Dec 07


Kirkland Associate Gains Litigation Skills Helping Father Reunite With His Sons

If you are looking for a pro bono opportunity to develop your litigation skills and appear in court, consider representing a parent in a child custody case. Just ask Kirkland & Ellis associate Nickolas Barber who, over the course of a year representing the father of two young sons, appeared in court seven times, including for two evidentiary hearings and a full day trial.

Justin Hill* came to Legal Aid’s Southeast D.C. office at the Big Chair in early January 2016 asking for help in reuniting with his sons, then ages six and nine. That day Mr. Hill met with volunteer attorney Nick Barber. Through a unique partnership with Legal Aid, Nick and his Kirkland & Ellis colleagues conduct initial intake interviews with prospective Legal Aid clients two days a week at the Big Chair. Each year Kirkland attorneys also provide extended pro bono representation to several of the clients with whom they initially meet. Read more →

Nov 22


Legal Aid Gives Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Legal Aid!

Last November, Legal Aid pledged to continue our pursuit of justice for our most vulnerable neighbors in D.C. with renewed vigor and determination. We have indeed made great strides towards making justice real for our clients, but we certainly did not do it alone.

Over the past year, you – our donors, volunteers, and partners – have made a deep impact on our client community. Your support in the courtroom, on legislative issues, and in our fundraising campaigns matters. You have paved the way for us to finish this year with even more determination than when we started it. Read more →

Nov 15


Legal Aid Expands Services for D.C.’s Immigrant Community

Legal Aid is proud to announce that we are expanding our programming to improve access to critically-needed legal services for D.C.’s immigrant community. The new program will be seeded by a $150,000 grant from the Venable Foundation, one of five grants the Foundation will provide to legal aid organizations nationwide.

“Our immigrant neighbors in the District face a wide range of legal challenges, yet often have trouble accessing the legal system either because of language issues or because of the fear of deportation,” said Eric Angel, Executive Director. “Legal Aid is committed to actively standing up for the rights of all residents of D.C., no matter where they were born. This expanded programming will help us achieve that goal.” Read more →

Nov 14


Prescription Drug Plan Enrollment Assistance Available Through December 5

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but prescription drug plans are so delightful…

The holiday season is fast approaching, and at Legal Aid that means it’s time for Medicare Part D open enrollment. For the eleventh year in a row, Legal Aid and Whitman-Walker Health are hosting walk-in clinics for Medicare Part D recipients to enroll in 2018 prescription drug plans. Read more →

Oct 27


An Inside Look at Family Court for D.C. Pro Bono Week

This week is D.C. Pro Bono Week, an annual weeklong celebration of the D.C. legal community’s pro bono contributions and a citywide effort to expand pro bono services for those who cannot afford a lawyer.

For this year’s Pro Bono Week, Legal Aid organized the event Family Law in Action: Site Visit at D.C. Superior Court’s Domestic Relations Branch. Stephanie Troyer, Supervising Attorney in Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence/Family Law Unit, led this site visit of Family Court, where child custody, divorce, child support, and paternity cases are heard. We were fortunate to be joined by a terrific group of attendees who represent a wide cross section of the legal community, including law students, law school faculty, public interest lawyers, lawyers in private practice, and volunteer lawyers. Read more →

Oct 23


Citywide Housing Right to Counsel Project Celebrates Its Volunteers and Impact

Peter Edelman, Chairman of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission, and Jim Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation – two visionaries in the access to justice movement – beamed as they looked across a room filled with nearly 80 committed pro bono volunteers and supporters at the Housing Right to Counsel Celebration Breakfast hosted by Steptoe & Johnson LLP last week. Several years ago, Peter and Jim approached about a dozen managing partners from major law firms with a bold request: to join an ambitious initiative aimed at tackling D.C.’s housing crisis. A key component of the initiative was an experiment to make a civil right to counsel a reality for low-income tenants with housing subsidies who are facing eviction proceedings. Read more →

Oct 18


Legal Aid’s Beth Harrison Receives Housing Justice Award

Last Friday evening, the National Housing Law Project bestowed its 2017 Housing Justice Award on Legal Aid Supervising Attorney Beth Mellen Harrison. NHLP’s Housing Justice Award recognizes a “new and impressive talent in the field of affordable housing and low-income housing rights” and is given annually to “an energetic and unstoppable activist . . . who is fearlessly and successfully tackling the systemic and often hostile obstacles that stand in the way of safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income and marginalized people.” Read more →

Oct 10


D.C. Pro Bono Week Coming Soon – October 22-28!

D.C. Pro Bono Week 2017 is slated for October 22-28 and will be full of opportunities to learn more about D.C.’s public interest community and get involved with pro bono service.

Each fall, the Washington Council of Lawyers sponsors D.C. Pro Bono Week as part of the American Bar Association’s annual National Pro Bono Celebration. D.C. Pro Bono Week reflects this city’s robust pro bono community, celebrates pro bono contributions, and works to expand pro bono service. Read more →

Oct 05


Fake News Targets Child Support

One of Legal Aid’s very own practice areas has become the subject of a widespread “fake news” story. Last month, articles and posts began circulating on social media, informing readers that child support would be ending in 2018. One article – which has been shared over 50,000 times on Facebook – claimed that Congress and the current administration were working to pass a law which would prevent parents from being ordered to pay support. Another article included a purported quote from President Trump, and reported that custodial parents have been protesting outside the White House. Read more →

Oct 03


Legal Aid and Partners Collaborate to Obtain Substantial Relief for Tenants at Terrace Manor

Last week, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia approved a settlement in the matter of Terrace Manor LLC that will compensate tenants who endured severe housing code violations for years while ensuring that they will finally have access to the safe and habitable housing they deserve. Eleven tenants represented by Legal Aid will receive a substantial financial benefit totaling almost $360,000 for their years of suffering and for costs including repair bills, storage units and compensation for belongings damaged by mold and flooding. Importantly, the tenants will also receive ongoing rent protections, immediate relocation to safe housing, and the right to return to a rehabilitated Terrace Manor that will have renewed covenants ensuring it remains affordable for not just these but future tenants as well. Read more →