Archives

Written by Jodi Feldman

Jul 27

2021

D.C. Bar Honors Legal Aid Pro Bono Volunteers David Reiser and Dan Cantor

We were so pleased to see two of Legal Aid’s amazing pro bono volunteers honored last month at the D.C. Bar’s Celebration of Leadership Virtual Meeting and Awards Presentation on June 24.

David Reiser of Zuckerman Spaeder, long-time Legal Aid pro bono volunteer and 2006 Servant of Justice honoree, received the William J. Brennan Jr. Award, presented biennially to a D.C. Bar member. The award recognizes D.C. Bar members who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the pursuit of equal justice and who have made a significant, positive impact on the quality of administration of justice.

David helped conceptualize and found Legal Aid’s Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project, which has been recognized by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, due in large part to David’s contributions, as a “model of excellence.” The Project was named for its founding Director, Barbara McDowell, after her untimely death in 2009. Read more →

Jul 22

2021

Legal Aid Honors Arnold & Porter’s Unemployment Insurance Team

This week Legal Aid was thrilled to present our Making Justice Real Pro Bono Award to Arnold & Porter’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Project Team for their outstanding pro bono service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan Cantor, Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, and Rebecca Gordon were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the team consisting of dozens of attorneys and staff from across the firm’s practice areas.

In early 2020, shortly after the start of the pandemic, Dan spearheaded a firm-wide initiative to help restaurant workers who had lost jobs or had hours reduced due to the public health emergency.

“Working families who were living week to week, paycheck to paycheck, lost their income overnight,” noted Dan. “Helping workers secure the enhanced UI benefits that were available meant the difference between people being able to feed their families and keep roofs over their heads.” Read more →

Feb 19

2021

2020 CAPITAL PRO BONO HONOR ROLL SUBMISSIONS DUE MARCH 15!

The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us. But since it first reached the District nearly a year ago, Legal Aid’s client community has been hit the hardest. And as stay-at-home orders were issued and schools and workplaces shut down across the city, our neighbors struggled to both stay safe and make ends meet. Unemployment claims skyrocketed, domestic violence surged, and housing and food insecurity rose sharply. Never has Legal Aid faced such profound challenges.

That is why we are so grateful to the hundreds of attorneys throughout the city who took on pro bono cases in 2020, helping clients secure critical safety-net benefits, navigate complex custody disputes exacerbated by the pandemic, ensure that landlords made needed repairs, and more. Read more →

Feb 19

2020

SUBMISSIONS FOR CAPITAL PRO BONO HONOR ROLL DUE MARCH 2!

Did you provide 50 hours or more of pro bono service in 2019?  If so, the District of Columbia Courts want to honor you for your contribution. Applications to be included on the 2019 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll are due Monday, March 2, 2020, so submit your application today!  Participating attorneys will be recognized on the Courts’ website. Read more →

Oct 14

2019

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles Maryam Casbarro

We are thrilled that pro bono attorney Maryam Casbarro who represents clients referred from Legal Aid was featured in this year’s lead DC Pro Bono Week Profile. In the profile, Maryam shares what has inspired her to work with survivors of domestic violence and how pro bono work has helped her hone her professional skills and make her a better lawyer.

If you are interested in hearing directly from Maryam about her experiences representing survivors of domestic violence, we encourage you to attend Pro Bono Goes Local, a DC Pro Bono Week kick-off breakfast celebration this Wednesday, October 16, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., at Crowell & Moring, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Maryam is one of four pro bono attorneys who will be featured at this special event. Read more →

Oct 02

2019

DC Pro Bono Week 2019 Coming Soon!

DC Pro Bono Week 2019 is just around the corner, October 20-26. And there are a full slate of events and affiliated trainings scheduled throughout October for folks who want to learn more about what pro bono opportunities are available throughout the city. Please help spread the word!

Here are just a few highlights that may be of particular interest to Legal Aid’s pro bono partners:

Kick off DC Pro Bono Week at Pro Bono Goes Local, a breakfast celebration featuring Chief Judges of the D.C. Courts and other special guests, on October 16, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., at Crowell & Moring. We have convened a panel of all stars to highlight their pro bono experiences in a dynamic lightning talk format that we hope will spark your enthusiasm for local pro bono. Read more →

Jan 29

2019

Submissions for Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll Due March 1!

Did you provide 50 hours or more of pro bono service in 2018? If so, the District of Columbia Courts want to honor you for your contribution. Applications to be included on the 2018 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll are due Friday, March 1, 2019, so submit your application today! Read more →

Oct 01

2018

DC Pro Bono Week Coming Soon – Join the Celebration!

Each fall, as part of the annual National Pro Bono Celebration, the Washington Council of Lawyers and others organize DC Pro Bono Week. This year, DC Pro Bono Week 2018 takes place from October 21–27 and offers many opportunities to do pro bono work, learn new pro bono skills, meet other pro bono lawyers, and expand your pro bono horizons. Read more →

Apr 24

2018

40 at 50 Event Recognizes Pro Bono Leaders Among D.C. Law Firms

This morning, Legal Aid Executive Director Eric Angel took a break from preparations for the 2018 Servant of Justice Awards Dinner to attend the 40 at 50 Judicial Pro Bono Recognition Breakfast. This annual event, hosted by the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, recognizes local law firms for outstanding leadership in pro bono service and promotes the aspirational goal of the Circuit’s Judicial Conference that attorneys contribute at least 50 pro bono hours per year.  Eric is a member of the Standing Committee. Read more →

Dec 07

2017

Kirkland Associate Gains Litigation Skills Helping Father Reunite With His Sons

If you are looking for a pro bono opportunity to develop your litigation skills and appear in court, consider representing a parent in a child custody case. Just ask Kirkland & Ellis associate Nickolas Barber who, over the course of a year representing the father of two young sons, appeared in court seven times, including for two evidentiary hearings and a full day trial.

Justin Hill* came to Legal Aid’s Southeast D.C. office at the Big Chair in early January 2016 asking for help in reuniting with his sons, then ages six and nine. That day Mr. Hill met with volunteer attorney Nick Barber. Through a unique partnership with Legal Aid, Nick and his Kirkland & Ellis colleagues conduct initial intake interviews with prospective Legal Aid clients two days a week at the Big Chair. Each year Kirkland attorneys also provide extended pro bono representation to several of the clients with whom they initially meet. Read more →