Meet some legal interns: Seth C. Wrinkle & Liana Kapelke-Dale

Name: Seth C. Wrinkle.

Where and when I was born: Walla Walla, Wash., in March 1984.

Family: Father and stepmother, Curt and Cynthia Wrinkle of Milton-Freewater, Ore.; mother and stepfather, Debra and James Brumley of Prosser, Wash.; siblings Meredith Wrinkle and Alexa Aggeler of Portland, Ore.

Education: B.A. from the University of Oregon, 2010; J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School, class of 2016.

My religious upbringing was: Vaguely Protestant.

How I came to work as an FFRF legal intern: I was interested in church-and-state law but didn’t know quite where to begin. I was familiar with FFRF through its legal work, billboard campaigns and reputation, so I called the office to inquire about summer legal internships and ended up here in short order.

What I do here: Legal research and writing, mostly, also getting turned around walking around the Wisconsin Capitol Square.

What I like best about it: I’m enjoying learning how a national nonprofit operates, how Establishment Clause advocacy works in real life, and what a pleasant and exceptionally walkable town Madison has turned out to be (and needs to be when you get turned around.)

My legal interests are: Constitutional law and crafting immaculate memo subject lines.

My legal heroes are: Harvey Birdman, Saul Goodman and She-Hulk [fictional attorneys].

These three words sum me up: Aphorist-ish, cicumlocutastic, cat fancier.

Things I like: Overwrought sentences, cats and Spotted Cow [beer brewed in New Glarus, Wis.].
Things I smite: I think smiting is rarely called for, don’t you?

I wish you’d asked me: “Haven’t you had enough coffee today?” No, I certainly have not.

Name: Liana Kapelke-Dale. Lianas are vines that grow in the Amazon rain forest and have been written about by such illustrious poets as Federico García Lorca. I like to pretend Lorca was writing about me.

Where and when I was born: Milwaukee, Wis., in December 1987.

Family: My parents, Steve and Kathleen, who are both semi-retired academics and educators; and two older sisters, Jessica (a public health nurse in Madison) and Rachel (finishing up her Ph.D. in film theory in London).

Education: I have a B.A. in Spanish and a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I’ll be starting my third and final year at the UW Law School this fall.

My religious upbringing was: Eclectic. I attended Quaker and Wiccan services as a child. I had my baby blessing and coming-of-age ceremony at Circle Sanctuary in Barneveld. They were both performed by priestess Selena Fox.

How I came to work as an FFRF legal intern: I became an atheist at around the age of 20 and feel more passionately about it (and the noxious pervasiveness of religion in the world) every day. I have a strong interest in science and freethought and a strong distaste for this country’s ridiculous need to pander to religious irrationality. I’d been wanting to work with FFRF since before I started law school.

One of the reasons I decided to go to law school in the first place was my interest in fighting Establishment Clause violations, but beyond that, I love FFRF’s irreverence and refusal to respect unconstitutional actions just because they were done in the name of religion.

What I do here: I’ve drafted a ton of letters of complaint regarding violations of the Establishment Clause, written memos for my supervising attorney about Good Friday state statutes and Muslim prayer in public schools and translated letters of complaint into Spanish for violations occurring in Puerto Rico. I might be working on an amicus brief soon as well.

What I like best about it: I love hearing that violations have been rectified. I like researching and drafting letters, especially for the more egregious violations, and I love the people I get to work with. FFRF is a great place to work, with a wonderfully open atmosphere.

Something funny that’s happened: I helped draft a letter to an official in Arkansas regarding an “Appeal to Heaven” flag that was flying over a county courthouse. The flag was taken down, and then Sarah Palin wrote an editorial condemning FFRF’s request. Making Palin mad was one of the highlights of my life so far.

My legal interests are: First Amendment rights, civil rights, Immigration Law, bioethics and much, much more.

My legal heroes are: Sonia Sotomayor and the Notorious RBG [Ruth Bader Ginsburg].
Things I like: Classic rock (especially David Bowie and other glam gods), writing and publishing poetry, Latin American travel, vintage fashion and my dog Bullett.

Things I smite: Religion and ignorance in any form. Also Antonin Scalia. That guy sucks.

I wish you’d asked me: My favorite song. For the record, it’s a three-way tie between “Rebel Rebel” (Bowie), “Beast of Burden” (the Stones), and “Gimme Danger” (the Stooges). Actually, there are way more, but I have limited space here.

Freedom From Religion Foundation