Written by Kathy Hays

May 15


Legal Aid Named One Of The “Best Nonprofits To Work For” . . . Again!

It is my great privilege to announce that the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia has again been named one of the “Best NonProfits to Work For 2015” by The NonProfit Times. In fact, we were ranked sixth highest nationwide, and are number one on the list in Washington, D.C. Read more →

Sep 30


Legal Aid Office Makeover and Expansion

Legal Aid’s office space has received a wonderful makeover. In July of this year, Legal Aid expanded to occupy the entirety of both the 3rd and 4th floors of 1331 H Street, NW. With the help of many, Legal Aid now has the much needed space to accommodate additional program staff so that we may continue to grow our program efforts. Read more →

Apr 04


Legal Aid Named One of the Best Nonprofits to Work For


Chief Operations Officer

Kathy Hays
Chief Operations Officer

It is my privilege to announce that the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia has been named as one of the top 50 “Best NonProfits to Work for 2013” by The NonProfit Times, a national publication.  Legal Aid was ranked 14th overall and 6th among organizations of similar size around the country.NPT 2013 logo

Read more here:

Regular readers of our blog know that Legal Aid’s mission is to “Make Justice Real” – in individual and systematic ways – for individuals, families, and communities in the District of Columbia who could not otherwise afford to hire a lawyer.  Legal Aid staff and volunteers provide a continuum of services from client education to full representation before a court or an administrative tribunal.  Types of cases include preventing evictions and homelessness, preserving affordable housing, preserving home ownership, ensuring a safe and decent place to live, curbing abusive debt collection practices, securing access to health care, nutrition, and public benefits, protecting families against domestic violence, and promoting family stability through child support and custody arrangements.  I have known since I began working at Legal Aid some eight years ago that this is an incredible organization made up of passionate individuals strongly committed to Legal Aid’s mission and driven to make a difference for our clients and our community as a whole.  Being recognized by The NonProfit Times only confirms my conviction.

Feb 10


Legal Aid’s Jen Ngai Featured As Huffington Post’s “Greatest Person of the Day”

Jen Ngai

Chief Operations Officer


Jen Ngai, our Equal Justice / AmeriCorps fellow is featured in the February 9, 2011 Huffington Post’s “Greatest Person of the Day” column for her work with clients to protect home ownership.

Oct 04


Delegates from Legacy International Visit Legal Aid

Chief Operations Officer

On Monday afternoon, Legal Aid was privileged to host five participants in the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Legacy International Legislative Fellows Program.  This program links community leaders from the U.S. with their counterparts from Kuwait and Oman.  The Fellows are involved in public policy formulation and implementation in their respective countries.  While they are working in Congressional offices for the majority of their time in the U.S., they also are offered the opportunity to visit organizations like Legal Aid.


 Pictured:   Basmah Al-Kiyumi (Oman), Khalid al Haribi (Oman), Mashael Alhajeri, (Kuwait ),
KathyHays Sara M. Alasousi, (Kuwait), Jodi Feldman  and Ali Abdullah Al-Saidi (Oman).

Jodi Feldman, Director of Pro Bono and Intake Services, and myself were able to spend time speaking with our guests about the type of work that is done here at Legal Aid.  The Fellows were very interested in the free legal services that we provide and how we fund our work.  Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Program was also a topic of great interest, particularly with regard to how we refer cases and mentor the probono attorneys.  While our guests were here to find out about our organization, we found that we learned a great deal from them about how similar work is conducted in their respective countries.  

 We enjoyed our time with this delegation and were proud to share with them the great work that is done at Legal Aid.

Jul 05


Legal Aid Moves To New Office in SE!

Chief Operations Officer

Legal Aid has moved their Anacostia office location to Suite LL-1 at 2041 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE.   

For the past few years, we have been fortunate to be located within the offices of the Advocates for Justice and Education.  AJE’s assistance has allowed Legal Aid to establish a very successful physical presence in Anacostia.  As a result of that success, Legal Aid outgrew the space in AJE.  We are pleased that we have been able to relocate within the same building at the Anacostia Professional Building (a.k.a. the Big Chair building) as it will be easy for our clients to find us and we will be able to continue to partner with the great folks at AJE.

Legal Aid Society of DC will be closed for initial interviews (new intakes) at our NW office (located at 1331 H Street, NW, Suite 350), and SE offices (located at the Big Chair, in the Anacostia Professional Building, 2041 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave., SE, and inside the Children’s Health Project at THEARC at 1901 Mississippi Avenue, SE) from Tuesday, June 29 – Friday, July 16.

Mar 03


A Foreclosure Forestalled

Chief Operations Officer

Chief Operations Officer

The Legal Aid Society’s Consumer Unit continues to work to preserve affordable and sustainable housing despite the most difficult situations.  One area that Wendy Weinberg, Supervising Attorney of the Unit, and Jennifer Ngai, Equal Justice AmeriCorps Fellow, both focus on are foreclosures that result from fraudulent and/or predatory lending.  Jen shares the story of client with whom our Consumer Unit has successfully intervened on behalf of to prevent a foreclosure. 

Unfortunately, stories like the one shared here are all too common in the District of Columbia.  Funding cuts proposed in the District’s budget threaten to further limit the ability for legal services programs to continue at their current levels let alone grow the program to meet the increasing need.  Legal Aid is grateful to the opportunities provided by organization like Equal Justice / AmeriCorps program as it has allowed us to expand our staffing in this unit.

Dec 28


Shortfall in legal aid demands more be done

Chief Operations Officer

Chief Operations Officer

Please see the Washington Post editorial posted today regarding the impact of the shortfall in legal aid in comparison to the increase in need for same.    This editorial reiterates the Rationing Justice Report previously shared on this blog.  Clearly, this is an issue that truly demands that more be done both in terms of funding and time.


Dec 23


Even a Blizzard Does Not Slow Legal Aid Down!

Chief Operations Officer

Chief Operations Officer

Since coming to work at Legal Aid almost 5 years ago, I am always impressed with the caliber of talent, dedication and professionalism that our staff demonstrates. While they may not always have the perfect working conditions, the most current computers, or the fanciest of gadgets that are often found in regular firms, the work produced continues to be excellent.

The “December 2009 Blizzard” may have shut down the Federal Government and many a business throughout the District on Monday, but it proved to be an unworthy adversary to my colleagues at Legal Aid. Two Legal Aid attorneys staffed our office at Landlord-Tenant Court – a particularly vital role since the Landlord-Tenant Resource Center (which serves as the front-line resource for clients) was closed. These attorneys provided critical help to two walk-in clients, securing a continuance of an eviction case for one. For the other, an elderly client in poor health (who had come to Court despite significant difficulty walking), we succeeded in getting her eviction case dismissed. Over at Family Court, our attorney was able to get a continuance in a domestic violence case for a client whose abuser had violated a civil protection order. Our client was unable to reach the Court due to the storm. And back at our main office, attorneys and support staff were meeting with clients to discuss their cases and answer questions, preparing for upcoming hearings, and strategizing about better ways to serve our client community.

I continue to be amazed by our wonderful support staff, fellows, and attorneys for their deep commitment to our client community. Yesterday was a perfect illustration of the Legal Aid staff’s shared passion for making justice attainable for all.

 If you ever wonder if your support of Legal Aid truly matters, it does!  If you are looking to make a year-end charitable gift, I would encourage you to support Legal Aid. It will be a gift that truly makes a difference.


Dec 04


Put Your Facebook To Work and Help Legal Aid Win $25,000!

Chase Community Giving is allowing Facebook users to participate in helping direct Chase corporate philanthropy dollars to eligible organizations – organizations like the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia.  The top 100 eligible charities receiving the most votes will be awarded $25,000 each!

How can you help Legal Aid?

*          Click HERE to go to Legal Aid’s page on the Chase Community Giving Contest Page. 
            (voting ends December 11, 2009.)   
*          Add the Chase Community Giving Application by clicking “Allow”
*          Become a Fan of Chase community Giving
*          Then Click Vote.  (Each Facebook member is given 20 votes but you may only vote once per charity in order to make the process as fair to all as possible.)

Also, if you are so inclined, please share this information with all of your Facebook friends and ask them to support the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia too.  Spreading the word will help get everyone excited about supporting Legal Aid and the incredible work that is done to help make justice real for all citizens in the District.  

For more information on the Legal Aid Society and the wonderful work that is being done, please see our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter and/or check out our website at

Thank you in advance for taking the time to vote for Legal Aid!