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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 →

Feb 11

2020

D.C. Court of Appeals Extends Right to Free Counsel to Children Committed to the Custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services

Last week, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an important ruling that ensures free counsel for children from indigent families in certain hearings before the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services.  Once a child is adjudicated delinquent, the Superior Court may commit the child to the custody of the Department, which makes decisions as significant as where the child will be housed (in a secure facility or in the community) and the services the child will receive.  At Team Decision Making Meetings, the Department reviews the child’s progress toward rehabilitation and decides whether changes should be made to the child’s placement or services.  At Community Status Review Hearings, the Department determines whether to revoke a child’s community placement if the child is alleged to have violated the conditions of release.  The Court of Appeals ruled that children are entitled to free counsel at both of these types of hearings.

For more information on this ruling, please see the press releases of Open City Advocates, which won the appeal, and the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.

Jan 28

2020

Jim Sandman Stepping Down as President of Legal Services Corporation

This week, Jim Sandman announced he will be stepping down as President of Legal Services Corporation, the largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income people in the country. Legal Aid is grateful for Jim’s contributions to making justice a reality for so many Americans and for his tireless advocacy for access to justice issues. Read more →

Jan 27

2020

Legal Aid Mourns the Passing of J. Charles Jones, Civil Rights Activist

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia was saddened to learn of the passing of civil rights activist J. Charles Jones on December 27, 2019. In 1966, Mr. Jones led a four-day, 64-mile march around the Beltway to protest housing segregation near capital-area military installations. That protest, along with his staging of sit-ins at the Pentagon, helped spur Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967 to ban military personnel from living in segregated housing near Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Read more →

Dec 02

2019

The Washington Council of Lawyers will honor Trisha Monroe with the 2019 Legal Services Award

This week Legal Aid Domestic Violence/Family Law Unit Supervising Attorney Trisha Monroe will be honored at Washington Council of Lawyers’s 2019 Awards Ceremony with its Legal Services Award.

The Legal Services Award has been bestowed annually since 2014 to those attorneys who have made extraordinary contributions to enhancing access to justice for our client community. Indeed, our very own Jodi Feldman was the inaugural recipient of the award in 2014. Read more →

Nov 19

2019

Legal Aid Obtains Relief for Tenants at a Former Sanford Capital Property

As reported in several news outlets last week (including the Washington Post, the City Paper, and DCist), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia recently approved a significant settlement for tenants at a property that was formerly owned by Sanford Capital. Legal Aid represented thirty-two tenants who will receive substantial compensation, totaling over $407,000, for having to endure severe housing code violations and security risks when Sanford Capital owned the property. Read more →

Oct 31

2019

Coercive Control: An Insidious and Often Hidden Form of Domestic Violence

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, Legal Aid continues our discussion of “coercive control” – an often unseen, but critical, aspect in many domestic violence cases. Specifically, abusers may exploit external forms of oppression – such as racism, homophobia, patriarchal norms, and xenophobia – to assert and maintain control over victims. These forces contribute to the vast under-reporting of domestic violence in the LGBT community, communities of color, and immigrant communities. 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 10

2019

Inaugural Steptoe Housing Law Fellow Joins Legal Aid

The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia is pleased to announce that Candace Mitchell has joined Legal Aid as the inaugural Steptoe Housing Law Fellow!

As part of Legal Aid’s Housing Law Unit, Ms. Mitchell will represent low-income tenants to prevent evictions and preserve access to safe and affordable housing in the District.

“We are thrilled to have such a skilled public advocate in Ms. Mitchell as the first Steptoe Housing Law Fellow,” said Paul Lee, Pro Bono Counsel at Steptoe. “In supporting this fellowship, our goal with Legal Aid is to expand pro bono legal services available for the preservation of affordable housing in the District.” Read more →

Oct 09

2019

Legal Aid Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Last week marked the beginning of this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which has been observed every October for over thirty years. Legal Aid is proud to stand by domestic violence survivors and bring attention to this very important issue.

Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence/Family Law Unit represents domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in civil protection order cases and various family law matters. However, in order to get a civil protection order here in DC, a domestic violence survivor must show that their abuser committed a crime – usually an assault, a threat to do bodily harm, or a sexual assault. Read more →