The Office of Attorney General (OAG) created the Charles F. C. Ruff Fellowship program in 2012 to provide the District government with more legal assistance and promote public interest legal work. The Fellowship is named in honor of Charles F. C. Ruff, who served as the District of Columbia Corporation Counsel (the position now known as Attorney General) from 1995 to 1997. Ruff also served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and taught at area law schools. Ruff, who passed away in 2000, served as White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton.
Fellows assist in providing legal representation to the District of Columbia in one of the 12 Divisions at the OAG.
Fellows are selected by OAG and are expected to begin their year-long commitment in mid-January. Completion of the full fellowship term is required. Selection criteria include admission to practice law by a state Bar, excellent oral and written communication skills, effective interpersonal skills, and a commitment to public service. Application information can obtained through one of the six participating law schools in the Ruff Fellowship program:
- American University Washington School of Law
- Howard University School of Law
- The George Washington University Law School
- Georgetown University Law Center
- UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
- University of Virginia School of Law
Fellowships are jointly funded by the schools and OAG, and the fellows are selected through a highly competitive process among top graduates from each school. After completing their fellowship, many former Ruff Fellows have been hired for permanent positions at OAG.