Five University of Virginia School of Law students and alumni will join the federal government as attorneys in the fall through two attorney honors programs.
The new hires for the selective program at the U.S. Department of Justice are Natalie Anderson ’22, Sujata Bajracharya ’23, Megan Jones ’22 and Ariana Smith ’23. Elana Oser ’23 will be an honors attorney at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Anderson will be working as an assistant U.S. attorney with the Superior Court Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, prosecuting state-level crimes in Washington, D.C.
“I always hoped to one day serve as a prosecutor, so I’m very excited for the opportunity to work as an AUSA so early in my career,” Anderson said. “Assistant U.S. attorneys in the Superior Court Division spend much of their time arguing cases in court, so I am especially eager to improve the oral advocacy skills I started to develop at UVA, both in my Trial Advocacy course and as a student in the Prosecution Clinic.”
Bajracharya will join the Executive Office of Immigration Review in the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer and clerk for administrative law judges in OCAHO.
“My goals are to learn more about how immigration law and employment law interact within the [Immigration and Nationality Act], and to hone my legal research and writing skills as a clerk,” she said.
Jones will assist U.S. attorneys’ offices nationwide in investigating and prosecuting white-collar and financial crimes working for the Tax Division’s Criminal Enforcement Section.
“My goals in the position are to create accountability for those who violate the law and to learn from my future colleagues how to be a great trial attorney,” she said.
Smith will work for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, assisting immigration judges by reviewing case files, analyzing legal issues and drafting legal decisions.
“As someone who is pursuing a career in immigration advocacy, I really value the opportunity to gain insight into the way that immigration judges make their decisions,” she said. “My goal is to equip myself with the knowledge and skillset that will make me a stronger, more effective advocate so that I can later represent clients in those same courtroom settings.”
Oser will support the Department of the Interior’s activities involving the conservation and management of public lands, national parks, wildlife refuges and natural resources in the U.S. Office of the Solicitor.
“Broadly, I hope to be able to get direct exposure to how law is practiced in the federal government, specifically at the Cabinet level,” she said. “Additionally, a key goal of mine is to support the mission of the Department of the Interior by assisting its leadership and employees in their efforts to serve as stewards of the United States’ public lands, conserve natural resources and cultural heritage, and meet responsibilities to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other island communities.”
The various federal government attorney honors programs attract candidates from hundreds of law schools across the country. Selection criteria vary, but are generally based on commitment to government service, academic achievement, law school experiences (such as leadership, journal, moot court, mock trial or clinical experience), past employment and extracurricular activities that relate to the department’s work.
Additionally, Kevin Bui ’23 will work for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office through its honors program.
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.