Making Justice Real

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

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 →