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14 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-3108
December 1, 2010
Miriam A. Nunberg
Staff Attorney
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
32 Old Slip, 26th Fl.
New York, NY 10005-2500
Dear Ms. Nunberg:
I am a first-year student at Harvard Law School and am writing to apply for a volunteer summer
internship with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in New York City. I
learned about your organization through Harvard Law School's public service database and
through Harvard students who have interned at branches of the OCR in other cities. Interning at
the OCR would allow me to continue my commitment to civil rights in education, and I feel
confident that I could contribute substantively to the work of your office while strengthening the
skills I’ll need for a career in education law.
As a senior at Cornell University, I wrote an honors thesis on the politics of bilingual education in
California and New York, focusing on strategies for protecting minority students’ language
rights. Because my career goal is to work on language issues, and discrimination generally, in
American education, I wrote my masters thesis on language policy in Spanish schools in order to
gain knowledge of how other countries handle these complex issues.
This semester, I’ve gotten involved with Harvard Law School’s Advocates for Education, as well
as the Child and Youth Advocates, organizations which have exposed me to the work lawyers can
do to promote education rights. Additionally, joining the Latino Law Review has kept me
updated on the issues facing minority students. My work with the Harvard Defenders has begun
to give me experience in public interest litigation, and working at the OCR would allow me to
gain experience advocating for the specific client populations I hope to assist in my career.
Because of my familiarity with language issues and New York’s bilingual education policies, as
well as my fluency in Spanish, I would be very happy to work on cases dealing with language or
national origin discrimination, but I’d also be delighted at the opportunity to work in any of the
areas on which your office focuses, including LGBT and disability rights.
I have enclosed a resume highlighting my education and work experience. I hope to have the
opportunity to interview with you about a summer position, and I will call your office in a few
weeks to see if I may schedule a time to speak with you. Thank you in advance for your time and
Samantha Pierce

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