The CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Department is pleased to introduce our Summer Legal Interns, Jessica Ladd and Phillip Chapman! These students assist the Civil Rights Director in client intake and management, provide legal research and writing for our cases, and take part in our important summer programs. They will also both complete research projects to add to the CAIR Oklahoma library. We are thrilled to include the best and brightest of their institutions to join our CAIR-OK family!
Jessica Ladd grew up attending Norman Public Schools. After graduating Norman North High School in 2008, and having always wanted to go to medical school and work for Doctors Without Borders, Ladd immediately started at the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a declared major in biology. After changing her major three times and learning that the sight of blood makes her faint, Ladd graduated OU in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of the Arts in Anthropology and a minor in Spanish. Although medical school was no longer in the picture, Ladd spent her undergraduate career volunteering with non-profits like SmileColombia and the Latino Community Development Agency, and developed a love for international development work and work promoting and protecting basic human rights.
Ladd applied for the Peace Corps during her senior year at OU. The acceptance process was a long one, so she continued working at her college job in a fine dining restaurant after graduation while waiting to depart. Ladd left for Guinea, West Africa in December 2013 and remained there for 10 months as a Public Health Volunteer. Unfortunately, the Ebola outbreak began shortly after Ladd’s arrival, and she was evacuated the following September. Ladd is again attending the University of Oklahoma, and this time is pursuing a law degree specializing in International Human Rights and a Master’s Degree in Global Development.
Phillip Chapman graduated from Union High school in 2010, and moved from Tulsa to Norman to attend the University of Oklahoma that August. While in school Phillip studied history, philosophy, and Latin. In 2014 he graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Letters with an emphasis in Constitutional Studies and a minor in History. After graduation Phillip bopped around Norman working several retail jobs and volunteering on the Joe Doorman Gubernatorial campaign in 2014. When he wasn’t working he was painting, drawing, writing, and cosplaying as well as running his own Etsy store. In August of 2015 he began the next leg of his journey.
Since choosing Oklahoma City University School of Law, Phillip has participated in several on campus organizations, attended guest lectures, and delivered a stirring argument at OCU’s Moot Court competition. He attends law school because he wants to help people. Whether it is working as a public defender, an environmental or civil rights lawyer, or working within the political sector Phillip wants to make a positive difference, even if it is small. He does not train to become a lawyer for himself but to help others. He believes that civil rights for all people is crucial and unfortunately we must fight for it. Phillip wants to help however he can. “Working at CAIR is an amazing opportunity and will help me get to where I belong.”