Opening Date: December 18, 2018

Closing Date: January 22, 2019

Neighborhood Legal Services Program for the District of Columbia will have an opening for one Westwood Fellow, who will start in the fall of 2019. All third-year law students and those who graduated in 2017 or 2018 from accredited law schools in the District of Columbia (American, Catholic, UDC-DCSL, George Washington, Georgetown and Howard) and the University of Maryland’s School of Law are eligible to apply for this Fellowship.


The law firm of Covington & Burling LLP (“Covington”) funds annual Fellowships for graduates of Washington, D.C. law schools and the University of Maryland’s School of Law to work as NLSP staff attorneys. The Westwood Fellowship Program was established and named in honor of Covington’s former partner, Howard C. Westwood, who helped found and preserve NLSP and legal services programs nationally.

Each graduate awarded a Westwood Fellowship must commit to serve as an NLSP staff attorney for at least one year, with an option to apply for renewal of the Fellowship for a second year. This year’s fellow will practice in the area of family law. The fellow will be supervised by the Managing Attorney for the Family Law Unit. The fellow will be placed in one of our three neighborhood offices (Headquarters in the NOMA neighborhood, the Deanwood/ Far Northeast Office, or the Southeast Office).

Covington provides funding through NLSP to cover salaries and other benefits for Fellowship recipients, as described below. Renewal eligibility for the second year is conditional upon the fellow’s job performance, membership in a State Bar, and at least a pending application to the DC Bar.

The Fellowship expands Covington’s long-standing relationship with NLSP. In 1969, Covington decided to make a formal commitment to help meet the enormous need for civil legal assistance among DC’s poor by sending two of its lawyers and support staff members to work at NLSP's neighborhood offices on a full-time basis for six-month shifts. Started in 1991, the Westwood Fellowship adds another dimension to that 48-year relationship. It helps ameliorate a shortage of funding and staff for NLSP and offers an opportunity for local law school graduates to dedicate their talents and energies to providing legal services to the poor.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The Westwood Fellow will:

 provide direct representation for clients in family law (custody, divorce, child support) and domestic violence cases.

 represent clients in all stages of the litigation process, including interviewing clients, drafting complaints and motions, filing and responding to discovery, preparing for hearings and trials, and attending hearings and trials.

 receive internal trainings about relevant substantive law, litigation, and NLSP’s approach of using the law to fight poverty.

 attend external substantive law and litigation trainings.

 contribute to NSLP’s sense of community by participating in committees and organizing periodic office events.

 attend monthly staff meetings and regular practice area and supervision meetings.


All third-year students at the accredited law schools in the District of Columbia (American, Catholic, UDC’s David A. Clarke School of Law, George Washington, Georgetown and Howard) and the University of Maryland’s School of Law are eligible to apply for the Westwood Fellowship. Lawyers who have graduated from those schools in 2017 or 2018 are also eligible. Recipients of a Westwood Fellowship will be eligible to reapply for a second year.

Primary Selection criteria include:

(1) a commitment to serving low-income residents of the District of Columbia;

(2) a passion for public interest law and civil legal services;

(3) strong academic performance, including excellent research and writing skills;

(4) clinical and/or other relevant substantive legal experience;

(5) exceptional communication skills (written and oral) and strong interpersonal skills;

(6) outstanding problem-solving skills and creativity; and

(7) an ability to work independently.


Westwood Fellows are currently paid $45,500 for law school graduates. Once barred, compensation is consistent with NLSP staff attorney salaries. They receive all employment benefits available to NLSP staff attorneys including: employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance; employer-subsidized family health coverage; paid vacation, holidays, personal days and sick leave; 8-week parental leave for birth or adoption of a child; employer-paid life and long-term disability insurance; and 403(b) Thrift Plan (voluntary retirement savings program). Additionally, the Fellowship will reimburse fellows for expenses incurred in taking the bar examination and a bar review course up to $2,000. Reimbursement is not retroactive and is not available to candidates who are already licensed in any jurisdiction. Recipients of the Westwood Fellowship are employees of NLSP, not Covington & Burling.

Application process:

Those interested in applying for a Covington & Burling LLP Westwood Fellowship should email the application materials by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, January 22, 2018.

The application should include

(1) A cover letter explaining why you want to work at NLSP and why you are specifically interested in the Westwood Fellowship. The cover letter should be addressed to the “Fellowship Committee.”

(2) Recent law school transcript.

(3) Resume (including whether or not you speak any languages other than English and your level of fluency in these languages).

(4) Three letters of recommendation from law school professors, judges, practicing lawyers or others in a position to comment on the applicant's qualifications for a position at NLSP.

(5) A relevant and substantive writing sample of original work product 5 pages in length.

Application materials and any questions should be directed to:

Leah Quaile Curran, Managing Attorney, Family Law Unit

Email: lquaile@nlsp.org Phone: 202-832-NLSP (6577)

with a copy to knewtoncole@nlsp.org.


NLSP is an equal opportunity employer

It is the policy of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program that no employee or applicant for employment or services will be discriminated against because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, family responsibilities or family status, veteran’s status, or any other basis prohibited by law, including the D.C. Human Rights Act and Language Access Act.