Written by Jodi Feldman

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 →

Apr 24


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


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 →

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 →

Oct 28


Thank You Emails and Hugs: Jonathan Porter and Elliot Weingarten

As a first year associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in 2010, Jonathan Porter was happy to dive right in and help with a pro bono eviction case that had been referred to his firm from Legal Aid and was headed for trial.  Little did he know that he had signed onto a case that would span three years involving two trials and two appeals, and create important precedent — clarifying the D.C. retaliation statute, which provides a rebuttable presumption of retaliation when a landlord brings suit to evict a tenant within six months after the tenant exercises her legal rights — that has and will continue to benefit countless tenants in the District. Read more →

Oct 27


Legal Aid’s Beth Harrison Leads Pro Bono Week Tour of Landlord-Tenant Court

On Tuesday morning, a dozen lawyers and law students from across the city gathered at the Judiciary Square for a court tour led by Legal Aid Supervising Attorney Beth Mellen Harrison.  Legal Aid and Neighborhood Legal Services Program co-sponsored the DC Pro Bono Week event: The Housing Crisis from the Inside: A Guided Tour of D.C. Superior Court’s Landlord and Tenant Branch.

The goal of the tour was to raise awareness about the crisis in affordable, safe housing in the District and provide insight into the experience of low-income tenants who have to defend themselves in eviction cases in this fast-paced, high-volume court. Read more →

Oct 27


Solving Real-World Problems: Jahnisa Tate Loadholt

Jahnisa Tate Loadholt jumped right into pro bono work almost immediately after moving to D.C. from Atlanta about two years ago.  She had just finished up a clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and had joined Alston & Bird as a litigation associate.  Once she started at the firm, it didn’t take her long to connect with Jon Fee, Senior Counsel and Chair of Alston & Bird’s Washington, D.C. Pro Bono Committee, and a member of Legal Aid’s Board of Trustees. Read more →

Oct 26


Ready For a Challenge: Henry Smith

Henry Smith began his legal career as a Law Firm Fellow working at Legal Aid for approximately one year before joining Steptoe & Johnson in the fall of 2010.  During his time at Legal Aid, Henry worked with Legal Aid’s Public Benefits Unit helping clients secure and maintain critical safety net benefits to which they are entitled.

It was clear from Henry’s very first days at Legal Aid that he was wholly committed to serving Legal Aid’s mission and client community.  He exhibited a degree of skill, patience and perseverance working with clients that others only develop with years of experience. And in the intervening years, Henry’s commitment has not wavered. Read more →

Oct 25


A Decade of Pro Bono Service: Stefanie Doebler

This Fall marks the 10th anniversary of Legal Aid’s Medicare Part D Initiative.  And Stefanie Doebler, Of Counsel at Covington & Burling, has been involved since day one. In partnership with Whitman-Walker Health and scores of pro bono attorneys, including Stefanie, Legal Aid helps hundreds of senior and disabled D.C. residents navigate the Medicare prescription drug benefit program each year, saving them money and ensuring continuity in accessing their prescription medications.  Read more →

Oct 17


D.C. Pro Bono Week Coming Soon – October 24-29!

October 24-29 is D.C. Pro Bono Week!  Sponsored by the Washington Council of Lawyers, Pro Bono Week provides an opportunity to celebrate pro bono contributions and expand our commitment as a community to pro bono service. Our local Pro Bono Week coincides with the American Bar Association’s annual National Pro Bono Celebration.

This year’s Pro Bono Week features a great lineup of trainings, clinics, court tours, social events, and more.  Click here for a full list of events and ways you can get involved. We hope many of you will take this opportunity to celebrate and learn more about the D.C. legal community’s unparalleled commitment to pro bono service. Read more →