Gupta Wessler Fellowship

Gupta Wessler Fellowship in Appellate Litigation

Gupta Wessler LLP 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. We are the go-to appellate advocates for trial lawyers nationwide.
Each year, our firm seeks out at least one new attorney with exceptional writing ability, the capacity to think creatively about the law, strong advocacy instincts, 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.
How to apply: The application process for the 2024-2025 fellowship period is now open, and we will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis starting September 15, 2023. The fellowship will be based in Washington, D.C. or San Francisco. Applicants should email a cover letter, resume, transcript, list of three references, and multiple writing samples (please review the guidance below) to Please indicate any location preference in your cover letter. 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 writing about law aimed at a general lay audience) that reveals a candidate’s interests and writing ability.
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Steffi Ostrowski rejoined the firm in fall of 2023 after completing clerkships with Judge Michelle Friedland on the Ninth Circuit and Judge Vince Chhabria on the Northern District of California. Steffi previously worked with Gupta Wessler as a summer associate in 2020 and spent her previous summer working on consumer-protection cases at the New Economy Project in New York and the Consumer Financial Protection Unit of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. In law school, she was a student in the Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic, an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and co-president of the Law and Political Economy Student Group. Before law school, Steffi worked at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. She was previously a software engineer at Facebook, where she led projects to promote women’s safety and built software to detect impersonation.
Mez Belo-Osagie joined the firm as a fellow in the summer of 2023. Among other things, Mez has worked on criminal-justice impact litigation at Civil Rights Corps, the MacArthur Justice Center’s Supreme Court and Appellate Program, and the Committee for Public Counsel Services. In law school, she was the Supreme Court Co-Chair of the Harvard Law Review, represented indigent defendants as a student-attorney, and, with the Lloyd Gaines Memorial Team, won the Ames Moot Court Competition. Before law school, she worked at a counterinsurgency-focused think tank and at the Legal Defense and Assistance Project, challenging torture in Nigerian prisons. During college, she co-founded the Yale Young African Scholars Program and won the James Gordon Bennett Prize for her senior thesis on the Boko Haram insurgency. Mez is currently pursuing a PhD in political science at Stanford as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, and plans to combine empirical research and impact litigation to limit the reach, influence, and punitiveness of the carceral state.
Alisa Tiwari is now an associate at Gupta Wessler and originally joined the firm as a 2022-2023 fellow 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, Alisa worked on affirmative litigation with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office (where she designed an APA lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s rescission of civil-rights guidance documents); Supreme Court and appellate litigation with Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells; and criminal law reform litigation at the ACLU. In addition, she published a note in the Yale Law Journal detailing a way to hold police departments accountable for disproportionate racial effects. Before law school, Alisa prepared policy analyses for Vanita Gupta, then-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 is now an associate at Gupta Wessler and originally joined the firm as a 2021-2022 fellow 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 now an associate at Gupta Wessler and 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 Judge Catharine F. Easterly of the D.C. Court of Appeals. During law school, following a career in newspaper journalism, Lark worked at the Appellate Division of the Public Defender Service of D.C., the Southern Center for Human Rights, the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, the 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. She previously worked as a staff attorney at Civil Rights Corps, where she handled criminal-justice-reform litigation. She joined Gupta Wessler 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 firm’s 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 Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown, where he focuses on civil procedure, federal courts, and consumer protection. 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 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 Southern Poverty Law Center’s Economic Justice Project before rejoining the firm’s new San Francisco office as an associate. He is now the Director of Appellate Advocacy at ACLU of Northern California.