by Claire Guggemos
2019 D.C. Culture of Life Extern


“When I applied for the DCCLI externship this past fall, I had no idea what I was signing up for. I knew that I would be on Capitol Hill, researching topics related to bioethics, and studying the schools and progression of the bioethics field. I quickly found out that this externship offers so much more. During my first week, my congressman had a bill signed into law by President Trump, I attended meetings with Ambassadors to discuss political unrest in their home countries, and met with Congressmen to discuss goals for the 116th session. Since day one, I have been treated as a member of staff--not as an intern--and have had the opportunity to be an active participant in the legislative process. From researching women's health on a global scale to attending Foreign Affairs committee hearings, I have been exposed to a variety of current and controversial issues around the world. When I am not researching the nuances and possible consequences of current political issues, I am in the House Gallery to watch special orders or joining the congressman at some of his many public appearances around D.C. 


I have been blessed to be placed in my office, with a congressman and staff that care so deeply for the most important issues facing our nation. They continually prove their dedication to their constituents and understanding of our moral obligation to do what is ethical. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with them on a daily basis.


While I have taken philosophy classes in undergrad, the bioethics course this semester has provided me with an understanding or ethics in our modern society that I did not realize I was lacking. Studying the different schools and progression of the bioethics field provides a solid foundation for the work that I am doing with my congressman's office. Being able to analyze a situation or case with a proper understanding of true bioethics is invaluable in an ever-progressing society. I am able to watch the consequences--both positive and negative--of the precedent for bioethical issues unfold in front of me every day at work. This course works with my externship and provides a deeper layer of understanding of the complexity and importance of current and potential future issues. Meeting with Jennifer to discuss case law and philosophy every week is an important and enjoyable aspect of this enriching opportunity in D.C.”

Claire Guggemos

Ave Maria School of Law

Juris Doctor Candidate, Class of 2020