Archives

Event

May 10

2012

Trisha Monroe Honored with “Rising Star Award” from GWAC

Chinh Le, Legal Director

Last night, at a Networking Reception at the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Legal Aid Supervising Attorney Trisha Monroe was honored as a “Rising Star” in the non-profit sector by the Greater Washington Area Chapter (GWAC), Women Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association. Trisha was one of several attorneys recognized at the event for having distinguished themselves in their careers and for making a mark in the legal community.

Legal Aid Supervising Attorney Trisha Monroe (3rd from left) with other GWAC honorees.

A dedicated and passionate advocate on behalf of domestic violence survivors, Trisha first joined Legal Aid in 2006 as a staff attorney in our Family Law/Domestic Violence Unit. Over the past six years, she has represented or provided advice to literally hundreds of survivors of domestic violence, and their families. Trisha has also served as a mentor to dozens of other young DV and family law advocates, both within Legal Aid and beyond. Before coming to Legal Aid, she worked at the Women’s Law Center of Maryland in its Protection Order Advocacy and Representation Project.

Another Legal Aid attorney will be honored tonight. As we previously noted, Jack Keeney, Jr., the Director of Legal Aid’s nationally recognized Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project, will be receiving the Justice Potter Stewart Award from the Council on Court Excellence at its annual dinner this evening, to be held at the Organization of American States.

Please join us in congratulating both Trisha and Jack!

Apr 25

2012

Susan M. Hoffman to Receive Legal Aid’s Servant of Justice Award

Chinh Le, Legal Director

Tomorrow, April 26, Susan M. Hoffman of Crowell & Moring LLP will receive Legal Aid’s Servant of Justice Award. As Crowell & Moring’s Public Service Partner, Susie leads the firm’s diverse pro bono practice which ranges from representation of the homeless, elderly individuals, and domestic violence victims to civil rights impact and appellate litigation. Susie was the first full-time Public Service Counsel at a major law firm in the D.C. area, joining Crowell & Moring in that capacity in 1988, and in 2000 becoming the first pro bono professional to be promoted to partner. Susie also serves as President of the C&M Foundation, a separate nonprofit organization that provides grants to organizations focusing on at-risk youth. 

Susie Hoffman, Crowell & Moring LLP

Susie began her career as a law clerk to the late U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene and as a litigator at Hogan & Hartson, working on a variety of pro bono matters. She has represented and supervised representation by other attorneys in her firm in more than 80 domestic violence, adoption, child abuse and neglect, and child custody cases, and has crafted appellate briefs on domestic violence issues. Susie participated in the first case involving a domestic violence statute to reach the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1990, she mobilized a group of practitioners to design the first D.C. Bar Child Custody training for attorneys representing low income clients, a course still presented annually. 

Susie volunteered from 1981-1988 with My Sister’s Place and chaired the shelter’s Board of Directors. She is currently in her fifth year as Co-Chair of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, chairs the Archdiocesan Legal Network Advisory Council, is on the Executive Committee of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and serves on the Boards of the D.C. Bar Foundation, the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, the Washington Council of Lawyers, Friends of Superior Court, and the Center for Dispute Resolution. Her past Bar involvement includes two elected terms on the D.C. Bar Board of Governors and Board President of the Foundation of the Bar Association of D.C. 

For her work, Susie has received much recognition including the George Washington Law School Belva Lockwood Award for distinction as a role model for female attorneys (1993), Whitman-Walker Clinic’s Outstanding Volunteer Mentor (1997), and the John Carroll Society Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2000, 2004). In 2008, Legal Times named Ms. Hoffman as one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” for her role as “pro bono trailblazer.” 

Please consider joining us for our Servant of Justice Awards Dinner tomorrow at 6.30 pm, at the JW Marriott Hotel. Attorney General Eric Holder will be the keynote speaker. As we noted earlier this week, in addition to Susie Hoffman, we will also be honoring James vanR. Springer with the Servant of Justice Award, and Jonathan G. Lin with the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence.

Apr 24

2012

James vanR. Springer to Receive Legal Aid’s Servant of Justice Award

Chinh Le, Legal Director

This Thursday, April 26, Legal Aid will recognize James vanR. Springer with its highest honor, the Servant of Justice Award. Since 2005, Jim has served as a volunteer staff attorney at Legal Aid, representing clients on a wide variety of public benefits and other matters, with a focus on helping low-income D.C. residents obtain safety net benefits and critical health care services. He joined Legal Aid’s staff following his retirement from the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro LLP, where he was a prominent partner in the firm’s general litigation practice for more than three decades.

Jim Springer, Volunteer Staff Attorney

Jim attended Harvard College and received his LL.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he served as President of the Harvard Law Review. He began his legal career in 1961 as a law clerk to Chief Judge J. Edward Lumbard on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit before joining Covington & Burling LLP. In 1967, Jim entered government service as Assistant Legal Adviser for Economic Affairs at the United States Department of State before becoming a Deputy Solicitor General at the United States Department of Justice in 1968. 

Over the next four years, Jim presented ten oral arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1972, he joined the law firm now known as Dickstein Shapiro LLP as a partner. At Dickstein, Jim was a prominent litigator and antitrust lawyer with particular emphasis on appellate practice. Shortly after his retirement in 2004, Jim offered his services to Legal Aid. 

Although his experience and expertise was in complex and appellate litigation, Jim simply asked us where his services were needed most. When we told him that our greatest need was in initial applicant interviews and public benefits, he offered to join Legal Aid as a volunteer public benefits staff attorney. Jim has since become very much part of the Legal Aid family, helping to set priorities, participating in staff meetings, and drawing on a distinguished legal career to provide expert advice and guidance to more junior Legal Aid attorneys. Through his time at Legal Aid, Jim has helped countless numbers of low-income people navigate the bureaucracy of the Social Security Administration and ensured that people who are elderly or live with disabilities are in the right Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. In fact, Jim has taken on a leadership role in Legal Aid’s Medicare Part D work by supervising pro bono and staff attorneys at clinics that Legal Aid runs throughout the city to reach as many clients as possible.

In 2007, for his extraordinary work at Legal Aid, Jim was named Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the District of Columbia Bar. This year, we are proud to recognize Jim’s tremendous contributions with the Servant of Justice Award. 

Please consider joining us for our Servant of Justice Awards Dinner, this Thursday at 6.30 pm, at the JW Marriott Hotel. Attorney General Eric Holder will be the keynote speaker. In addition to Jim Springer, we will also be honoring Susan M. Hoffman with the Servant of Justice Award, and as we mentioned yesterday, Jonathan G. Lin will receive the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence. A blog entry on Susie will run tomorrow.

Apr 23

2012

Jonathan G. Lin to receive Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence

Chinh Le, Legal Director

 This Thursday, April 26, Legal Aid will be celebrating its 80th anniversary at our 23rd annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner. That evening, Jonathan G. Lin, an associate in the litigation department at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, will be receiving the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence.  The Klepper Prize was created through the generosity of Martin and Arlene Klepper in order to recognize an attorney early in her or his career who has made a significant volunteer contribution to Legal Aid. 

Jonathan G. Lin

Throughout his career, Jonathan has maintained an active pro bono practice, integrating pro bono into his legal career. Jonathan’s pro bono relationship with Legal Aid began in 2009 when Simpson Thacher took on several landlord and tenant matters from Legal Aid. While a number of the firm’s DC-based attorneys have worked on cases referred from Legal Aid over the past three years (and could justly be recognized for their work), Jonathan has emerged as a leader on this project. He has represented several clients in housing cases referred by Legal Aid. He has also been a mentor to other attorneys in the office working on matters referred from Legal Aid, ensuring that, with each case, the team is pursuing the right angles and getting good results for their clients. He also has found ways to engage new associates and summer associates in the pro bono matters referred from Legal Aid.

Most recently, Mr. Lin obtained an injunction, fines, and significant damages on behalf of a pro bono housing client after nearly two years of proceedings in the District of Columbia Superior Court. 

Please consider joining us for our Servant of Justice Awards Dinner, this Thursday at 6.30 pm, at the JW Marriott Hotel.  Attorney General Eric Holder will be the keynote speaker.  In addition to Jonathan Lin, we will also be honoring James vanR. Springer and Susan M. Hoffmann with Legal Aid’s highest honor, the Servant of Justice Award. Blog entries on Jim and Susie to follow over the next two days.

.

Mar 30

2012

Legal Aid Mourns the Passing of John Payton

Chinh Le, Legal Director

Late last week, the D.C. legal community and the nation’s civil rights bar lost a modern-day giant in the struggle for equality and opportunity. John A. Payton, the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and a tireless advocate for civil rights, died last Thursday after a brief illness. Prior to joining the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 2008, John was, for several decades, a partner at Wilmer Hale; he took leave from the firm to serve as the District’s Corporation Counsel from 1991 to 1994, and was also President of the D.C. Bar from 2001 to 2002. Legal Aid extends its deepest condolences to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund staff and board, and to John’s wife, Gay McDougall, a human rights activist and his partner in the ongoing fight for justice. As an alumnus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, I am particularly saddened by this news and know how sorely John will be missed. Legal Aid intends to have a moment of silence to remember both John Payton and Tim May – true servants of justice both – at our Servant of Justice Dinner, scheduled for April 26, 2012 at the JW Marriot.

Mar 27

2012

23rd Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner

Eric Angel, Executive Director

On April 26, 2012, Legal Aid will celebrate the 23rd Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner at the JW Marriott Hotel. This year’s keynote address will be given by The Honorable General Eric J. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States and past recipient of the Servant of Justice Award.

Since 1990, Legal Aid has presented the Servant of Justice Award to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated faithful dedication and achievement in ensuring that all persons have equal and meaningful access to justice. This year, we have the distinct honor of presenting the Servant of Justice Awards to two remarkable individuals who have made the struggle for equal justice a core part of their personal and professional identities: Susan M. Hoffman, the Public Service Partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, and James vanR. Springer, a retired partner from Dickstein Shapiro LLP who is a long-time volunteer staff attorney at Legal Aid in the Public Benefits Unit. In addition, we will also be presenting the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence to Jonathan G. Lin, an associate at  Simpson Thacher & Barlett LLP, for extraordinary pro bono work on behalf of Legal Aid’s client community. We look forward to recognizing these exceptional individuals at this year’s Dinner. Future blog posts will highlight our honorees’ accomplishments.

This year’s Servant of Justice Awards Dinner is also an opportunity to celebrate Legal Aid’s 80th Anniversary. We will focus on all that we have accomplished to make justice real for D.C.’s most vulnerable residents, as well as the many challenges that lie ahead. We hope that as many of you as possible will join us for the dinner.

Click here to purchase tickets to the 23rd Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner.

 

 

Feb 16

2012

Tianna Terry to serve as Panelist at D.C. Bar Family Law Section Program

Tianna Terry, Staff Attorney

Legal Aid staff attorney Tianna Terry will serve as a panelist at an upcoming program sponsored by the D.C. Bar Family Law Section entitled “Establishing Paternity in D.C.” The panel will cover the laws and procedures governing paternity in the District and discuss everything that a family law attorney practicing in the District should know about this important issue, including the various ways that paternity is investigated, determined, legally established, and disestablished. Joining Tianna on the panel will be Magistrate Judge Noel Johnson of the D.C. Courts, Tanya Jones Bosier of the D.C. Department of Human Services, Nancy Drane of the Children’s Law Center, and Kristin Henrikson of Delaney McKinney LLP. The event will be held on February 23, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the D.C. Bar, 1101 K Street N.W., and is also being offered in Webinar format. To register, visit the D.C. Bar website and click on “Events”.

Nov 02

2011

Legal Aid Launches Annual Medicare Part D Enrollment Effort

Jeremy Strauss, Legal Administrative Assistant

Each year, Legal Aid partners with Whitman Walker Health to help hundreds of low-income Medicare recipients navigate the complex system of choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Medicare Part D). Beneficiaries receiving the hospital (Part A) and medical (Part B) components of Medicare must independently select a Part D plan during the “open season,” which commences slightly earlier than usual this year, running from October 15, 2011 to December 7, 2011. Due to the fact that many plans change their drug coverage formularies from year to year, switching to a new plan that offers the best coverage at the lowest price is often a necessity for many beneficiaries. 

Legal Aid and Whitman Walker, along with attorneys from area law firms working pro bono, will be meeting with Medicare beneficiaries this fall and winter to help them determine – based on their individual drug lists and dosages – the plan that will best meet their needs and to complete the plan enrollment. 

Beginning November 4, Legal Aid will be sponsoring six free walk-in clinics for low-income Medicare beneficiaries:

 Friday, November 4, 2011: 10am – 1pm, at the Legal Aid Society of DC, SE Site
2041 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave, SE, Room LL-1 – Metro: Anacostia 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011: 1pm – 4pm, at the Legal Aid Society of DC, NW Site
1331 H St., NW, Suite 350 – Metro: Metro Center or McPherson Sq. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011:  10am – 1pm, at the Legal Aid Society of DC, NW Site
1331 H St., NW, Suite 350 – Metro: Metro Center or McPherson Sq. 

Friday, December 2, 2011: 10am – 1pm, at the Legal Aid Society of DC, SE Site
2041 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave, SE, Room LL-1 – Metro: Anacostia 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011:  5pm – 7pm, at the Bread for the City, NW Site
1525 Seventh St., NW – Metro: Shaw-Howard University 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011:  9am – Noon, at the Bread for the City, SE Site
1640 Good Hope Road, SE – Metro: Anacostia

 For more information, call (202) 628-1161 and ask for Jeremy Strauss.

May 02

2011

Legal Aid Celebrates 22nd Annual Servant of Justice Dinner

Eric Angel, Executive Director

At the 22nd Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner last Thursday night, we had the privilege of honoring four outstanding individuals and celebrating the commitment and dedication of D.C.’s legal community to Legal Aid’s mission of making justice real for our clients.

The Servant of Justice Awards are presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated faithful dedication and remarkable achievement in ensuring that all persons have equal and meaningful access to justice. This year’s honorees, Brooksley E. Born of Arnold & Porter LLP and The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, truly exemplify this ideal. Ms. Born and Mr. Perez shared inspiring remarks on the work in which they have each engaged throughout their lives to achieve equal justice and civil rights on behalf of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens of our country. Ms. Born was introduced by her long-time friend Marcia Greenberger, founder of the National Women’s Law Center, and Tom Perez by his colleague (and former Legal Aid Executive Director) Jonathan Smith.

Aryeh Portnoy, Brooksley E. Born, Ed Lazere, Thomas E. Perez

The evening began with the presentations of the Partnership Award, presented to a non-legal organization whose work directly advances Legal Aid’s ability to serve its clients, and the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence, which recognizes an attorney who has made a significant volunteer contribution to Legal Aid. When accepting the Partnership Award on behalf of his organization, DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s Ed Lazere emphasized the continuing challenges of D.C.’s low income community as the city once again strives to balance its budget by cutting services to those who need them most. And Klepper Prize recipient Aryeh Portnoy of Crowell and Moring energized the crowd with a passionate speech about his commitment to family law pro bono work.

As readers of this blog know, we at Legal Aid simply could not do the work that we do without the generous support and commitment of so many across the District—our many and generous organizational and individual donors, our amazing cadre of volunteer lawyers, our Board of Trustees, our many partner organizations, our outstanding staff, and, of course, our clients. The Dinner provides us with a wonderful opportunity to thank those across the Legal Aid community who help us in our work to make justice real. Thanks to all who joined with us to celebrate this year. It was a wonderful, memorable event. We hope you will plan to join us for next year’s Dinner on April 26, 2012 when will be celebrating our 80th Anniversary.

Apr 13

2011

Legal Aid to Honor DC Fiscal Policy Institute with Partnership Award

Eric Angel, Executive Director

Legal Aid is pleased to announce the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) as the 2011 recipient of Legal Aid’s Partnership Award. Legal Aid’s Partnership Award was created to recognize non-legal organizations or individuals whose work directly increases our ability to serve our clients. Ed Lazere, Executive Director of DCFPI, will accept the award on the organization’s behalf at Legal Aid’s Servant of Justice Awards Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2011 at the JW Marriott Hotel. Brooksley E. Born, of Arnold & Porter, and The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, will be honored at the same event.

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute is an extraordinary resource for anyone concerned about policy analysis in the District. DCFPI conducts research and public education on DC budget and tax, with a particular emphasis on issues that affect low- and moderate-income residents. By preparing timely analyses that are used by organizations such as Legal Aid – as well as policy makers, the media, and the public – DCFPI informs public debates on budget and tax issues and helps to ensure that the needs of lower-income residents are considered in those debates. DCFPI’s areas of work include: analyzing the impact of tax and other revenue policies on the District’s long-term fiscal health and on the equity of its tax system; working to ensure that programs serving low- and moderate-income residents are well designed, effective, and adequately funded; and conducting research on income and poverty trends in the District and on serious problems facing low-income residents, such as the growing shortage of affordable housing.

DCFPI’s extraordinary, sustained commitment to providing accurate, detailed, practical, and effective policy analysis on issues affecting Legal Aid’s client community have been invaluable to our efforts to serve our clients and better protect their rights. One of Legal Aid’s signature advocacy efforts—to preserve and enhance the workings of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program—is one of among many initiatives that has benefited from DCFPI’s work over the past several years. DCFPI’s research has dispelled damaging myths about District families who rely on TANF, educated policymakers and advocates about best approaches to the program, helped stave off some of the most punitive and ineffective approaches to moving families off TANF, and inspired a program redesign that should be more responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable District families.

 We are truly delighted to be able to present this award to DCFPI and hope that you will join us on April 28 for what promises to be a wonderful event!