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.
Josette M. Barsano
Josette joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in September 2019. She came to the firm with a passion for advocating on behalf of marginalized groups to minimize the access to justice gap. Josette has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, a M.Ed. in Special Education from Arizona State University, and a B.A. in Art History and Undergraduate Certificate in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University. She is currently pursuing her LL.M in Civil Justice from Georgetown.
Prior to law school, Josette taught children with special needs in a Title I school district as a Teach For America Corps Member. In designing and implementing students’ individualized education plans, she was struck by the widespread lack of understanding of legal rights, as well as the unique difficulties low-income individuals face in acquiring legal representation. In working closely with her students, their families, and school personnel to overcome these challenges, she developed a keen awareness of the critical role advocates serve in protecting the most vulnerable in our society. Her experience as a special educator cemented her desire to practice law with the goal of defending the rights of under-represented individuals.
During law school, Josette continued her commitment to public interest work. She was the Editor in Chief of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, and a member of Georgetown’s Pro Bono Advisory Board. Josette also participated in a wide variety of litigation internships. She worked as a judicial intern for Chief Judge G. Murray Snow of the United States District Court of Arizona and the Honorable Robert Okun of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Josette also worked as a law clerk for the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia, and as a trial intern for New York Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice. She further developed her litigation and client counseling skills as a student attorney in Georgetown’s Civil Rights Clinic. At graduation, Josette was recognized as a Special Pro Bono Pledge Honoree for providing over 100 hours of pro bono services to individuals and organizations during law school.
William A. Cox
William Cox is a current law fellow with the DC Affordable Law Firm. William is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, focusing much if his academic study on child welfare and civil justice. Upon graduation, William completed the requirements to become a Public Interest Fellow and was a recipient of the Tutorial Program Award. William also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Communication Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
During law school, William dedicated himself to child welfare policy and juvenile justice by working at several non-profit organizations and government agencies such as the Prince George’s County Office of the Public Defender, Advocates for Justice and Education, The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Children’s Law Center, and the Children’s Defense Fund. Most recently, William participated in the Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic, where he represented victims of domestic violence pursuing civil protection orders in DC Superior Court.
William also served as a board member and President of the Georgetown Gilbert and Sullivan Society, in which he helped produce and perform in various musical theater productions. He continues to be an active member of the organization.
During college, William was a competitor on the Forensics (Speech and Debate) team, earning multiple state, regional, and national awards in various public speaking events.
Clayton G. Davis
Clayton Davis joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in September 2019. Clayton came to DCALF with a background in asylum and immigration law. At DCALF, he primarily represents clients in immigration and family law matters.
Clayton earned his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in International Relations and Plan II Honors, an interdisciplinary arts and science honors major with a core curriculum. While at the University of Texas, Clayton interned with the International Refugee Committee’s refugee resettlement office in Dallas, Texas.
In 2019, Clayton earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. During his time at Georgetown, Clayton focused much of his work on human rights and criminal justice. As an intern with the Public Defender Service’s Parole Division, Clayton defended people at their parole revocation hearings. He also helped edit the Georgetown Law Journal Annual Review of Criminal Procedure as a research assistant. As a third-year law student, Clayton served as a student attorney in Georgetown’s asylum clinic, the Center for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). He also spent a summer interning with the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas, where he assisted detained women and children as they prepared for their credible fear interviews.
Lela N. Prichett
Lela joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in September 2019 to pursue her passion in bridging the access to justice gap. At DCALF, she represents clients in Family, Immigration, and Probate matters.
Lela graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts is Psychological and Brain Sciences, and a minor in Religion and Politics. The summer after graduation, Lela served as a Legal Intern at the Missouri Department of Higher Education, and then moved to DC to attend Georgetown Law.
At Georgetown, Lela served as an Opportunity Scholar and studied abroad at the National University of Singapore. She completed judicial internships in the Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Division and in the DC Superior Court Domestic Relations Branch, and interned at Aoun & Boone, PC, a boutique Family Law Firm in Virginia. Lela also competed internationally as a member of Georgetown’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Team, and served on the executive board for the Black Law Students’ Association. Lela graduated from Georgetown Law in 2019 and was recognized as a Special Pro Bono Pledge Honoree for providing over 100 hours of pro bono services to individuals and organizations across the country. Lela is currently pursuing her LL.M. from Georgetown Law in Civil Justice.
Molly E. Thornton
Molly Thornton joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in September 2019 with a background in education and civil rights.
Molly graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 with a B.A. in Geography and Sociology. After college, she taught Kindergarten and Second Grade at Achievement First North Brooklyn Prep Elementary School in New York City. During this time, she also earned her M.S. in Education from Brooklyn College.
Molly’s experiences in the classroom motivated her to attend Georgetown University Law Center, where she focused primarily on education and civil rights. During law school, she interned with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, National Center for Youth Law, and Southern Poverty Law Center. On campus, Molly served as a legal research and writing fellow, constitutional law research assistant, and member of the Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy. She also participated as a student-attorney in Georgetown’s Civil Rights Clinic.
Molly graduated from Georgetown Law in 2019. She received the Dean’s Certificate for outstanding service to the Georgetown community.
Samuel P. Wilkins
Samuel Wilkins joined the DC Affordable Law Firm in September 2019. He came to DCALF with a deep academic interest in access to justice theory, and a commitment to implementing access to justice ideals on the ground. At DCALF, he focuses on Family Law, Probate, and Immigration Law.
Samuel graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. While in law school, he served as the Senior Notes Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. His prior legal experience was primarily focused on education law, interning for organizations like the National School Boards Association, US Department of Education Office of the General Counsel, and Advocates for Justice and Education. He received Special Pro Bono Pledge Recognition for his 119 hours of pro bono service during law school, which he spent working on projects that ranged from staffing an election protection hotline to writing an analysis on the interaction between childhood trauma and court involvement for the Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development.
Samuel also received his Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University, where he graduated magna cum laude, double majoring in Government (focusing on Political Theory) and Theology (focusing on Religious Ethics).
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.
Karen Reyes, Legal Assistant
Karen joined the firm in August 2019. Prior to coming to DCALF, she worked as a paralegal for a law firm in Washington, DC.
Karen earned her B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park in College Park, MD, where she studied Government and Politics. In addition to translation work, Karen has done volunteer interpreting in a variety of settings including asylum interviews and neighborhood clinics. She is fluent in Spanish.