Meet Our Staff

moses coook


Moses has been with Law Students in Court since 2005, when he started supervising in the criminal defense clinic. Before joining us, he was a Prettyman/Stiller Fellow with Georgetown University School of Law. He is a passionate teacher, social justice advocate, and defender of the underdog. In addition to serving on the Board of Governors of the DC Bar, each summer Moses teaches Public Interest Lawyering at George Washington School of Law as an adjunct professor.

Moses received his Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. While in St. Louis, he worked at the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Missouri and volunteered for the St. Louis County public defender’s office. He spent a semester as a clinic student with the AIDS Project at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and organized an AIDS march during his final semester of law school. He served as an Executive Notes & Topics editor for the Washington University Law Quarterly and was a member of the Criminal Law Society. Prior to law school, Moses decided to follow in the footsteps of Phil Jackson and Chuck Klosterman and enrolled at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude.

Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Moses enjoys returning each ski season for the “greatest snow on earth.” He wishes he had more time to learn a new instrument, listen to live music, travel the globe, and keep his son and daughter from growing up too fast.

He became LSIC’s Executive Director in December 2013.



David Simmons is the Chief Operating Officer at Law Students in Court. He joined the organization in July of 2018. In his capacity, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and the planning and measurement of the organization's objectives.

Prior to LSIC, he worked at Equal Justice Works for 13 years in various capacities as the Director of Fellowships and Advancement, COO and Vice President of Development. He has held positions at various non-profits in DC for 25 years and brings a wealth of experiences to LSIC.

David is originally from Iowa, where he attended Briar Cliff University to earn a BA in History, and now serves on the Board of Trustees there.

202.888.6782, ext. 507


Celina Aldape is a Legal Fellow at Law Students in Court. She represents tenants in rent-controlled buildings who are at risk of eviction and focuses on rent control as a means of preserving affordable housing in DC through education, legal assistance, and legislative reform. She joined LSIC after graduating from Yale Law School in 2017. During her time in law school, Celina participated in the Landlord & Tenant Legal Services Clinic and the Criminal Justice Clinic and was a summer clerk with the National Juvenile Defender Center and the Public Defender Service of DC.

Celina grew up in Houston, Texas. She attended Columbia University, where she received a B.A. in Sociology and Neuroscience and was involved in advocacy for indigent criminal and juvenile defendants in New York.

202.638.4798, ext. 501


Syed Kamil Ali is the Development and Communications Associate at D.C. Law Students in Court. He helps to ensure that the organization raises funds and develops its brand efficiently by making sure that the development and communication programs operate smoothly and efficiently. Among his many responsibilities, he also manages LSIC’s databases to ensure correct reporting and to develop actionable insights.

Kamil has a B.A. in Government and International Politics, and minors in Legal Studies, International Security, and Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. Prior to coming to LSIC, He worked as an immigration law assistant at Berry Appleman & Leiden. He also interned at Transparency International-USA where he was in charge of the organization’s website and daily newsletter. For fun, he likes to read fantasy books and play strategy games. Ultimately, Kamil wants to go to law school and practice law.



Michael Barfield is a Supervising Attorney at Law Students in Court. Prior to joining our team, he was an associate for two years in the criminal defense, white collar, and Qui Tam practice groups at a DC area law firm. While there, he worked with clients in DC Superior Court and various Federal District Courts on matters ranging from the sealing of criminal records to suing corporate defendants for defrauding the federal government under the Federal False Claims Act.

Mike received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and B.A. from Rutgers University. At the end of his 1L year, he started the District Record Sealing Service in conjunction with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia—a pro bono program that matched indigent District residents with law students to provide assistance in sealing their DC criminal records. Mike also interned at the Fair Elections Legal Network during law school where he worked to protect the voting rights of students, minorities, and the elderly from state legislative disenfranchisement efforts.

Prior to attending law school, Mike worked in professional politics in the NY/NJ area where he helped elect dozens of candidates to local, state, and federal office. During his free time, he enjoys hiking, cycling, snowboarding, and riding his motorcycle. With a little luck (and a cooperative landlord), there will be a new puppy in the near future.

Mike was a student in the LSIC Criminal Division during his 3L year and is excited to have the opportunity to share his passion for social justice with new students and clients in the coming year.



David Blum is a Staff Attorney with the Civil Division. He joined Law Students in Court (LSIC) as a Legal Fellow following his graduation from George Washington University Law School in 2015. In addition to completing a successful semester as a student attorney with the Civil Division of LSIC, during his time in law school, David interned with the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, and the Office of the Public Defender for Arlington County & the City of Falls Church.

Originally from Austin, Texas, but having lived all over the country (including Texas, Nebraska, Louisiana, and Illinois), David graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in History. During his undergrad years, he worked as a telemarketer and an intramural sports official. David’s interests include history, civil rights, sports, and trivia. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife Katie, an elementary school teacher.

202.638.4798, ext. 109


Kathryn Boothe is the Criminal Division Director & Pro Bono Coordinator of the Law Students in Court program. She oversees two other supervising attorneys and together, they train and supervise 25 clinic students from area law schools representing indigent adults and youth charged with criminal offenses.

Before joining LSIC, Kathryn worked as an associate at Price Benowitz, LLP, a local criminal defense firm, where she focused her practice on criminal defense work in DC Superior Court and The US District Court for DC.

Kathryn received the "Top 40 Under 40" National Trial Lawyers Award (2013) and the "Top 100" National Trial Lawyers Award (2014), which recognize attorneys in each state for their superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7.

Kathryn received her JD from The George Washington University Law School and graduated summa cum laude from Elon University. While in law school, she prosecuted misdemeanor cases at the Arlington Commonwealth Attorney’s Office in Arlington, VA under the supervision of assistant commonwealth attorneys and worked as a law clerk for Luque & Marino LLP, a local boutique law firm. She also served as a student-attorney at Law Students in Court, where she represented clients charged with misdemeanor offenses and won her first trial.



Jozslyne Carter joins LSIC as a graduate student extern from Howard University’s School of Social Work, where she is pursuing a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration Criminal Justice (Direct Practice). Jozslyne works with our staff attorneys and supervisors to provide clients and their families with resources in their community. She creates psychological reports and various assessments to help the staff understand the physical, emotional and psychological issues that our clients face.

A Maryland Native, Jozslyne earned her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from George Mason University. As an undergrad, she interned for AHC Inc. where she worked in the community center to help students (1st-6th grade) enhance their reading and writing skills. She also worked with the College Success Coach to help a high school senior who had a criminal background to get accepted into three universities.

Aside from her academics, Jozslyne enjoys traveling, hiking and hanging out with friends and family.



Jade Chong-Smith is the Director of Fellowships and the Interim Criminal Division Director and Pro Bono Coordinator at Law Students in Court. She represents clients in juvenile and adult cases in DC Superior Court and also supervises law school students representing clients in misdemeanor cases. Before beginning full-time at LSIC, Jade spent a year as a legal fellow at Law Students in Court and the Center for Children's Law and Policy working on a juvenile justice project.

Jade graduated from Yale Law School. At Yale, she devoted her time to indigent criminal defense work and criminal justice reform. She represented adults in misdemeanor cases, worked on a criminal appeal, assisted in death penalty litigation, and helped write amicus briefs in ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct cases. Before coming to Yale, she worked for the Canadian federal government and as a legal literacy consultant in Tamil Nadu, India, for the Commonwealth of learning.

Jade is originally from Ottawa, Canada. She received a B.A. & Sc. in Environment from McGill University.



Dan Clark is the Civil Director of the Law Students in Court Program. As the Civil Director, Dan manages a staff of three supervising attorneys, two staff attorneys, and two post-graduate fellows. Together, they supervise 25 clinic students from area law schools representing low-income clients in housing and consumer-related matters in the courts of the District of Columbia.

Before becoming the Civil Director, Dan was a supervising attorney with the program. Dan earned his LL.M. in clinical teaching and systems change while serving as an instructor in the Housing and Consumer Law Clinic at the David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia. Before joining the Housing Clinic, Dan was the Managing Attorney for Housing and Consumer Law at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program. As Managing Attorney with the Pro Bono Program, Dan oversaw operations of the Landlord Tenant Resource Center and Bankruptcy Clinic while supporting the Advice & Referral Clinic, Advocacy & Justice Clinic, and other programs. He attended law school at American University, Washington College of Law and was awarded a J.D. in 1995. In 1990, he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida.



Melinda Cooperman is a Supervising Attorney in the Civil Division of Law Students in Court. Prior to joining LSIC, Melinda represented children in abuse and neglect cases in D.C. Superior Court as a Staff Attorney with D.C.'s Children's Law Center. Melinda was also a Clinical Teaching Fellow in Georgetown University Law Center's Street Law Clinic, and the Associate Director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at American University Washington College of Law.

Melinda is a proud graduate of the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, where she was a Haywood Burns Fellow in Civil and Human Rights. She received her B.A. in Political Communication from The George Washington University. Before attending law school, Melinda directed a youth and family education program at a transitional homeless shelter in San Francisco, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural El Salvador, and worked as a pension benefits counselor and advocate at Legal Services of New York.

Outside of the office, Melinda is actively involved with Washington, D.C.'s pro bono legal community. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Council of Lawyers and Gifts for the Homeless. She also loves to hike in the mountains, go on urban trekking adventures around the city, and food related travel excursions. Melinda was raised in New York City, Hawaii, and Eastern Long Island, and loves all things related to the ocean.

202.607.2438, ext. 100


Paul Di Blasi is the Director of Clinical Education and a Supervising Attorney in the Civil Division of Law Students in Court. He also volunteers as a member of the Legal Committee of the DC Language Access Coalition and as a volunteer attorney at the Employment Justice Center’s clinics. Before coming to LSIC, he represented low-income tenants as a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. He moved to the District from the Rio Grande Valley in Southmost Texas, where he represented low-income tenants, consumers, and workers as a Staff Attorney at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

Paul graduated with honors from the University of Texas in Austin School of Law. At the University of Texas, he was an Articles Editor for the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, and also participated in numerous clinics. Paul also organized the University’s first “Pro Bono in January” trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In his summers during law school, Paul clerked at the Public Justice Center in Baltimore and at the Texas Civil Rights Project in the RioGrande Valley.

Paul graduated from Williams College, where he played trombone in the jazz band and the student symphony. Between college and law school, Paul worked probably too many jobs, including voter registration projects and teaching monolingual Spanish speakers GED math. After a nomadic early childhood, Paul grew up in San Antonio, Texas, which he thinks you should really visit sometime when you have the chance.



Jenifer Foster rejoined the civil division as a Supervising Attorney in January 2018. Jen had worked at LSIC from 2007 – 2012, as “Attorney of the Day”, helping low-income tenants in danger of eviction. She left LSIC to clerk for the Honorable Stephanie Duncan-Peters. Jen has worked at several area legal services agencies, including Our Place DC, University Legal Services and the Legal Aid Society. She is passionate about working with D.C. residents who are struggling and helping give individuals who are frequently overlooked, a voice.

Jen is starting the social work division of LSIC. She loves the interplay of law and social work and thinks that when the two converge, dynamic things can be accomplished. Prior to rejoining LSIC, she worked as Senior Director of the Addiction Continuum at So Others Might Eat. She has a private practice on the side and provides counseling services primarily to veterans and others struggling with trauma and abuse. Previously, Jen has worked at the Veterans Administration Medical Center as a social worker in the emergency room, at a crisis stabilization program for individuals in psychiatric crisis, and as an addiction counselor at a treatment program. She was an Adjunct Professor at Bowie State University for five years where she taught Social Work and the Law.

Jen graduated from the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and the National Catholic School of Social Services with her JD and MSW in 2005. She has her undergraduate degree from Roanoke College, where she majored in sociology, minored in American history and had a concentration in social work. Right after undergrad, she spent a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corp, where she taught sexual abuse prevention classes.

In her spare time, Jen loves to travel and find adventures. She has bathed tigers, ridden elephants, swam with whale sharks, done a triathlon, hiked to Machu Picchu, swung on a trapeze, and ran a half marathon. Her dream is to travel the world and then become a diving instructor in the Caribbean.



Sterling Howard is the Development Director at Law Students in Court, where she leads fundraising strategy.

Previously, Ms. Howard spent more than six years at Equal Justice Works in the Fellowship Program, where her portfolio of work was a unique mix of program management, sponsor relations, and fundraising. Her day to day included everything from leading the program's fundraising strategies, finding, building and maintaining relationships with sponsors that fund the projects, helping current Fellows actively engage their sponsor through pro bono opportunities, and building out programmatic initiatives such as increasing Fellowship salaries.

While enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center, Howard served for three years as a student organizer of Home Court, an annual charity basketball game between Members of Congress and members of the law school faculty benefiting the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. She now serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

Prior to Georgetown, Howard was a personal assistant to a family running its own charitable foundation. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Art History from Southern Methodist University in her native Dallas, TX, where she received a full-merit scholarship entitled the President's Scholar Award.

202.991.0932, ext. 506


Adrian Madsen is a Supervising Attorney in the Criminal Division at Law Students in Court. He joins LSIC after graduating summa cum laude from the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law in January. In 2015, he served as a student attorney in our Criminal Division, where he received the Earl H. Davis Award from the Olender Foundation for his zealous representation of our clients. While in law school, Adrian worked as a law clerk in three divisions of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and also served as Associate Editor of the UDC-DCSL Law Review. Adrian has a long history of working for social justice in the District, including his role as Secretary to Empower DC's Board of Governors since 2007. He is thrilled to further his commitment to indigent defense at LSIC.

202.638.4798, ext. 579


Lucy Newton joined the Civil Division of Law Students in Court as a supervising attorney in January 2018. Over the course of her career, Lucy has represented low-income clients in a wide range of housing, public benefits, consumer law and family law matters, including at the Legal Aid Society of D.C., the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of D.C., and the Georgia Legal Services Program. She has also been a legal fellow at the National Women's Law Center and has advised students in the Office of Career Services at Howard University School of Law. Lucy was a member of the steering committee of the Litigation Section of the D.C. Bar from 2009 to 2015, and she currently serves on the board of directors of a D.C. public charter school.

Lucy graduated from New York University School of Law in 2002, where she was a student in the civil rights clinic, and received her B.A., with a major in music, from Emory University in 1996. Before law school, Lucy worked backstage at an opera company. She lives in the District with her husband and two daughters, and she spends a lot of her spare time singing.



Peter Posada is a Staff Attorney with the Civil Division of Law Students in Court. He joined LSIC after graduating from Yale Law School in 2017. During his time in law school, Peter participated in the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and the Rule of Law Clinic. He also served as a summer clerk with the Detroit Mayor’s Office, the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Peter grew up in Orlando, Florida. He attended the University of Florida, where he received a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish and a B.S. in Economics.



Tegan Peterson serves as the Office Manager and Intern Supervisor at Law Students in Court. She is responsible for business operations, student outreach, human resources, internship coordination, and paralegal support.

Tegan grew up in Wyoming and recently moved to the D.C. area. Tegan received her B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wyoming. Prior to joining our team, Tegan interned and worked for the Wyoming Department of Corrections. In her spare time, she enjoys staying active, cooking, exploring the area with her amazing little boy, and spending time with family and friends. She is excited to be part of the LSIC team and passionate about the mission and vision of the organization.



Keeshea Turner Roberts is the Director of the Civil Protection Order Project and a Supervising Attorney in our Civil Division. Prior to joining LSIC, Keeshea was a managing attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP). At NLSP, she supervised staff attorneys, legal fellows, legal externs and interns, and on-loan law firm associates in the family law and public benefits practices. In addition to supervising and teaching law students, Ms. Turner Roberts manages and supervises pro bono and staff attorneys at the Civil Protection Order Project at D.C. Superior Court.

Keeshea is a member of the D.C. Bar’s John Payton Leadership Academy Class of 2017. The John Payton Leadership Academy is an intensive training program for members who are interested in developing their leadership skills and learning more about the D.C. Bar and its leadership opportunities. The goal of the Leadership Academy is to identify, inspire, and educate D.C. Bar members to be leaders of the Bar and to encourage them to use their leadership skills in professional settings, local bar associations, and community organizations.

Keeshea received her J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and her B.A. in History from Hollins University (formerly Hollins College). While in law school, she interned at numerous legal organizations including the United States Department of Justice (Violence Against Women Office), ACLU for the National Capitol Area, and the Alexandria and Fairfax Virginia Public Defender Offices. During her third year of law school, Keeshea was a student-attorney at LSIC, where she represented clients with misdemeanor cases. After graduating from law school, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorables Janet Albert, Andrea L. Harnett, and Richard Ringell, Magistrate Judges for the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.



Abigail Scott is the Co-Director of the Civil Protection Order Project in the Civil Division of Law Students in Court. Prior to joining LSIC, Abigail was an associate for four years practicing criminal defense with the Law Offices of Steven D. Kupferberg. While there, Abigail represented clients in Maryland and the District of Columbia facing misdemeanor and felony criminal charges, serious traffic matters, and Protective Order hearings. During the year prior, Abigail was a Judicial Law Clerk in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland.

Abigail received her JD from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law and her B.A. in Psychology from Boston College. Abigail was a student in the LSIC Criminal Division during her 3L year. While pursuing her law degree, Abigail's internships included: the ACLU of Maryland, a boutique criminal defense firm in Fairfax, VA, the PG County, MD Office of the Public Defender; and Abigail was a staff member of The Catholic University Law Review. During law school, Abigail also provided pro bono assistance at the New Orleans Public Defenders Office, through a yearly volunteer trip.

Abigail is dedicated to supporting LSIC's mission of ensuring "equal justice under law" through the representation of low-income respondents in Civil Protection Order matters.

202.607.2338, ext 568


Anthony "Tony" Verlich is the Communications Assistant at D.C. Law Students in Court. Among his many responsibilities, he helps to convey LSIC's internal and external messaging. Tony manages LSIC's social media along with the other communications mediums.

Tony has a B.A. in English from The University of the District of Columbia. Prior to joining LSIC, he worked at an after-school arts nonprofit called Words Beats & Life. He has a growing interest in music and music production as a result of their Beat Production class. For fun, he likes to work on music with friends, and play vinyl. Ultimately, Tony wants to return to school to earn his Masters in teaching, to teach English at the university level.


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