Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

May 19

2017

Update on Expanding Access to Justice Act of 2017

In my remarks at this year’s Servant of Justice Awards Dinner, I highlighted Matthew Desmond’s extraordinary book, “Evicted,” winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction.  I highlighted the importance of Legal Aid’s eviction prevention work and, in particular, our Housing Right to Counsel Project (also known as the Subsidized Housing Representation Project), a city-wide project we are leading but with many, many partners, including the D.C. Access to Justice Commission, Bread for the City, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, and numerous area law firms.  I expressly noted the “Expanding Access to Justice Act of 2017,” which could dramatically increase the number of tenants represented in these cases.    Read more →

May 15

2017

Social Security Administration Pledges to Curtail Seizure of Tax Refunds

Legal Aid is pleased to announce that effective immediately, the Social Security Administration will no longer confiscate income tax returns to repay certain alleged debts incurred before 2002. This change in policy comes as Legal Aid and the law firm of Alston & Bird LLP continue to litigate a federal putative class-action lawsuit challenging this practice and seeking compensation for victims who have been subject to it. That case—filed on behalf of District of Columbia residents Tina Heard, Pearline Snow, and Carolyn Graham, and others similarly situated—remains pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Read more →

May 12

2017

Postcard from Armenia

“The persistence of racial disparities, and in particular, how often African Americans are victims of police-involved shootings.” This was—roughly translated—the response I elicited from one of the half dozen lawyers who had drawn up chairs beside me in a modest, U-shaped room that was the local public defender’s office in Vanadzor, Armenia. We were an hour and a half into an engaging conversation that covered a wide range of topics, and I had posed to the group this question: “What are some of the things you’ve heard about the United States that you find most striking or surprising?” Read more →

May 05

2017

Legal Aid Mourns the Passing of Former Board President Daniel W. Toohey

Legal Aid was saddened to learn of the passing of former Board member and Past President of the Board Daniel W. Toohey. Dan passed away at home on Monday, April 10, 2017, due to illness. He was 77. Read more →

May 02

2017

Highlights and Photos from the 2017 Servant of Justice Awards Dinner

Last Tuesday, Legal Aid held its 28th Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner. We are so grateful to our dinner co-chairs, host committee, sponsors, and honorees for making it such a memorable evening.

With over 775 guests and more than 40 sponsors, the dinner set a record for both attendance and fundraising this year! The dinner successfully raised over $1.2 million to support Legal Aid’s mission of making justice real for low-income D.C. residents.

Thank you so, so much!

“It is often in times of crisis that we find our strongest voice.”
– Vanita Gupta, 2017 Servant of Justice Awards Honoree
Read more →