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2015 in Review (and a Request for your Support)

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As we count down to the end of 2015, we’ve prepared a list of ten highlights of our work in 2015.  love to share a top ten list that highlights our work. We are proud of the ways that we support the pro bono and public interest community, and hope you will make a tax-deductible donation to Washington Council of Lawyers so that we can do even more great work next year!

And now, on to the countdown:

10. Tens of our volunteers (well, nearly 40) provided advice, information, and referrals to hundreds of individuals (nearly 200!) at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advice & Referral Clinic on several different Saturdays during 2015. We are proud to provide opportunities for lawyers to use their legal skills to help those in need, and inspired by these dedicated individuals.

9. December 9th was the date of our 2015 Awards Ceremony, where we honored Rod Boggs (Presidents’ Award for Public Service), Kathryn Legosmky (Government Pro Bono Award), Rebecca Lindhurst (Legal Services Award), Jen Tschirch (Above & Beyond Award), and Kirkland & Ellis (Law Firm Award). Recognizing outstanding advocates strengthens the public interest community and is a central part of our mission.

New Year Pro Bono Pun 2 - Unequal Representation is Toast
8. Nearly eight(y) people are participating in our Mentoring Program this year. Huge thanks to co-chairs Giovanni DiMaggio and Alexis Applegate for leading this year’s program.

7. The number of days in a typical week, or an amazing week like 2015 DC Pro Bono Week. We organized DC Pro Bono Week for the third straight year, and this year the ABA recognized DC Pro Bono Week as one of the top Pro Bono Week programs in the country.

6. Only six months until our 2016 Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum. June will be here before you know it, and we expect nearly 200 summer associates, law clerks, and interns to join us.

New Year Pro Bono Pun 3 - Make Some Noise Against Inequality
5. We have five committees that you can join to get more involved in our work: Communications, Issues, Membership, Pro Bono & Public Interest, and Special Events. We also need volunteers to write for East of the River Profiles. You can learn more about getting involved with each of these groups at our Committee Night happy hour on Wednesday, January 20 — please save the date.

4. All four of our 2015 Best Practices in Pro Bono breakfasts brought together pro bono coordinators from law firms and legal-services organizations to improve the delivery of pro bono services to people in need. (Bonus statistic: this unique program reached over 100 attendees in 2015.)

3. Our paid staff consists of only three (part-time) employees who work diligently to bring high-quality programming to our pro bono and public interest community. Most of our work is accomplished by our all-volunteer board of directors and members of our committees. In other words, any donation you make will be used wisely.

2. Number of words in the profuse “Thank you!” that you’ll receive from us if you make a year-end donation to Washington Council of Lawyers! We’ll provide especially effusive thanks if you donate by midnight.

New Year Pro Bono Pun 4 - Burn the Midnight Oil for Important Causes
1. We are the one and only public interest bar association in the Washington, DC area. We know you support our mission of promoting pro bono service and public interest law. We had a great year advancing this mission in 2015, and your continued financial support will help us do even more next year.

Because we love numbers, we appreciate contributions of all sizes. For example: $25 provides a scholarship for a legal services attorney to attend one of our skills trainings, $55 allows us to host a happy hour to strengthen the network of our public-interest community, and $250 covers the cost of an entire year of Best Practices in Pro Bono breakfasts.

Thank you for your support. Have a happy new year, and we look forward to seeing you in 2016!