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Aug 03

2017

District Votes to Repair a Hole in its Safety Net

Legal Aid’s client population, many of whom receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, got some really good news last week. The District of Columbia Council unanimously approved the Child Benefit Protection Amendment Act of 2017 and incorporated its provisions into the District’s FY 2018 Budget. By removing the lifetime cap and adjusting the portion of TANF benefits subject to the non-compliance policy, thousands of D.C. families who were at risk of having their benefits terminated in October 2017 will now continue to receive the critical support of this important safety net program.
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Aug 03

2017

Legal Aid’s Generous Associates Campaign Raises $1.79 Million, Smashing Previous Record!

Legal Aid is delighted to announce that our Generous Associates Campaign has raised $1.79 million for Legal Aid – smashing last year’s record total of $1.475 million.

More than 4,000 people from 85 law firms came together for the Campaign, which will fund more than a quarter of Legal Aid’s budget over the next year. Each year, Legal Aid helps thousands of D.C. residents save their homes from eviction and foreclosure, reach safety from domestic violence, access unemployment and other public benefits, and more. Read more →

Jul 28

2017

Relief for Now (But the Fight to Protect Medicaid Continues)

It should never have come to it in the first place, but this morning’s dramatic vote in the Senate ensures that the Affordable Care Act expansion of coverage to millions of Americans will continue.  And millions of those Americans get this coverage through Medicaid which will celebrate its 52nd anniversary on Sunday. Read more →

Jul 26

2017

Legal Aid’s Interns Listen and Learn from Justice Ginsburg

Eleven law and undergraduate student interns are spending their summer with us here at Legal Aid, and earlier this week they had the rare opportunity to listen and learn from the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, at the Washington Council of Lawyer’s (WCL) annual Summer Pro Bono and Public Interest Forum and luncheon. Read more →

Jul 21

2017

Legal Aid Recognizes Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney

Legal Aid is thrilled to honor Kristen Lejnieks, a partner at Jones Day, with our Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award.

Legal Aid’s Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award recognizes attorneys who have provided outstanding pro bono service through individual representation and/or leadership in facilitating such representation by their colleagues. Read more →

Jul 17

2017

“D.C.” Does Not Stand for “Debt Collection”: Legal Aid Pushes for Better Protections Against Debt Collection Abuses

Dealing with debt collectors has become a widespread problem for consumers both locally and across the nation. Based on an extensive survey of D.C. residents published in 2016, almost half of low-income residents reported problems with debt—and of the survey participants with debt-related problems, the most common problem cited (31%) was receiving calls from debt collectors. Moreover, in the first-ever national survey of consumer experiences with debt collectors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 27% of consumers contacted by debt collectors felt threatened, 53% of consumers said at least one collection effort was mistaken in some way, and one in seven consumers contacted about a debt reported being sued. Read more →

Jul 10

2017

Pro Bono “Masters” Share Their Wisdom

“What do you find most compelling about defending tenants in eviction cases?”

Pro bono “masters” led an engaging discussion in response to this question and many others at the Housing Right to Counsel Project’s first-ever Pro Bono Masters Panel held on June 29, 2017 at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Read more →

May 31

2017

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. Clarke 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

2017

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

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 →