The District of Columbia attorney general's office announced a new partnership on Friday with two local law schools to appoint 10 recent graduates to serve one year in the attorney general's office.
Starting in 2012, the office will select five graduates from Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University Law School as Charles (Chuck) F.C. Ruff Fellows.
Ruff was the city's corporation counsel, now known as the attorney general, from 1995 to 1997. Ruff, who also served as White House counsel to former President Clinton after leaving city service, died in 2000.
The universities and the city will each contribute $100,000 to fund the program. Citywide hiring freezes have made it difficult for the attorney general’s office to expand its ranks; as previously reported in The National Law Journal, Attorney General Irvin Nathan has also asked local law firms to pitch in with pro bono legal services.
The Ruff Fellows program “will provide significant benefits to the district’s legal services as well as excellent practical experience for new lawyers,” Nathan said in a written statement.
Ruff began his career in Washington at the Justice Department in the late 1960s and came to national prominence in the 1970s, as the final Watergate special prosecutor. Ruff served as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1981 and then worked at Covington & Burling until 1995, when he became the city’s corporation counsel.
According to Legal Times coverage of Ruff’s career at the time, he was praised for bringing credibility to the District’s legal affairs at a time when the city was plagued by a financial crisis and a host of other problems.