Mandi FordRising 3L Mandi Shaughnessy-Ford (JD ’18) isn’t opposed to a little adventure. After studying abroad in Israel and interning with the Knesset (parliament) last summer, she spent much of this summer in Vicenza, Italy as a JAG Corps legal intern for U.S. Army Africa.

Mandi intended to join the military after completing her undergraduate education, but instead chose to attend law school at Chapman University Fowler School of Law. When the possibility of a JAG Corps internship was offered via Chapman’s On-Campus Interview program last year, she was naturally drawn to it.

“Besides easy access to the best gelato and pizza in the world, the best part of the job was the variety of work I was assigned,” she reflected. “I learned so much in such a short time because of the nature of the JAG Corps’ mission.”

Mandi Ford JAG

Mandi was even invited to join the office’s softball team.

While her expectations for the position were high, the reality of the work reaffirmed her goal to become a commissioned JAG Corps officer after graduating from Chapman.

“The JAG personnel—both enlisted and officers—were so welcoming and kind,” she said. “I also didn’t expect the JAG office to care so much about my learning experience. I was never told ‘no’ when I asked to attend a trial, preliminary hearing, or appointment. The office made a point of including me in everything.”

Mandi was familiar with much of the tasks she performed with the JAG Corps, having spent a semester working in Chapman University’s Military and Veteran’s Law Institute. Her skills were also bolstered by her Legal Research and Writing (LRW) coursework at the law school.

“The JAG internship helped to develop my analytical skills even more,” she said. “Legal analysis was important to every assignment I was given, and because I was able to talk through legal theories with my supervisors, I was able to grow in my thinking.”