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, administrative law, civil rights, the First Amendment, and gun-violence prevention.
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 will 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.
How to apply: The application process for the 2021-2022 fellowship is open. The fellowship position is based in Washington, D.C. Applicants should email a cover letter, resume, transcript, list of three references, and multiple writing samples (please review the guidance below) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review candidates on a rolling basis until mid-September 2020, but encourage candidates to apply by August 25, 2020 to ensure full consideration. We are committed to considering applicants from all schools and backgrounds, and we actively seek applications from women and underrepresented groups.
Guidance on writing samples: Writing samples are the most important part of the application process, and we encourage candidates to submit multiple samples. We prefer whole documents to excerpts. To facilitate blind review, each sample should be submitted as a separate PDF file, omitting the applicant’s identifying information (such as the applicant’s name, judge, and law school). We prefer writing samples that reflect a candidate’s most challenging and ambitious work so far, not cookie-cutter assignments. Scholarly papers are welcome but we would also like to see at least one in-depth advocacy piece or legal memorandum, such as a bench memo (if chambers policy permits, and redacted as necessary). Samples that have been edited or commented upon by others are perfectly fine so long as that fact is noted. We also like to see non-legal writing (or legal writing aimed at a general lay audience) that reveals a candidate’s interests and writing ability.
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Our 2020-2021 fellow is Linnet Davis-Stermitz. She will join the firm following her clerkships with Judge Michelle Friedland of the Ninth Circuit and Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York. During law school, Linnet worked at the Special Litigation Section of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, the ACLU of Illinois, Legal Aid Chicago, and the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic, as an editor on the University of Chicago Law Review. She previously spent two years as a civil rights paralegal at Relman, Dane & Colfax.
Our 2019-2020 fellow is Lark Turner. She joins the firm between clerkships on the Fourth Circuit and 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.
Our 2018-2019 fellow was Alexandria Twinem. She joined the firm 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. After he fellowship, Alex joined Civil Rights Corps as a staff attorney working on criminal-justice-reform litigation.
Our 2017-2018 fellow was Daniel Wilf-Townsend, who remains with the firm as Of Counsel and is joining the University of Chicago Law School as a Bigelow Fellow. Danny joined us 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 Review, the Stanford Law Review, Slate, and the American Prospect.
Our 2016-2017 fellow was Matthew Spurlock, who joined the firm 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.
Our 2015-2016 fellow was Neil K. Sawhney, who completed the fellowship 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 joined the New Orleans office of the Southern Poverty Law Center, where he worked on impact and appellate litigation in the Center’s Economic Justice Project, before rejoining the firm as an Associate.