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PROFILE

Profile: Kristen Comer, Legal Assistant, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence Legal Action Project [by Regan Morris] Kristen Comer has been with the Brady Center since October. LawCrossing speaks with the legal assistant about her first legal job and her plans to become an attorney.

Juggling a fulltime job and law school four

gun violence. The Brady Campaign and the

has dignity no matter what their standing is

nights a week requires serious drive and

Brady Center believe that a safer America

in life, where they live, or how much money

stamina. Kristen Comer has both. During

can be achieved without banning all guns.

they make,” she said. “And I think that’s

the day, Ms. Comer, 31, works as a legal

The groups want safer guns with childproof

certainly where my passion for human rights

assistant at the Brady Center to Prevent

safety locks. They also support a ban on as-

began.”

Gun Violence. At night she attends George

sault weapons. Ms. Comer hopes to work as an international

Washington Law School. She started both law school and her first legal job last autumn.

The Brady Center uses litigation to reform

human rights attorney once she graduates,

the gun industry. Last year, the center had

perhaps in the field of weapons proliferation.

The former teacher and Peace Corps volun-

three landmark victories in three months,

teer wanted to blend her love of education

with combined settlements totaling $4.4

“A lot depends on the kind of experiences

with international work. So she completed

million.

that I have in law school and what I learn from working here,” she said. “Ultimately, I

a Master’s program at Columbia Teacher’s College, where she focused on human rights

Ms. Comer said her job mainly involves

would love to work at the World Court in The

issues and international education.

research and supporting five attorneys, in-

Hague or for the U.N. or work for another

cluding working on various research projects

human rights organization. Doing litigation

“I found that if I wanted to work in human

for them. One of the biggest challenges, she

maybe; those are things that I would enjoy

rights and international work, then the best

said, is just keeping abreast of all the various

doing.”

thing I could do was get a law degree, and

gun-violence studies on both sides of the

that’s what brought me here,” she said. “This

debate.

Ms. Comer has been helping the Brady Cen-

school. I wasn’t entirely sure of what to ex-

“I’m the only legal assistant. They’re really

and hopes to help out in a courtroom soon. For others interested in a career in interna-

ter attorneys prepare for upcoming litigation

is my first legal job. It’s my first year of law pect, so I don’t think there are any surprises.

good about keeping me balanced, and I have

But it certainly has been a fascinating job,

a chart in my office that outlines what I’m

tional law or gun policy, she said Washington,

and I’m really enjoying the relevance that it

doing for everyone so they can see what I’m

DC, or New York is the place to be. But she

has to my studies.”

working on.” she said.

misses the great outdoors of Washington

She found the job on the idealist.org website

Ms. Comer, who grew up in Washington

and said the gun-control lobby was close to

State, has always been an idealist. She spent

Ms. Comer said the secret to success for

her heart. She believes that violence preven-

two years working with the Peace Corps on

working and studying fulltime is getting her

tion is a human rights issue, and the issue is

the Thai-Laos border and also spent time

school projects done on the weekends.

personal to her as well because one of her

teaching high school at an education clinic

students was shot and killed when she was

for students who had dropped out or spent

“It’s certainly an exercise in stamina,” she

teaching in Seattle. Another student was

time in prison.

said. “I love school. I love to learn. I think

State.

that I will always be learning even when I’m

wounded by a gunshot. “Both my grandparents and my parents cerThe Brady Center and Brady Campaign are

tainly instilled in my brother and my sister

the largest national, nonpartisan, grassroots

and [me] the importance of serving your

organizations leading the fight to prevent

community and the belief that each person

PAGE 1

not in school.”

Profile: Kristen Comer, Legal Assistant, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence Legal Action Project  

Kristen Comer is a legal assistant of Brady Center.

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