Working at the White House

Travis Nembhard VLS '13

When Travis Nembhard ’13 was accepted into the White House’s competitive internship program, he felt confident that his Villanova Law education had prepared him for whatever a semester at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might bring.

As an intern in the Office of White House Counsel, Nembhard conducted legal research and drafted memoranda on the myriad of questions that arise in the day-to-day work of the Executive Office of the President. In addition to his official duties, he participated in activities sponsored by the internship program—including a weekly speaker series featuring White House senior staff members and a long-term service project tutoring students in a Washington, D.C. public high school.

Nembhard recalled his first walk through the White House, meetings in the West Wing and being introduced to President Obama and Vice President Biden as highlights of his internship. “Most memorable, though, were the many strong connections and relationships built during my time there,” he said.  “The skills that I learned, the people that I learned from and the interns that I learned with, have all made this experience one that I will never forget.”

Nembhard cited his Villanova Law education and the faculty support he received as pivotal in priming him for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “My Constitutional Law II class with Professor Samahon prepared me the most for my time at the White House. I was always interested in learning about the inner workings of the executive branch, but Professor Samahon often went above and beyond to pique student interest in government—for example, his extracurricular class trips to Supreme Court hearings, the National Constitution Center and the Liberty Bell. The cases he taught our class were also very much applicable to the kind of work I did during my internship.”

“Further, the support I received from Vice Dean Moreland—working with me to create a plan of action for a semester-long externship in D.C.—made this internship possible. Professor Pether and Professor Aagaard were also important motivating figures for me throughout my law school career; often working with me to help hone my legal writing skills, which served me well in my internship.”

To learn more about Villanova Law’s externship program, click here.

Travis Nembhard VLS '13 at Commencement with Dean John Gotanda

Although he spent his final semester in Washington, D.C.,
Nembhard returned to Villanova Law in time to rejoin
his class for Commencement in May.