Richey Fellows Program

The purpose of the Richey Fellows Program is to bring mid-career public interest lawyers to the GW Law campus as a resource for students considering non-profit or public sector legal careers. The program is named in honor of the Hon. Charles R. Richey of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and its funding has been provided by his law clerks and friends. Each semester, two distinguished attorneys from a broad range of public interest and public sector practice areas will be invited to provide diverse perspectives about their careers for the benefit of GW Law students. Richey Fellows will be selected from a wide variety of practice areas, including criminal and civil direct legal services, law reform litigation, and public and non-profit regulatory and policy practice.

Program Overview


Each Richey Fellow will spend three days on the GW Law campus. Fellows should be prepared to participate in several small or midsize GW Law community events coordinated by the Public Interest and Public Service Law Center. These might involve a panel discussion, an open-ended question period, or a formal presentation. In addition, fellows will meet with small groups of students and interested faculty over lunch or dinner. If circumstances allow, there may also be an opportunity for fellows to speak in classes addressing subject areas within their expertise. Each fellow will receive a $1,500 stipend in addition to having their travel and related expenses reimbursed.

Selection Criteria

We will be searching for attorneys with approximately 10-15 years of experience to ensure that they are both well-established in their respective fields and able to relate to law students. We will select from a wide range of practice areas, employer types, and career paths to provide a comprehensive overview of careers in the public interest landscape.


The Richey Fellows Program application is now available. You may submit an application on your own behalf or nominate a public interest law career professional who meets the above criteria. To nominate someone, please provide their name and email to the Public Interest and Public Service Law Center at [email protected].

The application process will close on May 31, 2024. The selection committee, consisting of faculty, senior staff, and three students, will review the applications and make final selections for the entire following academic year by mid-June. The chosen fellows will be notified by the end of June, and the dates of their visits will be determined by mutual agreement.

Specifications & Responsibilities

The Richey Fellows Program seeks applicants who are both well-established in their fields and are able to relate to law students seeking information about career choices.

Fall 2023 Semester Visits

A photo of Alejandro Ortiz. It is a professional headshot and he is wearing a suit.

Alejandro Ortiz

Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program

Visit: October 3 - 5, 2023
Community Event: The Intersection of Racial Justice and Unions

Schedule a One-On-One Advising Appointment

Alejandro Agustín Ortiz is a Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, where he promotes economic justice and equal rights for vulnerable communities including workers, tenants, and residents of US territories. He has, among other things, served as lead counsel on a lawsuit that led to model reforms of a ‘crime-free’ housing program and contributed to briefs filed with the Supreme Court.

Previously, he was a field attorney with the NLRB helping to enforce workers’ rights under the NLRA. Among his cases, Alejandro helped prosecute McDonald’s in the longest trial in NLRB history. Despite the allegations, the Hamburglar was spared from prosecution. Alejandro clerked for U.S. District Court Judges Christine Arguello and William Martínez in Colorado and US Magistrate Judge Justo Arenas in Puerto Rico. He obtained his JD from the University of Colorado Law School and his BA from Virginia Tech University.

Ask Him About: 

Working for the fed gov't/NLRB; Life at the ACLU; Nonprofits; Value of clerkships; Impact litigation vs. direct representation; Managing student loan debt; Balancing family and work duties; Being Latino/Puerto Rican in the law/at the ACLU; Civil rights law; Fair Housing Act & Title VII (esp. leveraging disparate impact claims to advance systemic reforms); Due process/equal protection claims to advance economic justice; Anti-colonialism efforts; Trial practice

A photo of Ashley Graham-Watanabe. She is smiling, wearing glasses and a blazer.

Ashley Graham-Watanabe

Managing Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services Program

Visit: October 31 - November 2, 2023
Community Event: Making an Impact, One Client at a Time

Schedule a One-On-One Advising Appointment

Ashley Graham-Watanabe is the Director of Compliance and Managing Attorney of the Brief Services Unit at Neighborhood Legal Services Program. Ashley started working at NLSP in 2014 as a staff attorney, practicing as a generalist and in the housing court. In her role today, Ashley oversees NLSP’s intake process, case management system, compliance data, and manages the BSU’s attorneys, paralegals, and intake workers.

Prior to working for NLSP, Ashley was an attorney for four years with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, where she was a general practitioner. She also worked as a clerk at Legal Aid of East Tennessee.

Ashley received her JD from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and graduated in 2010 with a specialty in advocacy and dispute resolution. She also received her BA in music from Appalachian State University.

Ask Her About: 

Civil legal services; Legal services Corporation (LSC) regulations; Housing law issues (eviction, subsidized housing, discrimination, conditions); Family law issues (custody, divorce, CPO, child support); Public benefits (SSDI, SSI, TANF, SNAP, IDA); Criminal record sealing; Importance of law school clinics; Being young and female in the workplace; "Small town" practice; Client interviewing skills; Self-care and burnout prevention; Managing up; Networking when you really don't like to network; Student loans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF); Direct vs. impact litigation; Choosing your style of work preference over type of law; House plants, cats, and musicals

Spring 2024 Semester Visit

Professional headshot of Andrew Boyle. He is wearing a dark blue suit with a white shirt and dark tie. He is against a dark gray background.

Andrew Boyle

Legal Officer, The Hague

Visit: March 18 - 20, 2024
Community Event: International Accountability through the Modern Era


Schedule a One-On-One Advising Appointment

Andrew Boyle is a Legal Officer at an international tribunal located in The Hague. He was previously Counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program of the Brennan Center for Justice, where he worked on advocacy concerning presidential emergency powers. Before that, he served as a prosecutor with the United Nations at the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia, where he prosecuted former Khmer Rouge leaders for atrocity crimes including genocide. He has also worked as an attorney in the Trial Chambers of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he assisted in adjudicating cases flowing from Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. At the beginning of his legal career, he was a fellow in the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center for Justice working on campaign finance reform, and he clerked for the Honorable Helene N. White of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Andrew is a graduate of UCLA School of Law and its Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy.

As of February 2024, Andrew has transitioned to working as a Senior Counsel with the States United Democracy Center where he focuses on accountability for persons seeking to interfere with U.S. elections.

Ask Him About: 

Professional opportunities in international law, human rights law, and civil liberties; clerkships; public service; litigation; policy.