Graduate Teaching Fellowship
Please complete the Women’s Law & Public Policy Fellowship Program application and submit it to both Professors Deborah Epstein and Rachel Camp (email@example.com) and to the Fellowship Program (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Applications must be submitted by Friday, November 10, 2023.
The fellowship begins in early July 2024, and, following a two-year term, terminates in June 2026.
Description of the Fellowship
The Domestic Violence Clinic (DVC) hires one clinical teaching fellow/supervising attorney each year, for a two-year fellowship position. DVC fellows receive intensive, supportive mentorship as they develop skills in litigation, teaching, and legal scholarship; fellows are well-prepared for a career in clinical teaching or public interest practice.
DVC fellows develop skills as clinical teachers. They supervise law students as they represent survivors of domestic abuse in civil protection order cases in D.C. Superior Court. As supervisors, fellows teach students to develop a range of skills—from building a strong and empathic attorney-client relationship; to acquiring litigation practice skills; to exploring legal ethics; to becoming creative problem-solvers, trauma-informed lawyers, and excellent storytellers. They help students critically examine the psychological dynamics of intimate partner violence, the harms inflicted by our society’s systemic and institutional responses, and various alternatives to solutions rooted in the existing legal system.
DVC fellows also learn to design clinic seminar classes on a range of topics, including child custody, professional ethics, and the individual and social dynamics of intimate partner violence. Faculty provide close support as fellows design the classes they will teach, focusing on how to navigate potential student learning challenges, how to develop an individual teaching “voice,” and how to facilitate interesting, challenging, and thought-provoking conversations and classroom exercises.
DVC fellows receive extensive training and mentorship as they continue to improve their lawyering and litigation skills. Fellows provide direct representation to a small number of clients experiencing family abuse, primarily outside of the academic semester.
Fellows are offered extensive opportunities to engage in legal scholarship. DVC faculty and others in the broader Georgetown community provide a wide range of support to fellows interested in researching, writing, and publishing their work.
First-year DVC fellows join the full community of Georgetown’s clinical teaching fellows in a course on clinical pedagogy co-taught by members of the Georgetown clinical faculty. They are also part of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program, where they have opportunities to collaborate with lawyer-fellows working on a wide variety of women’s rights legal issues at placements throughout Washington, D.C., and learn from leaders in the national and local feminist legal community.
Preference will be given to applicants who have a background or demonstrated interest in family law, domestic or sexual violence, and/or poverty law, and to applicants who have trial practice experience. Applicants must be admitted to a Bar at the time they submit their application. A fellow offered the DVC fellowship position who is not a member of the D.C. Bar must apply for admission by waiver immediately following acceptance.
The fellowship runs from early July 2024 through June 2026. The first-year salary is $70,000; the second-year salary is $75,000. Upon completing the fellowship, Georgetown awards fellows an LL.M. in Advocacy.
The DVC welcomes and considers applications from any and all interested applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran, or other protected status.
Description of the Clinic
Students in the Domestic Violence Clinic (DVC) represent victims of intimate abuse in civil protection order (CPO) cases in the D.C. Superior Court. Through on-the-ground client representation, individual supervision, and seminar-based simulations and exercises, students learn to engage in client-centered advocacy, develop strong trial and negotiation skills, obtain a thorough understanding of family, criminal, and poverty law, and provide representation in an area of substantial community need.
The CPOs Clinic students obtain for their clients may include a broad spectrum of relief designed to effectively end the abuse in an intimate relationship. A CPO may order the respondent to stop assaulting and threatening the client, to stay away from her, her home, and her workplace, vacate her residence, and not to contact her in any manner. The order also may resolve family law issues, including an award of temporary custody of the parties’ children, visitation rights for the non-custodial parent, and child support awards. Other commonly-litigated issues include reimbursement for injury-related medical bills and property damage, referrals to appropriate counseling programs, and the surrender of firearms.
Students in the Clinic serve as lead counsel for their clients. They learn to excel in every phase of expedited civil litigation. Students gain expertise in trial advocacy and the law of evidence; a typical case involves the introduction of photographs, text messages, 911 calls, and/or medical records at trial. Clinic students learn a systematic approach to lawyering involving careful planning, practical engagement, and critical post-performance reflection, and internalize both a valuable method for long-term professional improvement and essential skills that transfer across a wide variety of practice areas.
The DVC’s educational and legal mission is to:
- Provide law students with an intensive, challenging education in the art of trial advocacy;
- Provide high quality, client-centered representation to indigent survivors of domestic abuse.
Clinic students develop a wide range of essential lawyering skills, including:
- Providing highly effective client representation;
- Becoming creative, independent thinkers;
- Developing habits to unpack assumptions, foster curiosity, and understand the impact of trauma; and
- Increasing the effectiveness of civil interventions and helping clients navigate whether to engage with the criminal legal system.
We pride ourselves on creating a warm and supportive community in the DVC. Faculty provide both the educational scaffolding and the practical feedback students need as they make the transition from law student to practicing attorney. We are also fully conscious of our broader mentoring role: we invest ourselves and our time in each of our students, we are dedicated to helping our students find their individual lawyering voice, and we are available to our students long past graduation and into their lawyering career. Our students are committed to each other as well; every semester, there’s a real sense of family in the DVC.