Attorneys working for the centers don't represent a particular side in a case.
"There's this great need for help with this really complex system," Neely said. "It's a pretty important service because the legal aid system can't help most family law cases — there's just too many of them."
Neely, a Berkeley, Calif., native and single mother, will also work to improve the center's direction to customers seeking information on making an appeal. In addition to the Fairstein fellowship, she received a Doris Buffet Fellowship for Children and Family Law.
Neely developed her interest in family law and public service through the Law School's Family Resource Clinic, volunteering with the Domestic Violence Project and interning with the Central Virginia Legal Services and the Community Mediation Center of Charlottesville.
"I have a strong interest in mediation, too, so I'm thinking I might be able to combine that with family law in a fellowship" following law school, she said.
Beauheim, a former U.S. Army language trainer fluent in French, German and Serbo-Croatian, will harness some of her international experience at the International Peace Operations Association this summer in Washington, D.C., where she will focus on worldwide peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention efforts.
"They lobby the government to make some legal framework for those sorts of operations," Beauheim said.
Beauheim previously interned with the International Rescue Committee and the U.S. State Department and trained in cryptology while serving in the Army.
"I hoped that a law degree would open doors for me in the foreign policy and nongovernmental organization sphere, and I'm interested in issues of transitional justice," said Beauheim, who studied 20th-century diplomacy while earning her master's degree in history at the University of Washington. "International humanitarian law and international law are an opportunity to tie together various parts of what I've done in the past."
Last summer she worked for the prosecutor's office in the War Crimes Department for the State Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she helped prepare witnesses for testimony.
Beauheim said "there's never been any doubt" that she would pursue a public-interest career.
"I'm much more interested in the options available in public service," she said.
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.