SWLAW Blog | Alumni

Davetta Selma with Michelle Obama

April 24, 2017

Southwestern Alumna Completes White House Internship Program

Southwestern Alumna Davetta Selma ’14 has completed the Spring 2016 White House Internship Program, an intensive, unpaid, full-time 16-week internship where acceptance is highly competitive.

Over the course of the internship, Selma participated in a wide breadth of dynamic tasks and activities. She oversaw the Criminal Justice Reform portfolio in the Presidential Correspondence Office, assisted in choosing which letters to feature in the President’s speeches, helped select the 10 letters President Obama would privately read each night in efforts to maintain an ongoing dialogue between his Administration and the public and gauge how his policies were affecting citizens, directed casework to proper federal agencies, and staffed White House events, including the Canadian State Arrival welcoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Selma credited the Public Service Program at Southwestern and the mentorship of Professor Laura Cohen with providing the tutelage and guidance that prepared her to excel in this demanding role. “As a clinic participant, [Prof. Cohen] provided me with the practical tools necessary to effectively serve vulnerable populations, which I used to serve our nation, including our veterans, women, and children.”

Selma reflects upon her experience at The White House as being instructive and deeply rewarding, emerging from the program with “strengthened leadership skills, a powerful professional network, and a deepened knowledge of government.” Recently returning to Los Angeles, she plans on continuing her work in public service and public policy. “This experience will help me create lasting change in my community and reach my greatest potential as a leader representing Southwestern Law School.”