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Seeking nominations for our 2017 Legal Services and Government Pro Bono Awards

We are now accepting nominations for our 2017 Legal Services Award and 2017 Government Pro Bono Award.

Each year at our Awards Ceremony, we recognize the extraordinary work of some of the District’s most dedicated public-interest and pro bono lawyers. Our 2017 Awards Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, December 5.

Our Legal Services Award recognizes a dynamic legal-services lawyer who represents low-income clients, works to improve access to justice, or thinks creatively to solve difficult legal problems. Our Government Pro Bono Award commends a dedicated government lawyer who also volunteers time to organize pro bono efforts or represent low-income clients.

Nominations for the Legal Services Award and the Government Pro Bono Award are due by 5 pm on Friday, October 6, 2017. The awards criteria and nominations instructions are below:

Legal Services Award

Our Legal Services Award recognizes the work of lawyers who effectively represent low-income clients day in and day out. They may be rising stars or unsung heroes—in either case, they are passionate about helping people and eager to expand access to justice.

We’re looking for nominees with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Works to help low-income or otherwise marginalized clients in the DC area;
  • Supports the DC public interest community in expand access to justice for those who cannot afford lawyers;
  • Brings together the public interest, pro bono, and government legal communities to improve the quality and availability of free legal services for those in need; or
  • Exceeds their normal job requirements to help people in in need or resolve difficult legal problems.

Nominations should describe the nominee’s relevant professional activities, including: (1) the program or services upon which the nomination is based, (2) the number of lawyers or other staff who participated, and (3) if applicable, the clients served, time period covered by the activities, and the effects of the nominee’s work on the clients, community, or agency.

Past winners:

2016: Thomas “Skip” Mark, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center

2015: Rebecca Lindhurst, Bread for the City

2014: Jodi Feldman, The Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia

Government Pro Bono Award

The Government Pro Bono Award highlights the important (and often overlooked) pro bono contributions made by government lawyers. We define pro bono service broadly, and we don’t limit it to direct legal representation or litigation. Past recipients have promoted access to justice in a variety of ways and in many different substantive practice areas.

A non-exhaustive list of relevant activities includes the following:

  • Helping to establish or implement an agency pro bono program;
  • Increasing pro bono service by agency lawyers;
  • Mentoring or training agency lawyers handling pro bono cases;
  • Significant efforts litigating cases or providing non-litigation legal services to low income people or entities; or
  • Regularly and actively participating in pro bono clinics.

Past Winners

2016  Katrina Rouse, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2015   Kathryn Legomsky, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

2014   John Bowers, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2013   Jay Owen, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2012   Edward Eliasberg, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2011   Karen Shrimp, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

2010   John Warshawsky, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2009   Sean Keveney, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2008   Paul Kendall, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice

2007   James Yoon, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2006   Mark Pletcher, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2005   Julie Abbate, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2004   Laura Klein, Pro Bono Program, U.S. Department of Justice

2003   Claire McGuire, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation & Department of Treasury

Nomination Instructions 

Please send an email to our Executive Director, Nancy Lopez. Please attach the nominee’s resume if you have it, and please state your relationship to the nominee.

Nominations must be submitted by 5 pm on Friday, October 6, 2017.

Learn more about the Awards Ceremony and past award winners.