Written by

Feb 28


Legal Aid Announces 2017 Servant of Justice Honorees

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia is proud to announce that we will be honoring Vanita Gupta, formerly the Head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, at this year’s Servant of Justice Awards Dinner taking place on April 25th. Read more →

Dec 28


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. Read more →

Nov 11


Legal Aid Remembers 2007 Servant of Justice Award Honoree E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr.

prettymanThe Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia mourns the loss of 2007 Servant of Justice Award Honoree E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr., whose storied legal career included clerking for three Supreme Court justices and later negotiating the release of prisoners from Cuba after the Bay of Pigs. E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr., was a long-time partner at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) and a stalwart supporter of access to justice for the poor. Read more →

Oct 24


Housing Right to Counsel Project Partners Mark Year One

Leading up to D.C. Pro Bono Week, Legal Aid, Bread for the City, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center hosted a breakfast on October 13, 2016, to celebrate our pro bono partners on our Housing Right to Counsel Pilot Project.  The Project has been in operation for over a year now, matching tenants who are facing eviction with legal services and pro bono attorneys to represent them in court.

The Project focuses on eviction cases involving tenants living in subsidized housing, where tenants pay a percentage of market rent based on income and a government subsidy covers the monthly rent balance. For tenants with subsidies, the stakes in an eviction case are even higher – losing the case not only results in loss of the tenant’s home but also loss or the threatened loss of that vital housing subsidy.  Read more →

Aug 04


2016 Generous Associates Campaign Exceeds Stretch Goal!

After eight suspenseful weeks, the 2016 Generous Associates Campaign has concluded with another record-breaking result. This year’s Campaign has raised $1,475,000, eclipsing last year’s (record-breaking) total by more than $100,000!

Legal Aid is deeply grateful to all who helped make justice real this summer – most of all, to our Co-Chairs and Coordinators – who devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to this effort. This year’s Campaign was the most successful fundraiser – of any type – in Legal Aid’s 84-year history.
Read more →

Jun 24


Long-Time Legal Aid Lawyer Julie Becker Confirmed to Superior Court Bench


Julie Becker, Supervising Attorney

We are delighted to announce that Julie Becker, Supervising Attorney in the Housing Law Unit, has been confirmed to serve on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Julie was nominated by President Obama on April 30, 2015, and was confirmed by the Senate last night. As President Barack Obama said when announcing her nomination:  “Throughout her career Julie Helene Becker has shown unwavering integrity and an outstanding commitment to public service.”  We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Read more →

May 02


Highlights and Photos from the 2016 Servant of Justice Awards Dinner

Last Thursday, more than 600 lawyers, judges, government officials, and friends and supporters of Legal Aid came together to honor Servant of Justice Awardees – Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund and Thomas S. Williamson, Jr. of Covington & Burling – as well as Klepper Award Honoree Brendan Carroll of Alston & Bird. We are proud to announce that our 27th Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner raised almost $1.2 million (a record for the event!) for Legal Aid’s work on behalf of persons living in poverty in the District. This represents more than 20% of the budget of Legal Aid, the oldest and largest general civil legal services program in D.C. Read more →

Apr 21


In One Week: Legal Aid Will Honor Thomas S. Williamson, Jr.

In one week, on Thursday, April 28, 2016, Legal Aid will present our highest honor – the Servant of Justice Award – to Thomas S. Williamson, Jr. of Covington & Burling LLP. This award will be presented by Covington’s Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Williamson_Thomas_300 greyscaleTom Williamson is a senior counsel at Covington & Burling. His areas of expertise include employment law, complex litigation, and health and welfare law matters for state governments.

Mr. Williamson was the Solicitor of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor from 1993 to 1996. He served as Deputy Inspector General for the then-newly formed U.S. Department of Energy from 1978 to 1981. In 2003 he played a key role in developing the National Football League’s “Rooney Rule,” designed to promote increased opportunities for minorities to become head coaches in the NFL. Read more →

Apr 19


Just 8 days until Legal Aid Honors Marian Wright Edelman

Tickets are still available for our dinner this coming Thursday, April 28, 2016.   Legal Aid will present our highest honor – the Servant of Justice Award – to Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Childrens’ Defense Fund (CDF). This award will be presented by the Honorable Patricia M. Wald, retired Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

MWEHeadShot-224x325Mrs. Edelman has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, the CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. The CDF’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Read more →

Apr 18


Former Legal Aid Loaned Associate Eve Runyon Named PBI President/CEO

Legal Aid is happy to congratulate Eve Runyon on being named President and CEO of the Pro Bono Institute (PBI).  Eve succeeds Esther Lardent, who founded PBI and held the roles of President and CEO for 19 years before stepping down for health reasons in 2015.  Ms. Lardent passed away earlier this month.

Esther Lardent left an extraordinary legacy, but Eve herself is poised to make important contributions to the pro bono world.  For those who do not know her, Eve’s background is impressive.  A graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School, Eve joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, in 1998, serving at the firm for almost seven years.  In 2002, she came to Legal Aid as a “loaned associate” working on a wide range of important poverty law matters. Eve left Skadden to join PBI in 2005, serving for almost ten years as the Director of Corporate Pro Bono, PBI’s partnership project with the Association of Corporate Counsel. Read more →