Office of Public Interest and Community Service
Created in 1996, the Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) is the hub of the public interest community at Georgetown, and seeks to foster in all law students a commitment to service that will continue through their legal careers.
In addition to coordinating many of the Law Center’s public interest programs, OPICS is the primary career office for students interested in exploring public interest and government legal opportunities. The office also administers the Law Center’s extensive pro bono program, which encourages and facilitates pro bono legal service by students and other members of the Law Center community.
OPICS’ professional career advisors meet with hundreds of students and alumni each year. The advisors assist with overall public interest career planning, provide information on summer and academic year opportunities and post-graduate employment, review resumes and cover letters, conduct mock interviews, and assist with post-graduate fellowship and government honor applications. The advisors also conduct career-related educational programming includes a variety of workshops, information sessions and alumni and employer panels.
The office’s recruiting initiatives include major job fairs each year such as the Fall Public Sector Recruitment Program and the Public Sector Recruiting Program, conducted jointly with George Washington University Law School. In addition, we coordinate ongoing public sector resume collections and administer an extensive public sector jobs database.
One of our signature programs for incoming students is the Public Interest Corps community-building and leadership program (formerly the Public Interest Fellows program). Public Interest Corps members have the opportunity to design, lead, and participate in programs and activities that cultivate a supportive, dynamic, and inspired public interest community within the Law Center. Incoming students are invited to participate in the Public Interest Corps “Preview Semester” during the fall to experience sample programming. Applications to join the Public Interest Corps will be accepted in the spring.
OPICS also coordinates the Law Center’s Pro Bono Program and Pledge, which challenges each student to perform 50 hours of law-related pro bono service before he or she graduates. Those who complete the Pledge receive a certificate signed by the Dean and special recognition at graduation. During an average academic year, students signed up for the Pledge collectively performed more than 30,000 hours of pro bono service at organizations such as DC Legal Aid Society, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and the DC Employment Justice Center.
OPICS cultivates an ethic of service among the Georgetown Law community by promoting pro bono opportunities, administering the pro bono pledge, supporting student groups, raising awareness about the access to justice gap, and fostering connections among students and the greater legal community.
OPICS empowers students to achieve their professional goals through individualized counseling and through providing resources, recruitment and networking opportunities, and other programming designed to support the needs of all students, including those traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession.
OPICS acknowledges and removes barriers to public service career, internship, and volunteer opportunities by:
- breaking down and bridging the dichotomy between the public and private sectors;
- demystifying and promoting summer funding, public service loan forgiveness, and loan repayment programs; and
- advocating and collaborating for systemic change to make the legal field more equitable.
OPICS fosters a community that prioritizes equity, nurtures belonging, and is dedicated to advancing justice.
Adrianne Clarke | Associate Director
Adrianne (she / her / hers) joined OPICS in 2019. Prior to joining the Georgetown Law community, she worked as staff attorney at the Children’s Law Center (DC), representing children and youth as guardian ad litem in abuse and neglect and child custody proceedings. Adrianne has also worked as an associate at a law firm. While in law school she participated in experiential learning, including the Child Advocacy Clinic and Criminal Justice Institute Clinic, and spent her summers at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a law firm.
Ask me about: General career planning, dual planning (between the public and private sectors), transitioning to public interest from private sector, government honors programs, family law, child advocacy, and navigating identity in the workplace.
In my free time, I enjoy: Starting too many books, watching a random assortment of tv shows, listening to podcasts, gardening, and occasionally crocheting / pretending to sew.
Caroline Dempsey | Manager of Public Sector Recruitment
Caroline (she / her / hers) joined Georgetown Law as an admissions officer and coordinator of the Early Outreach Initiative in 2020. She joined OPICS in 2022. Prior to joining Georgetown Law, she worked in undergraduate admissions at several universities. She’s spent her entire career in higher education and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ask me about: Job postings, Symplicity, Fall and Spring Public Sector Recruiting Programs (PSRP)
In my free time, I enjoy: Watching reality TV with my partner and our dog, taking ballet classes, going to (and planning trips to) Disney World, and being cozy with a good book or a craft project.
Tamara Devieux-Adams | Director, Upperclass Counseling
Tamara (she / her / hers) began her legal career at an Am Law 200 firm and then worked in child welfare and juvenile justice positions on the state level. After counseling public sector-focused law students for a decade, she went on to lead the Office of Student Affairs at another area law school. Tamara graduated from Harvard University and earned her J.D. at Boston College Law School. She holds a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
Ask me about: General career planning, dual planning (between the public and private sectors), the post-graduate search, and evening student advising.
In my free time, I enjoy: Reading fiction, photography, watching reality TV, and volunteering.
Lauren Dubin | Director, 1L Counseling
Lauren (she / her / hers) has spent most of her career working at Georgetown Law; she was one of the original 3 members of the Office of Public Interest and Community Service team and before joining OPICS, she served as Georgetown’s first public interest advisor in the Office of Career Services.
Prior to joining Georgetown, Lauren worked as a career counselor at a small women’s college in DC and for the U.S. Department of Labor. On the “side,” she is a facilitator for the Georgetown Law, “Lawyers in Balance” Mindfulness and the Law Program and for many years served as a PSJD advisory group member and as the Chair of the NALP Public Service Section. She holds a M.Ed in Counseling and Career Development.
Ask Me About: Public Defender career paths and PD offices, general nonprofit and government searches, dual planning (between the private and public sector), self-assessment, including values, skills and interests awareness, interview preparation and decision making. She enjoys discussing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Strengthsquest Inventories with students along with encouraging students to weave mindfulness practices into their career discovery process.
More About Me: Lauren is an advocate and volunteer for families at risk for breast and ovarian cancer and has a soft spot for discussing and singing favorite music genres with students. Hers include 60’s and 70’s soft or classic rock and Broadway musicals.
Kim Kelly | Office Manager
Kim (she / her / hers) has worked in the OPICS office since its founding in 1996. Prior to Georgetown, Kim worked in the federal government as a contracting officer and spent 5 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Ask me about: Summer funding, volunteer agreements, general OPICS inquiries.
In my free time, I enjoy: Spending time with my grandchildren and children; going to the beach and summer vacations with my sister. I also enjoy listening to music, crossword puzzles and adult coloring books.
Morgan Lynn-Alesker | Assistant Dean
Morgan (she / her / hers) graduated from Georgetown Law in 2007 and joined OPICS in 2012 after a career as a legal services attorney in DC. While with OPICS, Morgan has completed her certificate in Leadership Coaching and has presented at numerous National Association of Legal Professionals conferences on topics including: Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Students and Attorneys; Trauma-Informed Legal Education; Identity Covering in the Legal Profession; and Post-Graduate Fellowships. While a law student, Morgan participated in the Domestic Violence Clinic and co-created a course with her classmates on Conscientious Lawyering.
Ask me about: General career planning, legal services, immigration law, postgraduate fellowships, navigating identity in the workplace, dual planning (between the public and private sectors), summer and postgraduate funding opportunities.
In my free time, I enjoy: Reading dystopian science-fiction, making art with my twins and partner, cultivating antiracism and accountability, and experimenting with the bounty from farmers’ markets.
Jennie Netburn | Associate Director
Jennie (she / her / hers) graduated from Georgetown Law in 2014 and joined OPICS in 2020. After law school, Jennie represented low-income tenants in eviction defense and housing conditions cases. Prior to joining OPICS, Jennie trained and mentored pro bono attorneys working on housing cases in DC. She co-chaired a DC based mentoring program for new public interest attorneys and generally loves mentoring. She is a facilitator for Georgetown Law’s “Lawyers in Balance” Mindfulness and the Law Program.
Ask me about: General career planning, postgraduate fellowships & funding opportunities, legal services, dual planning (between the private and public sector), housing law, and direct civil legal services.
In my free time, I enjoy: Adventuring with my family, walking my dog, baking healthy(ish) desserts, and doing yoga.
Jennifer Ngai Lavallee | Assistant Director
Jen (she / her / hers) joined OPICS in 2022 after practicing as a legal services attorney at the Legal Aid Society of DC for more than twelve years and as an associate at a large law firm for several years before that. Jen started her time with Legal Aid as an Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Fellow and eventually became a supervising attorney of Legal Aid’s Consumer Law Unit, representing low-income District residents in foreclosure prevention and debt collection defense matters while engaging in related systemic and policy advocacy. In her personal capacity, Jen serves as a co-chair of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA-DC) Nominations Committee. She is a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator and serves as a facilitator for Georgetown Law’s “Lawyers in Balance” Mindfulness and the Law program.
Ask me about: General career planning, civil legal services, post-graduate fellowships, dual planning (between the private and public sectors), interview preparation and decision making, and consumer protection law.
In my free time, I enjoy: music (singing, playing the violin, and experimenting with other instruments), exploring the outdoors with my partner and kids, snuggling with my dog, traveling (including planning and packing), paper crafts, and gardening without a plan.
Julia Saladino | Assistant Director
Julia (she / her / hers) joined OPICS in 2021 after a decade of public interest lawyering in Washington, D.C. After graduating from American University Washington College of Law in 2011, Julia clerked at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. She then worked as a Staff Attorney litigating family law cases for low-income residents in D.C. Most recently, Julia has managed a legal Email Hotline and created legal resources for survivors of domestic violence at a national non-profit.
Ask me about: General career planning, legal services, litigation, domestic violence and family law, and clerkships.
In my free time, I enjoy: Checking out local playgrounds with my toddler, listening to podcasts, watching reality tv, and doing yoga and meditating.
Ruby Sheikh | Assistant Director for Public Interest Employer and Alumni Outreach
Ruby (she / her / hers) started her professional career when she joined Georgetown Law after graduating from Northwestern University in 2007 (Go Wildcats!). Ruby worked in the Office of Career Strategy (OCS) for four years and moved to OPICS in 2011 while she was an evening student in Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. She enjoyed working with her colleagues, engaging with public sector employers and students so much that she decided to stay on after graduating and has never looked back!
Ask me about: Public sector employers, connecting with public interest alumni, recruitment programs, Symplicity.
In my free time, I enjoy: Reading (to myself and to my daughter), snuggling with my dog, watching movies/shows about high school, and exploring my neighborhood on foot.
Jen Tschirch | Assistant Director
Jen (she / her / hers) joined Georgetown Law in 2016 to coordinate the Pro Bono Program after serving in a similar role at another area law school. Jen began her legal career with Greater Boston Legal Services in the Employment Unit and then relocated to D.C. to work with Equal Justice Works on their postgraduate legal fellowships programs. She is on the Board of the Washington Council of Lawyers, co-chairs DC Pro Bono Week, and has chaired the AALS Pro Bono & Public Service Opportunities Section and NALP Pro Bono Work Group. She engaged in a host of experiential learning opportunities at Boston College Law School while earning her J.D.
Ask me about: Pro bono opportunities, local and national nonprofit community, legal services work.
In my free time, I enjoy: Parenting two humans and our loud rescue cat, telling bad jokes and spending time outdoors, especially when it’s chilly!
Nicole Vikan | Associate Director
Nicole (she / her / hers) served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted robbery, assault, and firearm possession cases, among others. She was a summer associate at an Am Law 100 firm during law school and worked in the general career office of a large law school before joining OPICS. Nicole was a board member for NALP: The National Association for Legal Professionals and the Carleton College Career Center Alumni Board; she graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota and earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Ask me about: General career planning, prosecutorial work, security clearances, Capitol Hill, USA Jobs, Presidential Management Fellowship Program, and other government honors programs.
In my free time, I enjoy: Reading fiction, eating ice cream, walking in the woods, watching comedies and reality TV, and traveling (though that one is on hold).