Written by Jodi Feldman

Feb 03



Did you provide at least 50 hours of pro bono service in 2021? If so, we encourage you to submit your information to be included on the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll. Applications are due on Friday, February 25, 2022, so submit your application today!

Recognizing the vital role that private and government attorneys play in providing pro bono services to those who cannot afford counsel, the Chief Judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia have announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2021 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll. Supported by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center and the D.C. Access to Justice Commission, the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll pays tribute to the thousands of D.C. Bar members and attorneys practicing under D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 who provide desperately needed free legal services to those living in poverty and/or to the disadvantaged small businesses and community-based non-profits that are critical to the economic well-being of our community. Read more →

Oct 12


Join Us for DC Pro Bono Week – Kick-Off Event Scheduled for October 22!

DC Pro Bono Week is almost here! While the events will be held remotely (again) this year, we will not be deterred from celebrating the critical impact pro bono attorneys make in our community and highlighting the many ways to get involvedSeveral events and affiliated trainings are scheduled throughout October so there are ample opportunities for folks to participate.

Below are just a few highlights that may be of particular interest to Legal Aid’s pro bono partners. We appreciate your help to spread the word and look forward to having you join us at one or more of these events!


Help us kick off DC Pro Bono Week at Pro Bono Goes Local, a virtual celebration featuring the Chief Judges of the D.C. Courts, on October 22, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. We will hear about the DC Represents initiative involving area law firms that have stepped up to take on more pro bono work during these challenging times. The event will conclude with a dynamic lightning talk format where Legal Aid’s Public Benefits Supervising Attorney Drake Hagner and others will update us on recent developments in pro bono practice in a variety of subject areas. Read more →

Jul 27


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


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



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



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


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


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


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


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 →