Reflections from a NCOSE Law Center Legal Fellow

The following post was written by Summer Crockett

When some people attend law school, they know exactly what they want to do when they graduate. For me, I only knew I wanted to be involved in the field of human rights but had little to no idea on how to make that happen. I came across the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) when I was looking for job opportunities. Their litigation approach appealed to me because they are focused on developing case law that will help enforce standards of accountability for big tech companies. Essentially, clearly establishing that the monitoring and protection of children and exploited people online is the duty of those most capable of doing so: the platforms. 

For the last year, I have been a legal fellow for NCOSE. A fellowship is essentially a year-long post-graduation internship. In my time at NCOSE, I had the opportunity to be a part of a several cases that are striving to bring about accountability to those who have benefited from peoples’ exploitation. Most of the cases we brought are filed under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), and the most recent amendments to the act known as FOSTA/SESTA. Since the passing of these laws in 2018, survivors of human trafficking and online sexual exploitation have sought civil law remedies against those who directly trafficked them or who benefited from their exploitation. 

Many areas of law are greatly developed and there is robust case law from which attorneys can draw from to support their legal arguments. The exciting part about the cases that NCOSE works on is that there is little-to-no case law. Since the TVPRA and its amendments are new, I have had the opportunity to be a part of developing the legal theories that will be the foundation for human trafficking cases in the future. Because of this, as we litigated, I had the chance to be more creative in my research and legal theories as our legal team helps the courts develop an approach to human trafficking cases. As a new attorney, this has been such an incredible experience.

While working at NCOSE’s Law Center, I have learned much more about the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The history of slavery and exploitation in this country, unfortunately, did not end with the Civil War. It still occurs today, but is often glamourized, romanticized, and disguised in the field of “sex work” and pornography. The opportunity to litigate cases that promote human dignity, bring awareness to issues of inequality, and stand up for the rights of people who cannot do it for themselves has inspired me to be more involved in my community, especially on the local legislative level.

The NCOSE Law Center is a team with talented, brilliant, and dedicated lawyers. I have greatly appreciated the mentorship I have received from them and look forward to following their cases even after my fellowship has ended. 

For more information about Legal Internships or Fellowships, please visit https://endsexualexploitation.org/careers/ or email [email protected]

Click here for more information about the NCOSE Law Center

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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