May 31


Legal Aid on Public Access Television

Last week, several Legal Aid attorneys left the courtroom for the TV studio. Dean Shelley Broderick of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clark School of Law hosts a public television show on UDC-TV called Sound Advice that focuses on legal problems affecting residents of the District living in poverty. Dean Broderick welcomed attorneys from Legal Aid’s family/domestic violence and public benefits units to talk about their legal practices. Read more →

May 25


Countdown to the 2017 Generous Associates Campaign Kick-Off!

In just one week, Legal Aid will be kicking off our annual Generous Associates Campaign to raise $1.5 million for the cause of making justice real for D.C.’s low-income residents! More than 200 associates from 80 D.C. law firms have already confirmed their participation this year in what could be the biggest Campaign ever in Legal Aid’s 85 year history! But there is still plenty of time to join up! Read more →

May 19


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


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


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


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


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 →

Apr 21


Next Week: Legal Aid Will Honor Vanita Gupta

On Tuesday, April 25, Legal Aid will present our highest honor – the Servant of Justice Award – to Vanita Gupta, incoming President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and former head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. This award will be presented by Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Read more →

Apr 19


Next Week: Legal Aid Will Honor Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.

On Tuesday April 25, Legal Aid will present our highest honor – the Servant of Justice Award – to Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. This award will be presented by Paul M. Smith, Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and Vice-President of Campaign Legal Center. Read more →

Apr 05


Legal Aid’s Public Benefits Team Urges Agency Accountability at D.C. Council Oversight Hearings

As part of Legal Aid’s continuing systemic advocacy efforts, members of our Public Benefits Unit testified last month on the performance of four D.C. agencies which directly impact the lives of thousands of District residents, including hundreds of Legal Aid clients, every year: the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health Care Finance, the Department of Employment Services, and the Office of Administrative Hearings. Read more →