Brian Polley '12: Experiencing National Security Law and Policy

July 7, 2010

As a former student of national security policy and counterterrorism intelligence analyst, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to spend part of my summer working for Professor John Norton Moore at the Center for National Security Law here at UVA. Professor Moore and the center have embarked on a very ambitious summer agenda, and there has been a great deal of work for me to do.

Brian Polley
Brian Polley

Immediately after I came on board at the end of May, the center hosted its annual two-week conference called the National Security Law Institute. The Institute, now in its 18th year, has become an institution in the field. It is designed to provide advanced training for professors of law and international relations as well as government officials working in this critical discipline. It combines one of my greatest passions - foreign policy and international relations theory - with advanced education and discussion related to my career aspirations in national security law. Professor Moore and the center's associate director, Professor Bob Turner, established the center and defined the field of national security law in 1981.

In addition to providing support for the National Security Law Institute, I have completed several research projects for Professors Moore and Turner, including compiling a comprehensive legislative history of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The center also allowed me to spend a week in June at a research seminar at the U.S. Air Force Academy, discussing challenges posed by nuclear weapons proliferation and helping craft a proposal for a new national strategy to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction. As an aspiring national security lawyer, I have gained a great deal of knowledge and insight on strategic issues that will be relevant to my career.

I also have the opportunity to spend July working in the chambers of Judge Jane Boyle of the Northern District of Texas. As a University of Texas and Texas A&M University graduate who calls Fort Worth, Texas, home, I am pleased to have the chance to spend part of my summer in Dallas serving the legal community in the area where I grew up. I hope that interning in Judge Boyle's chambers will help me build on the knowledge of civil procedure and criminal law I gained in my first year at the University of Virginia.

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.

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