Making Justice RealThe Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
Legal Aid Awards Prize for Volunteer Excellence to Daniel Russell
On Wednesday, May 6, Legal Aid will present our Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence to Daniel L. Russell, Jr., of McKenna Long & Aldridge, for his extraordinary contributions to pro bono.
When Legal Aid reaches out to Dan for help to staff a case, the answer is almost always “yes.” Dan not only does an excellent job of recruiting his colleagues to handle pro bono matters, he is ever ready to roll up his sleeves and get involved himself. For his personal commitment to maintaining a robust pro bono practice, Dan is truly deserving of this year’s Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence.
Dan has handled a wide range of pro bono matters, including landlord and tenant disputes, Social Security disability claims, unemployment insurance cases, and asylum claims. Dan never shies away from a challenge. Last summer, a tenant group approached Legal Aid with a case that, after five years in administrative limbo, had suddenly revived and was in need of immediate action to stave off significant rent increases. Despite an extremely complicated procedural history, Dan put together a team and dove right in — gathering facts, meeting with the tenants, and appearing on short notice at a court-ordered mediation. When the mediation failed to produce a settlement, Dan continued working to untangle the threads of the case, with the goal of keeping the tenants’ homes affordable.
In addition to his pro bono work, Dan has extensive experience litigating private tort claims brought against military support contractors, including claims arising out of wartime incidents. He also has considerable experience handling litigation brought by or against the federal government. Dan’s appellate experience includes matters before several U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Please join us on May 6, 2015 – individual tickets are still available! – to honor Dan, as well as Servant of Justice Honorees Phil Horton and Wade Henderson.