Fellowship in Appellate and Constitutional Litigation
Gupta Wessler PLLC specializes in Supreme Court, appellate, and complex litigation on behalf of plaintiffs and public interest clients. Our cases span a wide range of issues, including consumers’ and workers’ rights, class actions, access to the courts, civil rights, and constitutional and administrative law.
Each year, our firm seeks out a new attorney with exceptional writing ability, the capacity to think rigorously and creatively about the law, strong advocacy instincts, collaborative spirit, and a genuine passion for public interest work. Judicial clerkship experience and experience in both public interest and appellate litigation are preferred.
The fellowship is ideally suited for a current or recent judicial law clerk interested in embarking on a career as a public interest litigator. Fellows are fully integrated into all aspects of the firm’s work and receive significant responsibility for cutting-edge appellate, constitutional, and complex litigation. They are expected to hit the ground running by researching and drafting briefs under close supervision and mentorship by the firm’s attorneys. Fellows may also play a critical role in monitoring developments in the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts, and in analyzing potential new cases for the firm.
We are currently accepting applications for a 2023-24 fellowship. Please submit a cover letter, resume, transcript, list of three references, and multiple writing samples (with your name redacted) to email@example.com. We expect to review applications on a rolling basis through mid-September 2022, but encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible to ensure full consideration. We are committed to considering applications from candidates of all backgrounds and graduates of all schools–including members of traditionally unrepresented groups, first-generation college graduates, and non-traditional candidates.
We encourage multiple writing samples (legal or nonlegal) that reflect a student’s most challenging work so far–not just cookie-cutter assignments for first-year legal writing courses. Scholarly papers are welcome (including undergraduate papers), but we prefer to also see at least one in-depth advocacy piece or legal memorandum. We also like to see non-legal writing (including published work) that reveals a student’s general interests and writing ability. We prefer whole documents to excerpts. Samples that have been edited or commented upon by others are perfectly fine so long as that fact is noted. To facilitate blind review, each writing sample should be submitted as a separate PDF file, omitting the applicant’s identifying information (such as name and law school).
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Alisa Tiwari will join the firm as a fellow in Fall 2022 following her clerkships with Judge Michelle Friedland on the Ninth Circuit and Judge Vince Chhabria on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. During law school, she worked on affirmative litigation with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office (where she successfully designed and pitched an APA lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s recision of civil-rights guidance documents); Supreme Court and appellate litigation with Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells; and criminal law reform litigation at the ACLU. Before law school, Alisa prepared policy analyses for Vanita Gupta in her role as head of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and worked directly with attorneys and investigators to uncover law enforcement misconduct as part of a federal investigation into the Baltimore Police Department. She also worked in the Civil Rights Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Jessica Garland joined the firm in as a fellow in 2021 following her clerkships with Judge David Barron of the First Circuit and Judge Paul Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York. She has also accepted a clerkship with Justice Elena Kagan on the U.S. Supreme Court. As a law student, Jessie worked on ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims with the Ethics Bureau, litigated prisoner and immigrant cases in the Second Circuit with the Appellate Litigation Project, and interned for the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York. Before law school Jessie was a Henry Fellow at Cambridge University in England, where she received an M.Phil in Criminology.
Joyce Dela Peña joined the firm as a 2021-2022 fellow after her clerkships with Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit, Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and Judge Corinne Beckwith of the D.C. Court of Appeals. Joyce is a 2018 graduate of Georgetown Law and joined the Federal Trade Commission following her fellowship. Before clerking, she was a student in Brian Wolfman’s Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic and interned at Public Justice; Relman, Dane & Colfax; the Special Litigation unit of the D.C. Public Defender Service; Equal Justice Under Law; Bronx Defenders; and the Prison Law Office.
Linnet Davis-Stermitz is an associate at Gupta Wessler. She originally joined the firm as a 2020-2021 fellow following judicial clerkships with Judge Michelle Friedland of the Ninth Circuit and Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York. Before law school, Linnet spent two years as a paralegal at Relman & Colfax PLLC, where she helped litigate fair housing, fair lending, and disability rights cases, including conducting interviews for what would become the first federal jury verdict holding a bank accountable for reverse-redlining practices. Linnet pursued these interests to the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a Rubenstein Scholar, a Comments Editor for the University of Chicago Law Review, and the head of a student group devoted to Chicago land-use issues. She also worked at a variety of public interest organizations, including Legal Aid Chicago’s Housing Practice Group and the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic, where she managed a first-of-its-kind six-judge evidentiary hearing in the clinic’s pathbreaking selective enforcement litigation and presented oral argument on behalf of a clinic client.
Lark Turner is currently an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission and was the 2019-2020 fellow at Gupta Wessler between her clerkships with Chief Judge Gregory of the Fourth Circuit and on the D.C. Court of Appeals. During law school, following a career in journalism, Lark worked at the Appellate Division of the Public Defender Service of D.C., the Southern Center for Human Rights, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, and Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, and as a research assistant to Professor Laurence Tribe.
Alexandria Twinem is currently an Assistant Solicitor General of New York, where she handles a wide range of appellate litigation in state and federal court, and previously worked as a staff attorney at Civil Rights Corps, handling criminal-justice-reform litigation. She joined the firm as the 2018-2019 fellow following her clerkships with Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit and Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York. During law school, Alex was the Managing Editor of the Stanford Law Review, a student in the Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, and a law clerk at the Southern Center for Human Rights, Goldstein & Russell, and the public-interest firm of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin.
Daniel Wilf-Townsend was the 2017-2018 fellow and continued to practice with firm full time from 2018-2020, when he left to pursue a Bigelow Fellowship at the University of Chicago Law School. Danny is now an incoming tenure-track professor at Georgetown Law, where he focuses on civil procedure, federal courts, and consumer protection law. He joined the firm following clerkships with Judge Marsha Berzon of the Ninth Circuit and Judge Jeffrey Meyer of the District of Connecticut. He was previously a summer associate at Gupta Wessler and also worked at the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the D.C. Public Defender Service. His writing has been published by the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, Slate, and the American Prospect.
Matthew Spurlock joined the firm as the 2016-2017 fellow following a legal fellowship at the national ACLU and judicial clerkships on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Connecticut Supreme Court. Following his fellowship, Matt joined the Massachusetts Public Defender Division, where he now briefs and argues appeals as part of the statewide Appeals Unit.
Neil K. Sawhney, now an associate with the firm, who completed his fellowship in 2015-2016 between his clerkships with Justice Goodwin Liu of the Supreme Court of California and Judge Marsha Berzon of the Ninth Circuit. In the fall of 2017, Neil moved to New Orleans, where he worked on impact and appellate litigation in the Center’s Economic Justice Project before rejoining the firm’s new San Francisco office.