Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Jan 26


Registration Open For 2016 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll

Did you provide 50 hours or more of pro bono service in 2016?  If so, the District of Columbia Courts want to honor you for your contribution!

The Chief Judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, have announced that attorneys can now submit applications to be included on the 2016 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll All lawyers who are authorized to perform pro bono work in the District and who completed at least 50 hours of pro bono service in 2016 are eligible for the Honor Roll.  Lawyers who completed 100 hours or more of pro bono work qualify for the High Honor Roll.  Participating attorneys are recognized on the D.C. Courts’ website and elsewhere. Read more →

Jan 25


Legal Aid Mourns the Loss of Long-Time Volunteer Attorney
Roger Langsdorf

RogerEver since its founding in 1932, Legal Aid has relied on volunteer attorneys to expand its reach.  Some take pro bono cases or help out on intake. A rare few come into our offices to work side by side with our paid staff to help make justice real for our clients. Read more →

Dec 28


2016: Legal Aid’s Year in Review

Whatever else you want to say about it, 2016 has undoubtedly been an interesting year. For our client community, there have been some good developments, but also many developments that present new and even more daunting challenges. For our take on the election, please click here. You can also read more about our work over the past year in our 2016 Annual Report.

But, for purposes of this blog, I thought we would focus closer to home. As the year ends, please take a few moments to read about some of the things that happened at Legal Aid in 2016, highlighting some milestones, records, and accomplishments as individuals and as an organization. Read more →

Nov 21


Gender Neutral Test Established for Disputes over Children’s Name in D.C.

Earlier this month, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued an opinion reaffirming the “touchstone standard” by which nearly all family law disputes – including naming disputes – involving children in the District of Columbia shall be governed: a gender neutral, best-interests-of-the child standard. The case, Melbourne v. Taylor, No. 14 FM 1324, involved the request of a biological mother to have her child’s last name changed to hers. The trial court denied the mother’s request. Relying on reasoning derived from a more than half-century-old case in another jurisdiction, it concluded, among other things, that changing the child’s last name from the father’s to the mother’s would likely further weaken the bond between child and father, which can be “tenuous at best.” Read more →

Nov 16


Legal Aid’s Post-Election Statement

A week ago today, Americans learned the outcome of an historic election that will undoubtedly have enormous reverberations across the nation and the world. At Legal Aid, we understand that our supporters may hold a wide range of political views. But we also believe that all of us can agree on one thing: as a country and as a people, we are better than the divisive, uncivil, and sometimes intolerant rhetoric that has defined this election. Read more →