Making Justice Real

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

Sep 18

2019

Legal Aid Mourns the Loss of Judge James Robertson, Former District Court Judge and Legal Aid Board Member

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia was saddened to learn of the passing of Judge James Robertson on September 7, 2019. Judge Robertson was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 1994 and served as a federal judge for 15 years.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Robertson was a partner at the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. While at Wilmer, Judge Robertson served on Legal Aid’s Board of Trustees from 1978 to 1980 and co-chaired the 2nd Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner in 1991. He presented the Servant of Justice Award to Augustus Palmer of Howard University in 1991. Read more →

Jul 30

2019

Custodial Power of Attorney and Standby Guardianship–Powerful Tools for Undocumented Immigrants with Children

The D.C. Council recently passed the “Standby Guardian Emergency Amendment Act of 2019,” which amends D.C. Code § 16-4801 to add adverse immigration action as a triggering event. We support any tool that will enhance the stability and dignity of our neighbors who hail from other countries and look forward to working with the Council on making this emergency amendment permanent. Read more →

Jul 12

2019

Legal Aid Honors Gilbert Associate Daniel Wolf for Outstanding Pro Bono Service

This week, Legal Aid honored Daniel Wolf, an associate with Gilbert LLP, with our Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award in recognition of Dan’s outstanding pro bono service to his clients and exemplary pro bono leadership at his firm. Legal Aid’s Executive Director Eric Angel and Jodi Feldman, who manages Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Program, presented the award at a reception with many of Dan’s colleagues in attendance. Read more →

Jul 03

2019

Legal Aid Stands With Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence Who Fear That Asking For Help Will Lead To Dire Consequences

It takes tremendous courage for any domestic violence survivor to make the daunting decision to seek legal recourse against their abuser. Pursuing a domestic violence Civil Protection Order (CPO) case means rearranging your personal, work, and childcare schedule to spend hours in court waiting to see a judge; it means summoning the emotional strength to testify against your abuser at trial; it means revealing, recounting, and reliving the worst moments of your life in a public courtroom, at the risk of not being believed. These reasons alone dissuade many survivors of violence from seeking justice, safety, and independence through the court system.

However, for undocumented immigrant survivors of abuse, a unique set of fears compounds the many reasons why victims of violence choose not to pursue legal protection from abuse. As the Washington Post recently reported, immigrant victims of violence are increasingly concerned that reporting their abuse to the police or the courts will expose their immigration status, lead to their arrest, and result in deportation. Such fears are understandable in the context of the nation’s current political climate, which is overtly hostile towards immigrants who lack legal status. According to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in 2018, the rate of immigration-related arrests grew by 11%, while the rate of deportation increased by 13%. Read more →

Jul 01

2019

Steptoe Launches Housing Law Fellowship at Legal Aid

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia is pleased to announce a new Housing Law Fellowship with the support of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

The Steptoe Housing Law Fellowship will support Legal Aid’s Housing Law Unit, which works to prevent evictions, address dangerous housing conditions, and preserve affordable housing in the District. Unlike many other fellowships, the Steptoe Housing Law Fellowship will be open to applicants with experience, as well as recent law school graduates and judicial clerks. Read more →