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Westwood Fellowship, Family Law


Neighborhood Legal Services Program for the District of Columbia will have an opening for one Westwood Fellow, who will start in the Winter or Spring of 2024. All third-year law students and those who graduated in 2022 or 2023 from accredited law schools in the District of Columbia (American, Catholic, UDC-DACSL, George Washington, Georgetown and Howard) and the University of Maryland’s School of Law are eligible to apply for this Fellowship.



Since 1964, Neighborhood Legal Services Program for the District of Columbia (“NLSP”) has provided free legal services in civil cases to low-income residents of the District of Columbia. NLSP pioneered the concept of a law office rooted in the neighborhoods that it serves and established landmark precedents that have retained their vitality and relevance. NLSP remains embedded in D.C.’s most low-income communities, builds its work on strong partnerships with community- based organizations, and seeks to achieve lasting change for its clients and their communities by using a full range of advocacy tools. It’s diverse, multi-lingual, and passionate staff embraces an explicitly anti-poverty, antiracism mission and shares a deep commitment to securing meaningful access to justice.


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 renewed Fellowship commitment 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. Temporarily the fellow will be allowed to work a hybrid schedule, 2 days at Headquarters located at 64 New York Avenue NE. Suite 180 Washington, DC and three days remotely from home.

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 rotations. Started in 1991, the Westwood Fellowship adds another dimension to that 51-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.

Westwood Fellows are paid $62,500 as law school graduates. Once admitted to the State Bar to practice law, compensation is consistent with NLSP’s salary scale for staff attorneys, beginning at $65,500. Fellows 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.


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 graduated from those schools in 2022 or 2023 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 commitment to racial equity;
  3. a passion for public interest law;
  4. strong academic performance, including excellent research and writing skills;
  5. experience with legal services (including internships and clinics);
  6. exceptional communication skills (written and oral) and strong interpersonal skills;
  7. outstanding problem-solving skills and creativity; and
  8. an ability to work independently.
To Apply: 

Those interested in applying for a Covington & Burling LLP Westwood Fellowship should email the application materials. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

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


  1. Recent law school transcript.
  2. Resume (including whether or not you speak any languages other than English and your level of proficiency in these languages).
  3. Three letters of recommendation from professors, judges, practicing lawyers or others in a position to comment on the applicant's qualifications for a position at NLSP.
  4. A writing sample of original work 3 - 5 pages in length.


Please Apply at this link:



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.

NLSP thrives on our diversity and we strongly encourage women, persons of color, LGBTQ individuals, veterans, persons with disabilities, returning citizens and persons from other underrepresented groups to apply.



Submission Deadline: 
May 30, 2024
Organization Information: 
Neighborhood Legal Services of the District of Columbia
64 New York Avenue, NE Suite 180
Washington , DC 20002
United States
Phone: 202-832-6577