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Summer Experience: Yardley Borten ’25L Yardley Borten spent the summer as a legal intern at the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP) in Washington, D.C.

yardley-800x533 Summer Experience: Yardley Borten '25LYardley Borten ’26L

Originally from Gaithersburg, MD, Yardley Borten ’25L is a second-year law student at Washington and Lee University. She deeply values the community feel at W&L, serving as a board member on several clubs, as a Junior Editor on the German Law Journal, as a SLACer, as an avid LSFL player, and as a Kirgis Fellow. She is looking forward to another great year in Lex.

What did you do for work this summer?

This summer I worked as a legal intern at the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP) in Washington, D.C.

How did you find/get this position?

I participated in the school’s Government and Public Interest Interview Program (GPIIP).

Describe your work experience.

The beauty of nonprofit work is that everyone wears so many different hats. I got to try my hand at all sides of MAIP’s process. From reviewing court transcripts to spot appealable issues, to organizing a team of expert witnesses to assist at an upcoming trial, and even leading a school presentation about exoneration work—the summer was packed with many learning opportunities and plenty of variety. Mission driven environments can’t help but bring people together, and the people I worked with were amazing.

What were some skills you developed this summer?

I think the two main camps of skills are communication and self-awareness. The cadence of nonprofit work is irregular and fast paced. Making sure that you can communicate effectively to get the necessary information or partnership you need on a project is crucial, and I feel I developed this skill over the summer. Similarly, I feel that I developed a better self-awareness of my own working patterns: how long it takes me to complete projects, what details I need to be explained to complete substantive work, how I communicate with peers and supervisors, and my general self-perception in the workplace. Understanding how you operate in these various facets of work is a skill, and one I think MAIP helped me discover and nurture this summer.

What surprised you about the work you did this summer?

I mentioned the many hats, and this surprised me at first. I think I expected to be doing a lot of legal research and writing memos going into my first summer internship in law school. It was an exciting and frankly fun surprise to work in different capacities this summer. Whether it be using AI to design fake line-up materials for a school presentation on the fallacy of eyewitness testimony or being part of a team to look into data we could collect on the patterns of innocence work to lend to innocence scholarship, I had the chance to wear those many hats. These were not projects I was expecting, but ones I am so glad I got to be a part of this summer.

What was your favorite aspect of this summer work experience?

Honestly, the people. The folks at MAIP are so mission driven, welcoming, passionate about their work, and encouraging. I felt like I learned from them, got challenged by them, and became friends with all of them. They bring you into the fold and give you the support to create work you are proud of.

Has this experience helped you figure out post graduate plans, and if so, how?

It definitely has. Before the summer, I was struggling to picture what I wanted to do after graduation; everything from practice area to environment style was up in the air. MAIP illuminated for me that there are environments within the law outside those that I didn’t see myself falling within. It further illuminated what I feel we all know but can sometimes forget: the people make the place and the experience. If you can find an environment that supports you, encourages you, and values you, then you’ll be off to the races. This summer helped ensure I bring that priority into my post-graduate search.

How do you think this experience will shape the rest of your time at W&L Law?

I think it’ll infuse more confidence into the rest of my time here. I had a genuinely wonderful 1L experience, one in which I think it is completely natural to feel some sense of imposter syndrome. I now know for a fact that I learned and integrated a lot of information and skills last year, and that I can legitimately put them into practice. Having that sense of competence and confidence I think will only enhance my time here at W&L Law.

Outside of Law School


Pick up sports or building Legos

Book/Podcast Recommendation

The Women’s Soccer Show Podcast; provides great knowledge and stories about players and nations that don’t always get the limelight.

Favorite thing to do in Lexington

Anything that involves spending time with good people; playing pickleball or visiting the drive-in especially!