Appellate Paralegal | Children's Law Center

Appellate Paralegal


Who We Are

At the Children’s Law Center, everything we do is focused on one thing – delivering better client outcomes for kids and families in DC. Our staff are empowered to open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual curiosity, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect.

Our greatest assets are our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community.  We recognize that people with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives fuel our ability to provide the best outcomes for our clients. Our staff drive the Children’s Law Center’s mission with their leadership, result-orientated mindset, and commitment to cultural humility and centering the needs of our clients.   We are looking for an individual who enjoys working in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment, likes to be challenged, and values the opportunity to make a difference.

Children Law Center’s success depends on recruiting and retaining individuals who possess and value these attributes.

*The Children’s Law Center is currently operating remotely. This position will work from home until the organization returns to the office.

Job Summary

The Appellate Paralegal’s primary responsibility is to team with and support the practice of CLC’s lawyers by performing work at a high level of competence within their practice area and with great attention to detail. The Appellate Paralegal collaborates with attorneys and other CLC professionals on appeals arising in neglect, custody, adoption, and special education matters, as well as some complex trial-level litigation.  The position therefore requires excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.  The Appellate Paralegal will gain and demonstrate significant knowledge regarding practice area processes, procedures, and rules, as well as internal CLC protocols and routines.  Additionally, the Appellate Paralegal will develop and demonstrate the ability to anticipate attorney needs and work independently.  The ability to develop expertise in all local citation rules and the ability to conduct fact-gathering and legal research are other key components of this position.  The Appellate Paralegal works primarily with the Appellate Project, but is assigned tasks from different attorneys throughout the organization as well.  In addition, the Appellate Paralegal is responsible for maintaining and updating appellate resources and manages legal resources organization-wide.  The Appellate Paralegal reports directly to the Appellate Project Manager.


Case Work

  • Support attorneys through logistical and procedural aspects of appellate practice.
  • Manage and submit transcript orders and draft transcript summaries.
  • Set up and consistently, independently update electronic case files.
  • Draft and maintain templates for briefs, motions, and other filings.
  • Conduct factual and legal research, and draft memoranda on results.
  • Attend strategy meetings and take notes.
  • Create and manage work plans for filings.
  • Provide consistently excellent cite-checking (in compliance with the Bluebook and the D.C. Court of Appeals Style Guide), substantive cite-checking, Shepardizing, and general editing (consistent with local rules and internal protocols and practices).
  • Compile appendices.
  • Draft tables of contents and authorities.
  • File and serve briefs.
  • Interact with personnel at Clerk’s Office, Court Reporting, and other court offices.
  • Arrange schedules and logistics for moot courts held in advance of oral arguments.
  • Attend moots and take notes.
  • Create oral argument and/or trial preparation binders.
  • Attend oral arguments and occasionally hearings.


Appellate Project Work

  • Help appellate attorneys with developing, distributing, and managing materials related to long-term issues of systemic importance that CLC has an institutional interest in.   
  • Acquire, prepare, share, and organize appellate resources, including periodic and independent review and updating of the CLC brief bank, checklists, and template examples.
  • Assist in developing and updating of internal and external training materials.
  • Attend case-related, systemic issue-related, and administrative meetings.
  • Perform other tasks assigned by appellate attorneys.


Resource and Organizational Support Work

  • Gather, update, and distribute resources organization-wide, including primary management of the CLC library.
  • Identify and obtain new legal resources.
  • As needed, update and draft resources to distribute externally. 
  • Aid attorneys with updating practice kits when needed.



  • Highly motivated, collaborative team player.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Strong editing and research (legal and factual) skills.
  • Understanding of legal language and general court pleading/process terminology.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to function well in an environment that is fast paced.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite.


Education and Experience

  • Prior paralegal experience strongly preferred (ideally at least six months).
  • Paralegal certificate from an ABA-approved program or paralegal degree a plus.
  • Experience using Westlaw (or equivalent legal research database).
  • Experience creating tables of authorities and appendices for legal filings.
  • Experience working with court rules and court operating procedures a plus.


Salary and Benefits

The salary for this position starts at $48,800 annually and increases with relevant experience.  Children’s Law Center offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and short- and long-term disability insurance; employer-provided retirement contributions; flexible spending plans; and vacation, sick, holiday, family and medical leave. Children’s Law Center is a 501(c)(3) organization.  Employees with federal student loan debt can apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  For more information, go to

Application Instructions: 

To apply, please submit the following materials in one PDF file: resume; cover letter; writing sample of no more than five pages (any original text the applicant feels best represents their writing abilities with a preference for analytical writing that demonstrates reasoning, research, and/or problem solving); and three professional references (at least one former supervisor strongly preferred).  Please do not submit application materials as a .zip attachment if submitting by email.  Applications may be submitted via mail, fax, or email to: 


Children’s Law Center

Attn: Appellate Paralegal Hiring Committee

501 3rd Street NW

8th Floor

Washington, D.C. 20001 

202.467.4949 (fax)


No telephone calls please.

The Children’s Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and existing employees.  We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to ancestry, age, color, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law, ordinance, or regulation. We invite you to visit us here to learn more about our company and our career opportunities (

The Children’s Law Center is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. If you believe that you need accommodation to search for, or apply for, one of our positions please send an email to In your email, please include the accommodation you are requesting and the job title you are applying for. It may take up to three business days to receive a response to your request.