First District Court of Appeals offers Summer Internships for Local Students

The First District Court of Appeals is pleased to host a number of interns for the summer. The group of interns includes law school and undergraduate students from the Cincinnati and Kentucky area.

This year, the Court is hosting five students from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and two undergraduate students, one from the University of Cincinnati (UC), and one from Centre College. These students come from different academic backgrounds hoping to experience new facets of the law.  The law student interns will be assisting all the appellate judges, while undergraduate interns will be working directly for a respective judge or the Court’s court administrators throughout the summer.

Diversity Internship Program

In 2021, the First District partnered with the University of Cincinnati College of Law to create a Diversity Internship Program. The goal is to provide learning opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds, in which they can attain practical experience in different areas of the law by working alongside judges, staff attorneys, and court administrators. The internship program allows students to learn about the court system in hopes to better inform their career decisions as they advance towards their degrees.

The program is in its third year and the Court is hosting five students from UC Law. This year, Judge Ginger S. Bock and Judge Jennifer Kinsley are overseeing the program.  Throughout the summer, the students will be exposed to a variety of research and writing assignments, will have the opportunity to observe oral arguments, and will also engage with many of the trial courts in Hamilton County.

This is Judge Bock’s third year coordinating the program. Judge Bock brings her passion for eliminating disparities in the justice system to foster inclusion with students from underrepresented communities in the court system.  “I could not be more excited about the group of interns joining our court this summer. They are bright, enthusiastic, and ready to learn. I am honored that all five of our interns chose to work with the First District Court of Appeals,”  said Judge Bock.

With the retirement of Judge Beth A. Myers, Judge Jennifer Kinsley is bringing a new perspective to the program.  Judge Kinsley brings her knowledge and expertise in training law students as a former full-time professor at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. Her academic and professional experience in both public and private sectors will be an asset for the continuing success of this program. When asked about the program, Judge Kinsley said: “We are fortunate to be joined by such an outstanding and diverse group of law students this summer. They each bring a unique perspective to the work of the court that enriches what we do.”

The following interns are participating in the program and are in the process of discerning which practice area interests them the most as they network with members from the legal community.

Julia Bley

Julia Bley is a rising second-year law student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She attended UC for undergrad and graduated with a Secondary English Education Degree. As a native to the city, Julia chose UC to pursue her legal education.

While she does not know exactly what area of law she would like to practice, Julia is excited for the experiences she will have this summer at the First District Court of Appeals. Julia is looking forward to seeing different areas of law and meeting more of Cincinnati’s legal community.

In her free time, Julia coaches swimming for the Special Olympics of Southwest Ohio. Additionally, she enjoys reading and staying active.

Alexander Mayanja-Nkangi

Alexander Mayanja-Nkangi is a rising second-year law student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He is a proud double bearcat and a native of Cincinnati. Alex looks forward to interning at the First District Court of Appeals and working alongside the judges. Alex also hopes to expand his professional network within the Cincinnati legal community. Although his current interest lies in probate law, Alex remains open to exploring other areas of law during his internship.

In his free time, Alex enjoys cooking, watching football, and spending quality moments with his loved ones. Before law school, Alex worked as a Covid-19 contact tracer at Cincinnati Public School District and as a customer service representative at Chard-Snyder, a third-party employee benefits provider.

Micaela Beatham-Garcia

Micaela Beatham-Garcia is a rising second-year law student interested in civil litigation. Micaela attended Ohio University for undergrad and is currently attending the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She hopes to improve her legal research and writing skills throughout the summer and discover new areas of law she might be interested in.

In her free time, Micaela enjoys hiking, cooking, and hanging out with her dog.

Kristen Pierce

Kristen Pierce is a rising second-year student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Through this internship, Kristen hopes to learn more about the different types of legal issues and decide which practice areas interest her the most.

While completing her undergraduate degree, Kristen worked at a baseball museum during the summers. Kristen’s hobbies include hiking, reading, watching movies, and doing puzzles.

Valerie Garcia

As a second-year student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Valerie Garcia is very interested in civil litigation, specifically contract and property disputes. Valerie’s goal during this internship is to enhance her writing and research skills. Before law school, Valerie worked as a paralegal in California. Her work pertained to employment class actions and tort claims.

Valerie is an aspiring bodybuilder and first-generation, Hispanic law school student. She aims to provide more representation for the Latino community in the legal field.


Other Summer Legal Interns

Judge Kinsley is also hosting Tori DeLaney, a rising 3L student from UC. Tori graduated from Dickinson College in 2017 with a B.A. in English and Spanish Literature. After graduating, they served as an adult ESOL teacher through Americorp before working as a family law and guardianship paralegal in Boston for three years. Tori’s position as a paralegal inspired them to pursue their Juris Doctor at the University of Cincinnati where they are now a student organization leader, member of the UC Law Review, and program assistant for the Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice.

Tori is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work for the First District Court of Appeals and in Judge Kinsley’s chambers. This opportunity has allowed them to learn about a variety of legal subjects, engage in nuanced question-asking, and helped them discover a new way to reach their legal goals. Because of this opportunity, Tori is now strongly considering a post-graduate career as a judicial law clerk.

Summer Internships  for undergraduate students

The First District Court of Appeals also routinely hosts undergraduate students. This summer, the Court will be joined by several undergraduate students.

Judge Pierre H. Bergeron is hosting two undergraduate interns for this summer to assist him and his staff attorneys.

Currently, Allison Storms is working with Judge Bergeron. Allison is from Batesville, Indiana, and will be a fourth-year undergraduate student at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.                  Allison is a Political Science major and plans to apply to law school next semester.

She is grateful to learn from and intern for Judge Bergeron because she is very interested in criminal law. Allison is also looking forward to learning about other areas of law that have sparked her interest. She has previous work experience in an accounting firm and in the food service industry, but her dream has always been to work in the legal field.

Allison’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends, training for half marathons, reading, and attending sporting events.

In July, Judge Bergeron will be joined by Drew Perkins. Drew is also an undergraduate student from Centre College.


Judge Marilyn Zayas is also hosting one undergraduate intern to assist with her cases. This internship provides access to young students to learn more about the law through first-hand interaction with case files and research. Olivia Hoin is currently working with Judge Zayas for the summer.

Olivia is an undergraduate Criminal Justice student at the University of Cincinnati. Olivia is interested in practicing Criminal Law or Environmental Law. This internship is an opportunity for her to determine what career path she will take after graduating college. After the internship, she plans to apply to law school.

Olivia has work experience in the retail and food service industries. She also loves animals and considered a career in that field before she realized her interest in criminal justice. One of Olivia’s main hobbies is playing tennis. Tennis is a big part of her life because she’s been playing since middle school and played some in college.


The First District Court of Appeals hopes this experience will foster an exciting perspective about working in the judicial branch and legal system for all of its summer interns.