Making Justice Real

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

2016: Legal Aid’s Year in Review

Whatever else you want to say about it, 2016 has undoubtedly been an interesting year. For our client community, there have been some good developments, but also many developments that present new and even more daunting challenges. For our take on the election, please click here. You can also read more about our work over the past year in our 2016 Annual Report.

But, for purposes of this blog, I thought we would focus closer to home. As the year ends, please take a few moments to read about some of the things that happened at Legal Aid in 2016, highlighting some milestones, records, and accomplishments as individuals and as an organization.

Our growth:

We end the year on pace to have had more lawyers on staff and to have helped more people than ever in our history. Embedded in the thousands of people helped through Legal Aid’s housing, family/domestic violence, public benefits, consumer, and appellate work are thousands of stories, a few of which you can read about here.raglephoto_ladc2012-2015_staffcomp_2333_v4

This past year, we established four exciting new projects:

Pro Bono:

We don’t have our figures for 2016 yet, but we are confident that we will have a record-setting year in pro bono as well. In 2015, Legal Aid’s wonderful volunteer community provided more than 33,500 of pro bono hours, valued at more than $17.5 million.

The Issues:

4star-125x125The Awards:

The Dollars:

  • We raised a record-breaking $1.2 million this year for our Servant of Justice Awards Dinner.
  • Not to be outdone, our Generous Associates Campaign raised a record-shattering $1.475 million!gac-slider_final-total
  • As of today, 4,532 individual donors have supported Legal Aid in 2016 compared to 4,257 in 2015 – a 6.5% increase!
  • Similarly, in 2015, we had 374 generous donors give $1,000 or more during the year to be part of our Making Justice Real Giving Circle. As of today, we have more than 420 members in our 2016 Making Justice Real Giving Circle!

The People:

  • This past year, we surpassed the 50 employee mark and we now have 53 employees on staff.
  • There were also many joyful tidings in the extended Legal Aid family as well: we welcomed 8 Legal Aid babies in 2016, with one more expected before the end of the year!

As you can see, Legal Aid has had a full year of success and growth. I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish thanks to our amazing staff, our dedicated volunteers, and our generous donors. Without you, we could not do what we do.

As we enter 2017, I hope you will help us continue this momentum. More and more people walk through Legal Aid’s door every year and we must continue to grow in order to serve our community.2016-holiday-card

For those of you in a position to do so, I urge you to consider making a year-end gift to Legal Aid before Dec. 31 to help us make justice real. If you have already supported Legal Aid with a gift this year or have helped our client community in any other way, please accept our profound thanks for your generosity.

Thank you so much for supporting us. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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