Freethought Today · May 2014

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Meet a Legal Intern

Name: Olivia Mote.

Where and when I was born: Indiana (the Land of Casseroles), 1986.

Family: Two lovely, doting parents and two equally lovely siblings.

Education: DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind., B.A., religious studies and political science; Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, M.A., comparative religion; University of Wisconsin-Madison, J.D. candidate.

My religious upbringing was: United Methodist.

How I came to work as an FFRF legal intern: I learned about FFRF at a law school event, found the organization’s mission compelling, attended its fall convention, sent an “I’d like to participate” email — and here I am.

What I do here: Draft/edit letters for staff attorneys and absorb as much First Amendment “stuff” as possible. I also try not to upset the copy machine.

What I like best about it: Even though I’m still learning the ropes, I feel like the projects I work on here truly matter. I’m also learning a lot about advocacy, and from a different perspective than I get in class.

Something funny that’s happened at work: Every day has its entertaining moments!

My legal interests are: Constitutional law, state/church separation, business and nonprofits, education policy, comparative law and probably other areas to be determined.

My legal heroes are: Attorneys who think empathy is important in the practice of law.

These three words sum me up: Enthusiastic, curious, freckled.

Things I like: School (still!), cooking, making lists of all the places I want to eat in Madison, playing outdoors, my fluffy dog Ruby (her name’s a tribute to the Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday”), NPR (especially “The Diane Rehm Show”).

Things I smite: Meanness.

My loftiest goal: I’m not good at picking favorites. One of them — graduate from law school with (some kind of) honors.

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