GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER'S Domestic Violence Clinic hires one person to serve as a clinical teaching fellow and supervising attorney each year, for a two-year term. Fellows have several areas of responsibility, including: representing survivors of family abuse in CPO cases; designing and teaching Clinic seminar classes; and supervising third-year law students in their representation of clients. Throughout the program, fellows receive extensive supervision and training on their litigation skills, providing them with a substantial opportunity to improve as litigators. The fellowship experience is also designed to develop fellows’ skills as clinical law professors and launch them on a career in clinical law teaching; all of our fellows who have sought teaching jobs over the past decade or more have successfully obtained a teaching position.
Clinic fellows also pursue a program of graduate study, through a seminar course on clinical pedagogy, taught collectively by the Georgetown clinical faculty. (Fellows also may audit regular law school courses). In addition, during the first year of the program, fellows are members of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program, where they have an opportunity to collaborate with lawyers doing a variety of women’s rights legal work in Washington, D.C., and to meet with justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and other long-time leaders in the feminist legal community.
Preference will be given to applicants who have a background or demonstrated interest in family law, domestic violence, or poverty law and who have some trial practice experience. Applicants must have excellent oral and written advocacy skills, and must be admitted to a Bar at the time of submitting their application. Any fellow who is offered the position and is not a member of the D.C. Bar must apply for admission by waiver immediately following acceptance.
Description of the Clinic
Students in the Domestic Violence Clinic represent victims of all forms of domestic abuse in civil protection order (“CPO”) cases in D.C. Superior Court. The Clinic provides students with an intensive, challenging education in the art of trial advocacy, extensive hands-on experience with family law and poverty lawyering, and the opportunity to alleviate a crucial community need for legal representation. Through course work and client representation, students are exposed to every phase of expedited civil litigation. Students also learn to navigate the criminal justice system by working, in cases where it is consistent with their client’s wishes, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in prosecutions against those accused of abusing Clinic clients.
Students litigate to obtain CPOs that last for up to one year and can include a broad spectrum of relief designed to effectively end the violence in a family or dating relationship. For example, a judge may direct a person causing harm to cease assaulting and threatening the victim; to stay away from the victim’s home, person and workplace; and not to contact the victim in any manner. The judge may award temporary custody of the parties’ minor children, with visitation rights for the non-custodial parent, and award child and/or spousal support. Finally, each semester students develop a group project focused on improving law, policy, or community education, that is designed to expose them to alternatives beyond direct client litigation for pursuing social justice for their client base.
In the Clinic seminar, faculty and fellows provide intensive instruction to Clinic students on a wide variety of topics, including the civil, family, criminal, evidentiary and ethical laws and rules applicable to domestic violence litigation, the psychological dynamics of intimate partner violence, trauma-informed lawyering, storytelling, and the importance of empathy. In class, students participate in exercises designed to develop and refine essential litigation skills such as conducting direct and cross examinations, delivering opening statements and closing arguments, introducing exhibits into evidence, and conducting negotiations.
Please complete the application, available at:
and submit it to BOTH the Domestic Violence Clinic (firstname.lastname@example.org), and to the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program (email@example.com).
Please be sure to indicate your interest in the Domestic Violence Clinic on your application.
Applications must be submitted by Friday, November 6, 2020. Selected applicants will be contacted to schedule interviews in December, and selection will occur shortly thereafter. The fellowship begins in early July 2021, and, following a two-year term, terminates in June 2023.