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Women's Law & Public Policy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Education, Graduate & Professional Schools, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: The Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program seeks to create an opportunity for attorneys to pursue public interest work, focusing on public policy issues affecting women locally, nationally and internationally by demonstrating the intimate connection between policy making and lawyering and creating a pool of attorneys in private practice, government and nonprofit organizations who are concerned with public policy and its effects on women. Participants have provided free legal service at over 50 organizations on issues including domestic violence, civil rights, sex discrimination and harassment, and the problems facing women in prison, women in poverty, and women with disabilities.

Programs: 1) The Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program (WLPPFP) recruits talented law graduates and brings them to Washington for a year to work for organizations involved in legal and policy issues affecting women. More than 150 women and men have participated, serving at more than 50 public interest organizations, including the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Women's Law Center, and the Georgetown University Law Center's Domestic Violence Clinic. 2) The Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA) Fellowship is a 16 month program for talented African attorneys dedicated to women's rights. The LAWA Advocates spend 10 months earning a Masters of Law degree at Georgetown, completing a graduate paper on an African women's rights issue and 6 month placement with a nonprofit or government organization compatible with their interests and long-term plans. 3) All advocates attend seminars on current issues, which have included the constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act, laws regulating anti-choice sidewalk counseling, and the treatment of rape as a war crime. At the bi-weekly seminars Advocates discuss each others' experiences and meet and learn from public interest and women's rights leaders, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and WLPPFP Chair Eleanor Holmes Norton.

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