Marc Fleischaker, Executive Director
Mr. Fleischaker is Chairman Emeritus of Arent Fox, having served in that capacity from 1996 to 2010. He focuses his practice on counseling national trade and professional associations and foundations in the fields of automotive parts, grain handling and export, higher education, and domestically produced athletic and waterproof plastic and rubber footwear. He has been lead counsel in major regulatory matters and litigation throughout the country, as well as appellate challenges to federal agencies’ regulations. Mr. Fleischaker has also led significant class action litigation on a pro bono basis against various federal agencies.
Mr. Fleischaker has chaired several nonprofits dedicated to improving access to justice, including the Appleseed Foundation, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, the National Health Law Program, and the District of Columbia Bar Foundation. Among the awards he has received are the Whitney North Seymour Award from the National Lawyers Committee in 2003, the Wiley Branton Award from the Washington Lawyers Committee in 2006, and the Justice Potter Stewart Award by the Council for Court Excellence in 2014. In his honor, Arent Fox presents the Marc L. Fleischaker Pro Bono Award each year to a partner who has performed exemplary pro bono work. Mr. Fleischaker chairs the Senior Attorney Initiative for Legal Services, an effort co-sponsored by the District of Columbia Bar and the District’s Access to Justice Commission that is dedicated to encouraging senior lawyers to contribute pro bono service. Mr. Fleischaker has also engaged in significant class action litigation on a pro bono basis against various federal agencies.
Francesca A. Gibson, Senior Associate
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.
Francesca is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.
Melissa A. McClure, Senior Associate
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, Senior Associate
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.