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 →

Sep 19


Legal Aid Urges the Council to Vote ‘No’ on Homeless Services Bill

Tomorrow morning, September 20, the D.C. Council’s Committee on Human Services will vote on the Homeless Services Reform Amendment Act of 2017, a package of policy changes that will deeply affect services for members of our community struggling with homelessness. Legal Aid opposes this legislation, urges the members of the Committee to vote against it, and urges you to contact the Council via the action alerts at the end of this post. Read more →

Sep 05


Legal Aid Establishes New Appellate Advocacy Fellowship

Legal Aid is pleased to announce a new Appellate Advocacy Fellowship and welcome our inaugural fellow, David Carpman, who will join Legal Aid in September 2017. With the support of Sidley Austin LLP, this one-year Fellowship will strengthen Legal Aid’s nationally-recognized Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project. Read more →

Aug 28


Legal Aid Files Federal Suit Alleging Widespread Problems With DC’s Implementation of the Food Stamps Program

Legal Aid joined Hogan Lovells and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice today in filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the DC Department of Human Services (DHS) over systemic failures in their administration of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, commonly known as food stamps. That suit alleges that SNAP recipients have wrongfully seen their benefits terminated, delayed and/or suspended, often without notice, forcing them to turn to emergency food programs for help.

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Aug 03


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


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


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 →