Davarious Floyd

Rowe-Clark Math & Science
Class of 2025

Interned with Harden Law PLLC on a life-changing case.

Collaborated with top law professors and experts to prepare an expert witness for trial.

Advocated for an issue of national importance that directly affects the client and the criminal legal system on Capitol Hill to congressmen, senators, and congressional officials.

Learn more about Davarious here.

Davarious is excited to attend Georgetown’s Leadership Initiative, because he feels as though he is able to lead in the classroom and with his friends, and would like to learn more skills and be able to lead out in the world.

Entering his Junior year, he is proud of his involvement in his classes and school. His favorite class is English. He finds law and history very interesting and would like to learn more of the ways that he can pursue these areas of interest as a career.

In the future, he would like to study engineering or law. Davarious would like to travel learning more about different locations and cultures, starting with this Summer of a Lifetime opportunity traveling to D.C. Davarious is excited for the ability to travel and meet new people during this summer program.

Read more about Davarious’s achievements here.

Expert Witness Preparation

The Basics of Witness Preparation

I worked with my clients to prepare them for their testimony at trial this upcoming year and conducted witness preparation at the American University Washington College of Law.

I learned about direct and cross-examinations from real lawyers and was able to work with my peers to develop strong lines of questioning about different facets of the case.

How We Prepared Our Witness

At the end of the internship, I had the opportunity to prepare the expert witness and my client for the upcoming trial by conducting my direct and cross-examination with my peers.

I questioned the witness about different facts of the case and the mitigating factors that could influence the outcome of the trial.

This is important because now the witness is able to go to the trial with an idea of the questions that will be asked and the best answers that she can provide.

Internship Highlights

Brandi Harden is currently the Managing Partner at Harden Law | PLLC, a boutique law firm in Washington, D.C., focusing on criminal defense, civil rights, and family law. Ms. Harden is also an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law, where she coaches the Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Team. Ms. Harden also serves as an Adjunct Professor at American University-Washington College of Law (WCL) teaching Evidentiary Foundations and Objections.

Ms. Harden has served as a trial attorney and a supervising attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). Ms. Harden also served as Chair of the Criminal Practice Institute, faculty for Summer Series training, served as a member of the PDS Forensic Practice Group, and led Felony Division-Trial Practice Groups. Ms. Harden has also worked for The Southern Center for Human Rights, The United States Department of Labor, and The United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division–Computer and Finance Section.

Before entering into private practice, Ms. Pinckney served as a deputy chief of the Trial Division for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (hereinafter PDS). As a deputy trial chief, Heather Pinckney assisted in the management and day-to-day operations of the trial division and supervised over 60 attorneys litigating criminal cases in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Prior to becoming deputy trial chief, Ms. Pinckney served for 8 years as a staff attorney at PDS. She also served for 4 years as the chair of the DC Public Defender Service Hiring Committee.

Ms. Pinckney has also worked for the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and TransAfrica.

Ms. Pinckney has acted as a visiting instructor with the Georgia Honors Program and with the Southern Public Defender Training Center. She has also served as a guest lecturer at Howard University School of Law, American University School of Law, the David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC), and the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop.

As part of preparing for the trial, I sifted through legal documents and exhibits. By conducting legal research, I identified discrepancies and supporting details to help me craft lines of questioning.

Courtney exposed our team to the idea of the school-to-prison pipeline and the ‘War on Drugs’ that targets Black men, women, and children, to a greater extent than others in our society. He also revealed the obstacles that returning citizens face post-incarceration.

Courtney’s vision is to reinvest in safe and healthy communities, create more living-wage jobs, establish permanent housing, and develop economic self-sufficiency for returning citizens.

He brought with him recently released returning citizens who spoke out about their criminal history and their life before, during, and after prison.

Judge Adam Hunter is an Administrative Law Judge, adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law, and a member Board of Directors of Rising for Justice.

Judge Hunter explained the intricacies of witness preparation during the trial process.

Judge Hunter worked to help me develop lines of questioning for direct and cross-examination while ensuring all questions were properly worded.

He also shared his experiences in the legal field in the District of Columbia and shared advice about becoming a lawyer and a judge.

Dr. TaLisa Carter

Dr. Carter is a Professor in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology at American University, an Affiliated Scholar at Urban Institute, and an Affiliate with the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence! at George Mason University. Previously, she worked as a Deputy Corrections Officer in Savannah, GA, giving her unique insights into criminology.

Peter Loge

Peter Loge is the Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, in addition to being an Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, and the Director of the Project on Ethics in Political Communication.

Liz Komar

Liz Komar advocates for an end to extreme sentencing in the state and federal criminal legal systems by supporting the work of the Sentencing Project’s Campaign to End Life Imprisonment, leading federal advocacy efforts, and managing amicus litigation activities.