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’ five 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 three major job fairs each year: the Government and Public Interest Interview Program, held annually in September, the Spotlight on Government Networking Fair, held annually in October, and the Public Sector Recruiting Program, conducted jointly with George Washington University Law School and held each year in late January. 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 Fellows Program, which provides a comprehensive support system for public interest-minded students from the first day of law school until graduation. Information and applications are available through the Admitted Students portal during the summer before students start at Georgetown.
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, and connecting students, faculty, staff, and public interest practitioners. OPICS empowers students to achieve their career goals through individualized counseling and 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 educating employers about bias-aware recruitment and Georgetown’s nondiscrimination policies. OPICS fosters a community that prioritizes equity, nurtures belonging, and is dedicated to advancing justice.
Morgan Lynn-Alesker | Acting 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, 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 (or farm share boxes, these days!).
Lauren Dubin | Director
Lauren (she / her / hers) has spent most of her professional 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 the first public interest advisor for the Georgetown Law Office of Career Strategy. She is a former PSJD board member and served as the Chair of the NALP Public Service Section.
Prior to joining Georgetown, Lauren worked as a career counselor at a small women’s college in DC and 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. Lauren graduated from Boston University and has a M.Ed in Counseling and Student Development from the University of Maryland.
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 is always willing to discuss MBTI and Strengthsfiinder inventories and also enjoys helping students weave mindfulness and meditation into the career discovery process.
More About Me: Lauren is an advocate and volunteer for families at risk of 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.
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).
Adrianne Clarke | Assistant 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, enjoying time outdoors, and occasionally crocheting.
Jennie Netburn | Assistant 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.
Ask me about: General career planning, postgraduate fellowships & funding opportunities, legal services, dual planning (between the private and public sector), and housing law.
In my free time, I enjoy: Walking my dog, imaginary play with my toddler, baking healthy(ish) desserts, and doing yoga.
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: Cheering on my daughter’s soccer, lacrosse and basketball teams, being a parent to our loud rescue cat, and spending time outdoors, especially when it’s chilly!
Ruby Sheikh | Assistant Director for 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 high school-based movies/shows, and exploring my neighborhood on foot.
Brianna Warne | Manager of Public Sector Recruitment
Brianna (she / her / hers) joined Georgetown Law in 2016 with the Office of Experiential Learning (and formerly, the Office of J.D. Academic Services) assisting with externships, clinical programs, and Week One programming. In 2018, she joined OPICS as the Manager of Public Sector Recruitment where she coordinates formal and informal recruitment events for students as well as posts public sector jobs in Symplicity. Prior to Georgetown, Brianna worked at NYU-Washington, D.C. as a Residential Life Administrator. She graduated from Temple University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Media Studies and Production. Brianna has enjoyed working in higher education and student affairs for almost ten years.
Ask me about: OPICS recruitment events, Symplicity, Career Clips.
In my free time, I enjoy: Travel, trying new restaurants, starting too many new hobbies, and Bravo TV shows.
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.