Archives

Written by Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Sep 03

2013

Skadden’s “Impact Project” with Legal Aid and others featured in this weekend’s Washington Post

In conjunction with establishing an office at the Domestic Violence Intake Center at Superior Court in Northwest D.C., Legal Aid also began an innovative collaboration with Skadden in which the firm represents survivors of domestic violence through the entire Civil Protection Order process from filing to the hearing.

A Washington Post article describing the Project one year in is here. At our Servant of Justice Awards Dinner, Legal Aid honored three Skadden attorneys — Warren T. Allen, II; Nicole L. Grimm; and Luke A. Meisner — with the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence for their extraordinary contributions in implementing the project.

Aug 07

2013

Legal Aid’s Generous Associates Campaign in Legal Times and Bisnow

Legal Aid’s record-breaking Generous Associates Campaign was recently mentioned in the Blog of the Legal Times and Bisnow.

In a first-time twist for the Campaign, participating firms had a chance to qualify to compete in an “Iron Chef” competition, which will be generously hosted by CulinAerie, a recreational cooking school near Legal Aid’s office.  Of the 68 participating firms, 35 qualified for the drawing.  On Monday, August 5, Co-Chair Tim Walsh of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP participated in the official drawing for the Competition, selecting the 10 firms that will participate in the Competition.

The cooking showdown will take place on September 12 at 6:30 PM at 1131 14th Street NW.

Jul 16

2013

Legal Aid’s Julie Becker to Speak on Affordable Housing at Joint Legal Aid and Washington Council of Lawyers’ Lunch

Julie Becker, Supervising Attorney

Julie Becker, Supervising Attorney

Julie Becker, Housing Unit Supervising Attorney, will be speaking with Jenny Reed of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute at the next Legal Aid/Washington Council of Lawyers’ Brown Bag Lunch.  The focus of the talk will be on affordable housing in Washington, DC.  Julie and Jenny will discuss their own experiences, as well as how litigation and advocacy can produce systemic change.

The Brown Bag Lunch will take place on Wednesday, July 17 from 12:00 to 1:30.

Jul 02

2013

Legal Aid on Public Access Television

Two weeks ago, several Legal Aid attorneys left the courtroom for the TV studio. Dean Shelley Broderick of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clark School of Law hosts a public television show on UDC-TV called “Sound Advice” that focuses on legal issues affecting the DC community.  Dean Broderick welcomed Legal Aid’s four legal fellows to talk about their legal practices.

The episodes debuted on UDC-TV yesterday, and will continue to replay in the District of Columbia on Comcast Channel 98, RCM Channel 19, and Verizon Channels 19 and 21.  A full programming schedule for UDC-TV can be found here. The Legal Aid Sound Advice episodes are also available on YouTube. Read more →

Jun 19

2013

Legal Aid Mourns the Passing of Inspirational Poverty Lawyer Elizabeth Campbell

Legal Aid mourns the loss of legal services attorney Elizabeth Campbell, who passed away on Friday at the far too young an age of 52.  Elizabeth was a public benefits, family, and immigration lawyer who helped obtain justice for low-income D.C. residents.  We at Legal Aid worked most closely with Elizabeth when she was legal director at one of our sister organizations, Bread for the City. She was a wonderful teacher, mentor, lawyer, and role model.  Her legacy lives on through the dozens of lawyers she guided and trained and the hundreds of clients for whom she obtained justice.  Our thoughts go out to Elizabeth’s family and to our colleagues and friends at Bread for the City.  Hers was truly a life well lived.

Jun 03

2013

Legal Aid’s 2013 Generous Associates Campaign Begins Monday, June 3, 2013!

Lisa Blatt, Partner at Arnold & Porter LLP

Lisa Blatt, Partner at Arnold & Porter LLP

I am delighted to be the Honorary Chair of this year’s Generous Associates Campaign, an extraordinary, associate-driven fundraising effort which raises almost one fifth of Legal Aid’s budget.

Last year, D.C.’s legal community demonstrated its extraordinary commitment to making justice real for persons living in poverty in the District by raising a record $901,000.  The Co-Chairs of this year’s Campaign are challenging us to break that record and raise $925,000.

In 2012, more than 7,000 people came to Legal Aid for help.  Legal Aid’s resources unfortunately are not nearly enough to meet the overwhelming needs of those living in poverty in D.C.  Fully 20% of DC residents have an average income of $9,100.  Poverty and the inability to afford a lawyer can have devastating consequences to individuals and their families.  Access to an attorney can often mean the difference between avoiding wrongful eviction, securing necessary unemployment benefits, preventing foreclosure, or ensuring a family’s safety from domestic violence.

I know that I will be thinking about Legal Aid’s clients – our neighbors living in poverty in the District – as we all work hard over the next month to try to make this the most successful Generous Associates Campaign in history.  I encourage all of you to contribute what you can, knowing each dollar makes a tremendous difference.  Thank you.

May 09

2013

Jessica Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission (and Legal Aid Alum) to Receive 2013 Justice Potter Stewart Award from CCE

Legal Aid congratulates Jessica Rosenbaum on her well-deserved receipt of the Justice Potter Stewart Award, given each year to “individuals and organizations whose work on behalf of the administration of justice has made a significant contribution to the law, the legal system, the courts, or the administrative process in our nation’s capital.”  The award will be presented at a dinner this evening held at the Organization of American States, 200 17th St NW,  Washington, DC 20006. Jess’s co-honorees are long-time friend of Legal Aid, Jim Sandman, now President of the Legal Services Corporation, and William J. Garber, a D.C.-based attorney in private practice.

Jess started her legal career at Legal Aid.  After graduating from Harvard Law School, she joined Legal Aid, first as a Skadden Fellow and then as a Staff Attorney.  She is currently the Executive Director of the Access to Justice Commission, where she has been a leading voice on access to justice issues and has played a significant role in the Commission’s successes, including advocating vigorously for the D.C. Council’s access to justice funding, the Raising the Bar in D.C. Campaign, and numerous court and other reform efforts.   Legal Aid is delighted that Jess is being recognized for her many contributions to the D.C. legal services community and congratulates her on this well-deserved honor.  Legal Aid’s own Jack Keeney, Jr., Director of the Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Program, was a recipient of the award last year.

May 08

2013

Recently Released D.C. Bar Family Law Task Force Report Makes Key Recommendations to Improve Access to Justice

Stephanie Troyer, Supervising Attorney

Stephanie Troyer, Supervising Attorney

Last month, the D.C. Bar Family Law Task Force issued its final report. Chief among the Task Force’s recommendations are expanding the reach of the Family Court Self Help Center by establishing a second office near the Paternity and Support Branch courtrooms, implementing the Domestic Relations Comprehensive Case Management and Scheduling Plan, permitting limited scope representation in Family Court, expanding the Court Facilitator/Attorney Negotiator Program, reinstating the Office of Parenting Coordinator, and expanding the hours of the Supervised Visitation Center. The initial reaction to the report from the D.C. Superior Court has been encouraging; shortly after its issuance, Chief Judge Lee Satterfield indicated that he is open to discussing almost all of the report’s recommendations.

Legal Aid has participated in the Task Force since its inception in 2009, and Stephanie Troyer, a Supervising Attorney in Legal Aid’s Family Unit, has served on the Task Force since 2010.  Created by the D.C. Bar Board of Governors to recommend pathways to expand access to justice and improve the administration of justice, the Task Force surveyed attorneys, stakeholder groups, and pro se litigants regarding the Domestic Relations and Paternity and Child Support branches of the D.C. Superior Court.  The Task Force also looked into best practices for innovative programs around the country, as well as the success of current models and practices in Superior Court.

Legal Aid will continue to work with the D.C. Bar and other Task Force members to pursue and facilitate the implementation of these critical recommendations.

Apr 23

2013

Legal Aid Honors John Payton and Paul Smith at Servant of Justice Awards Dinner

Last Thursday, over 550 lawyers, judges, government officials, and friends of Legal Aid attended our annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner. We are delighted to announce that the event was a resounding success, raising over $880,000 – more, even, than what our 80th Anniversary dinner raised last year.

Philip W. Horton of Arnold & Porter LLP and Tangela S. Richter of Capital One served as the evening’s co-chairs. Board President Deanne Ottaviano of Arent Fox LLP kicked off the evening with a warm welcome, offering thanks to everyone who has ever contributed to Legal Aid for their generous support. In his remarks, Executive Director Eric Angel noted that as a result of this support, today, Legal Aid is larger than it has ever been, is helping more clients than ever, and – as the large swaths of the District struggle to emerge from the financial crisis – continues to provide critical civil legal services that are perhaps more relevant than ever. Read more →

Apr 17

2013

John Payton and Paul M. Smith to Receive Legal Aid’s Servant of Justice Award

John Payton

John Payton

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Tomorrow night, April 18, Legal Aid will recognize John Payton (posthumously) and Paul M. Smith with its highest honor, the Servant of Justice Award. Both honorees made the struggle for equal justice part of their personal and professional identities through their commitment to and concern for the individuals, communities, and causes for which they have fought.  If you do not already have plans to do so, please consider joining us for the dinner at the JW Marriott.

The night will be special.  Gay McDougall, John Payton’s widow, will be in South Africa at the time of the dinner but has prepared a videotaped acceptance.  Elaine R. Jones will be accepting the award in person.  The Honorable Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., will be presenting the Servant of Justice Award to Paul Smith.  John Payton and Paul Smith are truly deserving of Legal Aid’s Servant of Justice Award. Read more →