The DC Affordable Law Firm was established through a unique partnership among Georgetown University Law Center, DLA Piper and Arent Fox. The firm has six recent Georgetown law graduates who will complete a 15-month fellowship, during which the associates represent clients and earn an L.L.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Each graduate has also committed to providing 50 hours of pro bono legal services during that period.
Jennifer A. Afflu
Jennifer joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in August 2018 with a background in serving underprivileged communities. Before law school, Jennifer worked for the Family Services Departments of Loudoun and Fairfax Counites in Northern Virginia, serving as a specialist in Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and in energy assistance programs. At DCALF, Jennifer has been able to transfer many of those skills to those needing assistance in Family Law, Immigration, Housing and Probate cases.
Jennifer earned her B.S. in Sociology from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), cum laude, with a minor in English. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and is currently pursuing her LL.M from Georgetown Law in Civil Justice. While pursuing her J.D., Jennifer provided over 175 hours of pro bono services to individuals and organizations in the District, earning her the distinction of Exceptional Pro Bono service at graduation.
During her time at Georgetown, Jennifer served as President of the Georgetown African Lawyers Association (GALA) and helped grow the organization at the Law Center. Jennifer also served as a Policy Analyst in the year-long Harrison Institute for Public Policy clinic, working with the DC Department of Energy and Environment to combat environmental justice issues for the District’s underserved communities.
Jennifer also served as a Judicial Intern for the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, and as a Law Clerk for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Commissioner Chai Feldblum. Jennifer’s particular passion for Housing work took her to Capitol Hill, where she completed internships in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Jennifer spent her third year of law school interning with both the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee under Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, and the House Financial Services Committee under Ranking Member Maxine Waters.
Aside from her internship experience, Jennifer was also a Student Admissions and Financial Aid Representative for the Georgetown Law Office of Admissions and Head Student Representative for Kaplan Bar Review.
Michael S. Cecil
Michael Cecil is a current law fellow with the D.C. Affordable Law Firm. Michael is a graduate of Georgetown Law School, focusing much of his academic study on the intersection of economic and social justice issues. Michael graduated with a dual Bachelor’s in Journalism and Political Science (Pi Sigma Alpha) from California State University, Long Beach.
During law school, Michael worked in a variety of capacities. He served a significant portion of his time at Georgetown as a law clerk with the Senate Finance Committee, Office of the Ranking Member (tax policy team), where he played a role in legal research and analysis. Additionally, Michael worked with the legal services unit of the South African Human Rights Commission in Johannesburg, where he played a role in researching and writing memoranda on constitutional issues including access to education, foreclosure defense, and immigration. During his first year summer, Michael worked as a judicial intern with Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York, where he researched and wrote legal memoranda on issues at the intersection of bankruptcy and New York State law. Michael also served as a research assistant in Constitutional Law for Dean William Araiza at Brooklyn Law School, where he drafted memoranda and research legal issues for an upcoming casebook supplement.
Prior to law school, Michael worked in a variety of public affairs and political campaign capacities. He served as an Account Manager at a boutique public relations firm focused on technology startups and public affairs institutions, where he managed staff and led media relations efforts. Additionally, Michael has worked as a campaign manager, speechwriter, field operations manager, and digital trainer for political campaigns at the national, gubernatorial, congressional, and local levels.
Michael has volunteered in a variety of areas, including serving as an Associate Communications Director for the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy of New York, a “Big Brother” with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of New York, and a Digital Organizer for Obama for America during the 2012 campaign cycle.
During college, Michael worked as the play-by-play announcer for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team, and the news and sports director for KBEACH college radio.
Francesca A. Gibson
Francesca Gibson joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in August 2018. She came to DCALF with experience in education. At DCALF, she focuses primarily on Family Law and Immigration Law.
Francesca earned her B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College and a M.A. in Teaching from American University. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2018. During her time at Georgetown, she was a student attorney in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic. In addition to clinical experience, Francesca gained valuable experience at the Maryland Public Defender’s Office, Landesa, and as a member of Georgetown’s Moot Court Team.
Prior to law school, Francesca was an English teacher in Washington D.C. and a Fulbright scholar in Thailand.
Melissa A. McClure
Melissa McClure joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in August 2018. Melissa came to DCALF with a background in assisting survivors of intimate partner violence and abuse. At DCALF, she represents clients primarily in Family and Immigration matters.
Melissa earned her Bachelor of Arts and graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University, where she double majored in Women and Gender Studies and Government. As an undergraduate, and in the years following, Melissa volunteered on the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network as an online hotline crisis counselor. After college, she worked as a Litigation Legal Assistant at Sullivan & Cromwell in Washington, D.C. Melissa started at Georgetown University Law Center in the fall of 2015, where she was a member of Section 3 during her 1L year. During law school, she interned in the family and public benefits units at The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the family unit at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Melissa was also the Senior Notes Editor for The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, a Public Interest Fellow, and a student attorney in the Domestic Violence Clinic. Melissa graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law and was recognized as an Exceptional Pro Bono Pledge Honoree for providing over 175 hours of pro bono services to individuals and organizations in the District.
Courtney A. Wilkes
Courtney Wilkes joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in August 2018. She came to DCALF with a strong commitment to helping others utilize the law to achieve justice.
Prior to law school, Courtney lived and worked in southwest China. She is proficient in Mandarin. Courtney earned her B.A. in East Asian Studies and Human Rights at Barnard College, and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
At Georgetown, Courtney served as a student attorney in The Community Justice Project legal clinic. Beyond her clinical experience, Courtney served on the boards of student organizations focusing on reproductive rights and migrant rights, and she was a member of the Student Bar Association. She received the Dean’s Certificate in recognition of special and outstanding service to the Georgetown Law Community.
As a Public Interest Fellow, Courtney spent her law school summers interning at community organizations dedicated to immigrant youth, human trafficking survivors, and consumers facing debt collection and other financial issues. She earned Exceptional Pro Bono Recognition for providing 284 hours of pro bono services to individuals and organizations during law school.
Holly Pannullo, Office Manager
Holly Pannullo joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in November 2015 as the Office Manager. She earned her B.A. in Mathematics from Vassar College and her M.E. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. After working for 10 years in the software industry, she took a career break to raise her three children who are now teenagers. Holly is responsible for a variety of tasks to support DCALF.
Rebecca Willman, Legal Assistant
Rebecca joined the firm in October 2017. Prior to coming to DCALF, she worked as a paralegal for an immigration law firm in St. Louis.
Rebecca earned her B.A. magna cum laude from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, where she studied Studio Art and Hispanic Studies. After graduating, she focused on honing her language skills while working with students abroad in both Spain and Brazil. In addition to translation work, Rebecca has done volunteer interpreting in a variety of settings including neighborhood clinics and even the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She is fluent in Spanish and speaks Portuguese.