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Photo: Jen Tschirch At Desk

2015 Above & Beyond Award: Jen Tschirch

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By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge

Since joining our board in fall 2012, Jennifer Tschirch (by day, Pro Bono Coordinator at Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law) has thrown herself into the work of Washington Council of Lawyers. Jen agreed to take on a massive job: organizing DC Pro Bono Week, an annual series of events, trainings, and programs to celebrate and promote pro bono work.

Under Jen’s leadership, DC Pro Bono Week has grown and flourished. As one of our board members said, when reflecting on Jen’s work, “I feel like DC Pro Bono Week has become a national model for local community engagement and Jen’s organization and dedication is a very big reason.”

We also admire Jen’s fun-loving spirit and unwavering dedication to any task that she’s  he is presented with. Other board members agreed:

  • “[Jen] is passionate, thoughtful, organized, dedicated, and (perhaps most importantly for our work) has an unparalleled ability to bring people of different perspectives and experiences together around a common cause.”
  • “I find her to be a fantastic leader and a great team player.”
  • “She is never hasty with her words or actions, and is always someone everyone looks to for wisdom.”
  • “She’s 100% dedicated when she commits (and that may be an understatement).”
  • “The reason Jen is wonderful to work with is because … she’s just wonderful—as a professional and as a person.”

A bit more about Jen, who is, in fact, wonderful: As the Pro Bono Coordinator at Columbus School of Law, Jen connects law students to the larger public interest community. She gets law students involved in DC volunteer opportunities and programs, and is a reliable resource for law students who strive to use their law degrees to make a difference. Before joining Catholic University, Jen spent 12 years at Equal Justice Works. Before then, she was an attorney for Greater Boston Legal Services.

Jen’s leadership in organizing DC Pro Bono Week reflects her longterm commitment to serving marginalized populations and connecting legal professionals with members of the community who need help. We couldn’t imagine a better set of qualities for the recipient of our 2015 Above & Beyond Award.