Georgetown Law Decides to Uphold its Catholic Doctrine

Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff met with students recently to discuss the decision and the petition they are passing around in opposition to it. The decision gained prominence after a situation involving a student by the name of Jenny Woodson. Woodson, who was looking into a summer internship with Planned Parenthood, was surprised to find out that the school would not fund her internship.

The Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) is a program within the law center that awards fellowships to 1Ls who take on internships within public interest organizations. However, the decision not to fund certain internships is greatly affecting the way the EJF operates.

"In its 21-year history, the foundation has never been forced to place restrictions on the types of jobs sought by applicants," Stacia Cordille, Chair of EJF, said in an interview with The Hoya. "EJF remains dedicated to funding all students working in unpaid public interest positions over the summer and believes those who work in the field of reproductive rights are no less deserving of this crucial support."

Aleinikoff denies that the decision is anything new for the university. Instead, he told The Hoya that the law school has merely decided to start "implementing the law center's long-standing policy not to fund abortion rights organizations."

Woodson, who said she is currently considering transferring to a different school because of the decision, thinks the school is making a mistake by trying to go in two directions. She thinks the school should decide whether it wants to market itself as a Catholic university or a top law school.

"I think Georgetown is facing a crisis of identity right now. If it wants to promote Catholic policies, the school should fully embrace that identity, but if it wants to be a top-14 law school and promote itself as such, it must realize that a certain struggle will arise if the school doesn't respect academic freedom," she said.

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