Posted October 13, 2022

Temple student lands prestigious internship at Lambda Legal

Gender, sexuality and women’s studies major Courtney Kater is working at Lambda Legal, the prominent LGBTQIA+ legal organization.

Image of Courtney Kater in a sweater.
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito
Gender, sexuality and women’s studies major Courtney Kater is exploring their interest in law and civil rights through their internship with LGBTQIA+ firm Lambda Legal.

This fall semester, Courtney Kater, Class of 2023, began their internship at Lambda Legal, the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQIA+ advocacy nonprofit. The firm is devoted to supporting the civil rights of this community and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

“As a queer person, I have always wanted to do whatever I can in the movement to make the world better for other queer people,” said Kater, a gender, sexuality and women’s studies major who grew up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. “It’s such an honor to learn from what Lambda Legal does and get a different perspective on its advocacy.”

Kater interns remotely in the nonprofit’s development department, which focuses on fundraising, gifts and donorship. Their duties include database maintenance and assisting with mailing and outreach. Later in the fall, there will be opportunities for Kater to work in-person events at the organization’s office in New York City.

In addition to fulfilling these essential tasks, Kater looks forward to networking with colleagues throughout the nonprofit. “I’m hoping to talk to as many people as possible who are working on some of the cases we’re doing, specifically with transgender healthcare and student rights, ” they said. “My site supervisors are awesome and actively encourage and assist with forging relationships. I feel really taken care of in that sense.”

This internship is a component of the Field Work course in gender, sexuality and women’s studies. Kater lauds the program for its wide variety of classes and experiential learning. “I’m not sure which specific path to take, so I want to use my field work to see what a path in law is like in a practical sense,” they said. “Being on the inside of how nonprofits and law firms work, especially such a large and impactful one, will be helpful in narrowing down what my next steps are after graduation.”

“I want to make sure that wherever I am or end up aligns with my personal experience and that I can use that experience to fuel what I do,” added Kater. “Because this internship specifically applies to my life and my community, I feel passionate and enthusiastic about the work.”

When looking for an internship, Kater considered both their interest in law and passion for social justice and equal rights. To find the right fit, Kater consulted Jennifer Pollitt, assistant professor and assistant director of gender, sexuality and women’s studies, who put them in contact with Lambda Legal.

Kater, who transferred to Temple from Bucks County Community College, appreciates the opportunities they’ve received at the university. “There’s an energy here that I really like. It’s a good environment to learn, discuss and challenge yourself. And there are a lot of different directions within gender, sexuality and women’s studies, which is liberating and intimidating. But Temple has prepared me for making those choices.”