MEET THE REP-PP CLASS OF 201​​8

Welcome to the Residency Externship Program in Public Policy

Meet our students
: Learn more about the students participating in the Spring 201​8 T​exas A&M School of Law Residency Externship Program in Public Policy in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas.

Learn what our students have to say about the program: Each year, students in the Residency Externship Program in Public Policy (REP-PP) contribute to the REP-PP website through blog posts.  In addition to the “Meet the Students” blog posts, each student submits at least one post centered around one of the Aggie Core Values - Loyalty, Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Respect and Selfless Service. Check back often to see how our students are progressing in their externships and exemplifying our Aggie Core Values.

REP-PP Class of 2018

Texas A&M Law Residency Externship Program in Public Policy Class of 2018
Shelby Sterling '18, U.S. House of Representatives, Homeland Security Committee;
Hope Shelton '18, CropLife USA;
Lauren Thomas '19, U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division;
Joshua Ramirez '18, Association of Public & Land Grant Universities


Josh-Ramirez-rep-pp-2018
Student Name​Joshua Ramirez
​Law School Year:  ​​3L, ​Spring 201​8 Graduate
Placement:  Association of Public & Land Grant Universities, Washington, D.C.

Meet Josh

Why did you decide to participate in the REP-PP?
As soon as I heard about the program I knew it was something I had to be a part of. It is a unique opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream of working in D.C. while also applying all of the professional and technical skills I’ve acquired during my three years at Texas A&M University School of Law. All my life I’ve wanted to make a difference. I truly believe public policy is the best way for me to have an impact on the communities, both foreign and domestic, that I care about.

It is also the best way to beat Greg Franklin (2017 graduate) in the “most photographed student” category. ;-)

What are you most excited about as you prepare for your REP-PP externship?

The opportunity to gain a firsthand understanding of what our elected officials and their teams really think, experience, and weigh when determining the best course of action. I think it will be a great experience to learn how policymakers draft with an eye to the future while maintaining a thumb on the current social and political issues. I am also excited to get back to the East coast to experience all the various weather and food experiences that go along with it.

What skills do you hope to gain from your experiences in the REP-PP?

I hope to improve my writing of course but I also hope to learn how to effectively think prospectively about issues from multiple points of view, viewpoints I don’t typically use to analyze situations as a student. Furthermore, I seek to acquire the skills and practices that others with years of experience and success have learned so that I can learn from their mistakes, start from a higher platform for change, and be that springboard in the future for the next generation of Aggies on the Hill.

How do you think this opportunity will help you develop as a lawyer?

There are many skills required of an attorney beyond those of absorbing, processing, and analyzing copious amounts of information regarding the law. There are also soft skills, people skills, skills requiring lawyers to think not as lawyers but as those whom their work is effecting or geared toward. I believe my semester on the hill will afford me the opportunity to practice these other skills.

In addition to these “other skills” that our school tries to shine a light on through programs like the REP-PP and Professional Identity, I have passions about Immigration Law, International Law, Human Rights issues, and Foreign Policy. I know this program will provide me with the chance to unite all of my interests and experiences into a work experience where I can effect change and be challenged yet leave fulfilled at the end of the day. That is what I want in a career and this program allows me to dip my toes in the water so to speak. Hopefully this will lead to a job back in D.C. after the bar exam.

How does your participation in the REP-PP demonstrate the Aggie Core Values?
(Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service)

In full disclosure I was not an Aggie prior to coming to the law school nor did I have any family relations who were Aggies. That being said, I am now proud to say I am one because of these very core values. I truly believe that each of these values is necessary to be an exceptional attorney or person.

I could try and list how each of the six values will be specifically demonstrated but I’d rather just show you when I’m there with journals and when I get back with pictures and stories of how Aggies are taking the nation’s capital by storm. It should suffice to say that each of the Aggie core values are traits I hope to see exemplified in my placement at every level because these are the characteristics I want those in authority to practice. I believe public policy drafters should exhibit excellence in their writing, have integrity at all times, be leaders by example, display loyalty to their public and values, be respectful of everyone, and serve selflessly for the greater good of all. I will strive to uphold these tenets and see if it’ll catch on and manifest in our representatives.

What are your personal goals for your semester in the REP-PP?
My personal goals are twofold: first, to accomplish all of the “tourist-y” things I have yet to accomplish in D.C. like tour the White House, meet some of the people on my “must meet list” (perhaps a ​Justice from the Supreme Court!), eat at “We The Pizza,” visit every museum, discover some secrets about our nation’s capital and more.

Second, I want to give this experience my best, excel, and have fun while maintaining personal balance. This is my opportunity to really test my mettle and see that I have what it takes to be an effective attorney who can be a voice for those who are otherwise not heard whilst still finding the time to care for and be myself.

Josh's blog post on Excellence.

Click here to read ​Josh's blog post on the Aggie Core Value of ​Excellence.


Hope Shelton REP-PP 2018
Student Name​Hope Shelton
​Law School Year:  ​​3L, ​Spring 201​​​8 Graduate
Placement:  CropLife USA, Washington, D.C.

Meet Hope

Why did you decide to participate in the REP-PP?
Without knowing it, I have been drawn to public policy throughout law school. I had my ah-ha moment during the Public Policy drafting class. I realized that while I’m interested in almost every area of law, public policy is what I’m passionate about.

What are you most excited about as you prepare for your REP-PP externship?
I am really looking forward to the first-hand, real world experience of public policy. I am also very excited to live in DC for three months. For me, this is an amazing opportunity that I never considered possible when I decided to go to law school.

What skills do you hope to gain from your experiences in the REP-PP?

I expect this experience will enhance my research and writing skills. But I also hope to expand interpersonal communication skills as well.

How do you think this opportunity will help you develop as a lawyer?

A lot can be learned in a classroom, but there is a lot to be learned outside as well. Like my summer internship, this residency will give me the chance to apply what I have learned in the classroom to the real world. I believe this opportunity will give me the practical experience and connections that future employers are looking for.

How does your participation in the REP-PP demonstrate the Aggie Core Values?
(Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service)
Aggies are called to serve others and be leaders in our community. I believe this public policy residency is the perfect translation of what our core values represent, and what better places to bring these core values than directly to our capitals, serving the public?

What are your personal goals for your semester in the REP-PP?
I hope DC challenges me to grow as an individual. My goals for this semester are to learn how my personality and skillset are best applied in the public policy context and seek out opportunities to expand my professional network.


shelby-sterling-rep-pp-2018
Student NameShelby Sterling
​Law School Year:  ​​3L, ​Spring 201​​​8 Graduate
Placement:  U.S. House of Representatives, Homeland Security Committee (Majority Staff), Washington, D.C.

Meet Shelby

Why did you decide to participate in the REP-PP?
The REP-PP is a program I have been anticipating since my first semester in law school. I decided to participate in this program because I want to gain hands-on experience in policymaking and understand how new policies are created. This program offers an unparalleled opportunity to be immersed in a fast-paced and demanding environment outside of Texas. I am excited for the opportunity to work in federal service and work towards a better tomorrow in our nation’s capital.

What are you most excited about as you prepare for your REP-PP externship?
I am looking forward to gaining practical experience in an environment where an inexperienced law student can learn from exceptional leaders who are willing to teach you about the day-to-day lives of lawyers and policymakers in D.C. This opportunity will allow a first-hand experience of what my future professional life will be like outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

What skills do you hope to gain from your experiences in the REP-PP?

I hope that my spring externship will allow me to strengthen my research and writing skills, understand the policymaking process and its complexities, as well as reinforce a determined work ethic that goes above and beyond what my duties generally call for. I hope that I leave Washington D.C. after a life-changing experience that will inspire others to pursue policy and a passion to leave a positive impact.

How do you think this opportunity will help you develop as a lawyer?

I believe that this experience will allow me to grow from being a law student to a young professional that may be a good future job candidate. Law school focuses much of its attention on academic ability, but this opportunity will allow me to become a well-rounded professional by gaining practical experience that will bolster the skills I have gained in law school. It will help me develop a stronger and more efficient work ethic, enhance my legal knowledge, and provide various opportunities to enhance my networking skills.

How does your participation in the REP-PP demonstrate the Aggie Core Values?
(Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service)
My participation in REP-PP will demonstrate all of the Aggie core values. This program will push me out of my comfort zone into some type of leadership role at my placement, which will allow me to show my respect for my peers and supervisors. My loyalty to serving the public is demonstrated through the work I will be doing for the good of our country and my willingness to put the good of our nation first. All of the Aggie core values can and will be shown through each action I take and will impact all of the decisions and work I will do. Selfless service and willingness to serve our country has a tendency to bring out each of these values in more ways than one.

What are your personal goals for your semester in the REP-PP?
I love traveling to and living in new cities; it forces you to learn new things about yourself and allows the possibility of meeting new people. I hope to grow and mature into the strong-willed, dedicated, and hardworking individual I want to be. I would like to leave my externship placement knowing that I did my best and I left with the intention and plans to return to continue working in Washington, D.C. I believe this opportunity will allow me the greatest opportunity to truly complete selfless service and impact something bigger than myself.

Shelby's blog post on ​Respect.

Click here to read ​Shelby's blog post on the Aggie Core Value of ​Respect.


Lauren Thomas REP-PP 2018
Student Name​Lauren Thomas
​Law School Year:  ​2L, ​Spring 201​9 Graduate
Placement:  U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Washington, D.C.

Meet Lauren

Why did you decide to participate in the REP-PP?
I first looked into the REP-PP because I am passionate about environmental law and policy, and I have always wanted to spend a semester working in the public sector in D.C. The REP-PP will provide me with invaluable exposure to policy-makers and environmental policy.

What are you most excited about as you prepare for your REP-PP externship?
I am excited to live in Washington D.C. and learn about the United States Department of Justice. I will be working with the Environmental Enforcement Section, which is the section that represented the famous Love Canal case in the 1970s and 1980s. This is humbling because I learned about the science behind this case in my undergrad, and now I will be working with the same section that handled this case!

What skills do you hope to gain from your experiences in the REP-PP?

I hope to be exposed to a wide variety of federal environmental law. I also hope to meet with and learn as much as I can from the attorneys at the DOJ.

How do you think this opportunity will help you develop as a lawyer?

This is an incredible opportunity because the DOJ is THE attorney for the United States, and learning about their Environmental Enforcement Section first-hand is a unique experience for an aspiring environmental lawyer. This opportunity will hone my skills in legal research and give me the chance to participate in federal environmental law.

How does your participation in the REP-PP demonstrate the Aggie Core Values?
(Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect, Selfless Service)
As a future Aggie lawyer, I strive to allow Texas A&M University’s core values to guide my decision-making process. I think this opportunity will specifically allow me to practice the core values of selfless service as a public servant, integrity and loyalty as a representative of the United States, and leadership as an Aggie law student in Washington, D.C.

What are your personal goals for your semester in the REP-PP?
I aspire to work hard, serve as an excellent representative of Texas A&M University School of Law, and push myself to learn while with the DOJ in D.C.