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Pro Bono Program

Scales with Pro Bono text

Find out about public interest fellowships and other pro bono placements.

The Office of the Attorney General offers recent law school graduates and experienced practitioners the opportunity to work as public interest fellows or pro bono attorneys.

Public interest fellowships are available to recent law school graduates who have secured financial support–typically from a law firm or a law school–that allows them to work pro bono for a public interest organization. Public interest fellows commit to working full time, for three to eighteen months, in a division or section of the Office that specializes in civil or criminal enforcement, defensive litigation, legal counsel, or transactional work. They can expect to receive supervision and mentoring by an attorney-manager, formal training opportunities, and, as they develop new skills, progressively more challenging assignments.

There are many other opportunities for experienced practitioners and recent law school graduates to provide pro bono service to the Office of the Attorney General on a full or part-time basis. A volunteer will usually be assigned to one of the Office’s divisions or sections or to one or two specific matters, reflecting both the interests of the volunteer and the needs of the Office.

Attorneys interested in learning more about pro bono opportunities at the Office of the Attorney General should contact Kim McDaniel, Pro Bono Coordinator, at (202) 724-5503 or kim.mcdaniel@dc.gov.

Requirements to be considered a Pro Bono Attorney

  • Two letters of recommendations
  • An official transcript (if less than 5 years out of law school)
  • A certificate of good standing
  • Must complete a background release form

Legal Counsel Division

  • Draft legal opinions and advice memoranda for Mayor and other District officials
  • Review and analyze proposed legislation and regulations

Civil Litigation Division

  • Wide range of defensive civil litigation on behalf of District agencies
  • Work includes taking and defending depositions and appearing in court

Public Interest Division

  • Prosecutes and defends the District of Columbia and its agencies and officials in all types of civil actions.
  • Cases range from single-plaintiff actions seeking equitable relief and monetary damages to large scale class actions.

Juvenile Section, Public Safety Division

  • Wide range of juvenile prosecutions, including serious violent crimes
  • Bench trials in Superior Court

Neighborhood and Victim Services Section, Public Safety Division

  • Civil prosecutions, including emergency hearings
  • Drug nuisance, prostitution nuisance and lead paint abatement cases

Commercial Division

  • Transactional work involving real estate and major government procurements
  • Regulatory work involving land use and urban economic development

Child Protection Sections, Family Services Division

  • Family court litigation, including trials
  • Government seeks termination of parental rights (TPR) to facilitate adoption
  • Cases supported by testimony of Child and Family Services Agency social workers

DC Public Schools, Office of the General Counsel

  • Legal advice to large urban school districts undergoing major reform
  • Background in education desirable