The effects of structural and institutional racism are pervasive in the lives of many low-income people of color and often manifest in the legal challenges they face. Working to understand the ways in which systemic racism shapes our clients' lives is critical to providing responsive and comprehensive legal services. Our next installment of the Racial Justice Series is designed to give perspective on how a person’s race and lived experience affect their legal case. We will explore ways in which attorneys and advocates can better assist their clients of color by understanding the full context in which their legal matter arises, approaching cases with cultural humility, and recognizing and working to overcome the power differential inherent in legal representation. Our esteemed panel includes: Aida Fitzgerald, Senior Staff Attorney in the Public Benefits Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia June Crenshaw, Executive Director of the Wanda Alston Foundation and member of the Diversity Committee for the DC Victim Assistance Network Ted Howard, Pro Bono Partner at Wiley Rein Our conversation will be moderated by Keeshea Turner Roberts, Adjunct Clinical Law Professor and Supervising Attorney at Howard University School of Law’s Fair Housing Clinic (FHC). Law Students: Contact your law school's Career Development Office to find out if your school subscribes to the PIJC and to get the registration code.
Hosted by Mother's Outreach Network Mother's Outreach Network is hosting virtual community-based tax workshops with brief advice clinics that will inform D.C. parents and caregivers about their eligibility for refundable tax credits. In partnership with Elena Fowlkes, the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue Taxpayer Advocate, and David Fischer, partner at Crowell & Moring, LLP, we will aid families in claiming their rightful tax credits to increase their family income. We are seeking attorneys, paralegals, and law students to provide advice and guidance to parents through one-on-one clinic appointments following the parents' tax workshop information sessions. A tax law background is not required to volunteer! Parents' Tax Workshop 1 will take place on Tuesday, October 19 at 7:00 pm ET. Parents' Tax Workshop 2 will take place on Thursday, October 28 at 7:00 p ET. Volunteers are required to attend a virtual training on Tuesday, October 12 at 7:00 pm ET.
Hosted by the Environmental Law Institute Join the D.C. Environment and Energy Associations (DCEEA), D.C. Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Community, and Women in Government Relations’ Task-Force on Energy, Environment, and Agriculture for a pro bono panel to discuss opportunities for involvement in environmental justice and climate change initiatives. With widespread attention increasingly focused on environmental justice and climate initiatives, many are interested in exploring opportunities to get involved in grass-roots and pro bono efforts. Leading experts in these areas explore the numerous aspects of and ways to become involved in a variety of types of pro bono work, including litigation, especially those in the form of citizen suits and petitions for rulemaking; advocacy, especially through testifying before government agencies, letter writing to agencies, lobbying, etc.; and hands-on non-legal volunteer opportunities. At the conclusion of their remarks, expert panelists field questions from participants during a Q&A session. Learn about tangible ideas and opportunities for involvement in pro bono opportunities for environmental justice, climate initiatives, and environmental issues more broadly. Please register at the link below by Monday, October 25. All registrants for ELI events need to have an ELI "account." When you click on the Register link, you will be asked to log in.
Sponsored by American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) DC Chapter, Catholic Charities, and Equal Justice Works As we do every year, the AILA DC Chapter Pro Bono committee is partnering with Equal Justice Works to take part in DC’s Pro Bono week and provide a Virtual Citizenship Workshop. This year we are working with Catholic Charities of DC (CCDC). We are seeking volunteer attorneys to assist with this year’s workshop. As with every year, you will be partnered with a law student and together you will complete the N-400 for the client which is passed to CCDC to complete the filing. The workshop with be held via Zoom and training will be provided by CCDC. The workshop will be held Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 9:00 am- 12:00 pm. If interested, please send an email to Lance Conklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are diving into DC Pro Bono Week 2021 with Pro Bono Goes Local on Friday, October 22, from 12-1 pm ET via Zoom. This launch event begins with opening remarks from Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby from the D.C. Court of Appeals, and Chief Judge Josey-Herring from the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Next, we will share good news and inspiration about the many ways DC law firms are giving back through a pro bono initiative called DC Represents. Edward "Smitty" Smith from DLA Piper will highlight the importance of pro bono work during these challenging times, and highlight the many ways DC law firms are giving back through the DC Represents pro bono initiative. You also won't want to miss the chance to get up to speed on the most recent developments in pro bono practice. Hear spark talk updates from those in the know about these important pro bono practice areas: Domestic Violence - Aida Vindell, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project Housing/Evictions - Lauren King, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center Family Law - Jen Masi, Children's Law Center Consumer/Debt - AJ Huber, Tzedek DC Public Benefits, Drake Hagner, Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia Immigration, Irfana Anwer, AYUDA Join us for the kickoff to our week-long celebration of pro bono! You'll come away with a wealth of information on hot topics in pro bono, and the chance to connect with great pro bono opportunities! Pro Bono Goes Local is free to attend, but advance registration is required. Spread the word! Invite a friend! #DCProBono21
A high-quality public education is a fundamental civil right for all children. Yet today, public schools in DC continue to be segregated by race, income, and resources. The Education Justice Practice and the DC Public School Partnership Program at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs address these injustices in public education through litigation and policy advocacy, and by partnering schools, law firm volunteers, and organizations to close the opportunity and resource gap. This panel features four excellent curriculum partner organizations that work with law firm and law student volunteers at middle and high school schools throughout the District to teach law to students, develop their advocacy skills, promote democratic engagement, and grow future civic leaders: Charisma Howell, Georgetown University Law Center’s Street Law Program and Mock Trial Camille Thompson, Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project and Moot Court at American University’s Washington College of Law Robyn Lingo, Mikva Challenge: Participatory Civics Education – “Democracy is a Verb!” David Trigaux, Washington Urban Debate League, focusing on Title I School students Kent Withycombe, Director of the Washington Lawyers' Committee Public Education Project, will moderate the session and discuss how you and your law firm, law school, company, or government agency can get involved. Join the conversation on social media using #DCProBono21!
Join Superior Court Judge McLean and representatives from three different DC Pro Bono mentoring programs in a discussion covering the logistics of committing to doing pro bono in a virtual age. The panel includes a conversation with a Superior Court Judge and experienced pro bono volunteers offering first-hand knowledge about doing pro bono virtually/socially distant in 2020/2021. We hope this will be an interactive dialogue, providing participants an opportunity to ask the questions that will help them better understand not only what pro bono looks likes now but also which pro bono program may be a good fit for their interests and capacity. Our conversation leaders include: Judge McLean, Associate Judge, Domestic Relations Calendar, District of Columbia Superior Court Rebecca Lindhurst – Managing Attorney, Bread for the City John W. Zipp – Associate, Covington & Burling Lauren Sullivan – Staff Attorney, Kids in Need of Defense, Inc. Joanne Hawana – Member, Mintz Sylvia Soltis - Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia Tiffany Chueng - Associate, Baker Botts, LLP The discussion will be moderated by Sandra Zegarra, a Direct Representation Attorney with KIND.
Sponsored by the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program In celebration of Pro Bono Week, The Veterans Consortium (TVC) is partnering with local volunteers and DC area law students to hold three, one-day pop-up legal clinics to serve the needs of veterans. These clinics will be held simultaneously via a virtual platform. Locations: Legal Advice & Referral Clinic, By Appointment Only Advice & Referral Clinic for Women Veterans, By Appointment Only Discharge Upgrade Clinic, By Appointment Only Volunteers are needed for the Legal Advice & Referral Clinic and the Advice & Referral Clinic for Women Veterans. To volunteer, email email@example.com. And join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using#DCProBono21!
Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center The Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic gives business and transactional attorneys the opportunity to donate their expertise to small businesses. The Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinics allow current and aspiring small business owners to speak with an attorney about their legal problems or questions that affect their businesses. Small businesses serve as the cornerstone for economic development in disadvantaged areas, but many cannot afford legal fees for advice that may determine whether they sink or swim. While only brief advice is given, entrepreneurs are able to engage in one-on-one consultations with an attorney. Matters that arise include business formation, real estate, employment, intellectual property and joint ventures, and partnership agreements. One to two trainings are held each year for interested volunteers, but it is not required to volunteer. New volunteers often shadow veteran volunteers during their first few consultations. For the volunteer manual, click here. Sign up to volunteer at the virtual clinic at the link below. If you have questions about volunteering, please email Christine Kulumani, Staff Attorney, at CKulumani@dcbar.org. And join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using#DCProBono21!
Co-Hosted by Bread for the City and Children's Law Center Bread for the City and Children’s Law Center will co-host this event to discuss their respective legal services work East of the Anacostia River and the importance of pro bono in serving D.C. neighbors. Join us to learn how lawyers can address non-medical barriers to health, the benefits of co-locating legal services with non-lawyer professionals, and how you can get involved with Bread for the City and Children’s Law Center. Registrants will receive a Zoom link in advance of the event. Join the conversation on social media using #DCProBono21.
As federal and local eviction moratoriums expire around the country, eviction filings are expected to spike to roughly double their pre-pandemic levels. DC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on October 12 and pro bono attorneys are needed to help those facing housing issues. Hear from a DC Superior Court Judge, and experienced eviction defense and pro bono attorneys about the coming eviction crisis, new legal protections and rental assistance programs, and how you can help. While more than 90 percent of tenants will appear without counsel in D.C. Superior Court, 98 percent of landlords will have representation. Often having a lawyer is all that stands between tenants staying safe and housed and becoming homeless. The panel will discuss opportunities for pro bono attorneys to help prevent eviction and homelessness as a result of the economic fallout of the pandemic. Our expert panelists include: Judge Todd E. Edelman, Deputy Presiding Judge, Civil Division, Superior Court for the District of Columbia Gabriella Lewis-White, Associate Director, Housing, DC Bar Pro Bono Center Beth Mellen, Supervising Attorney, Housing Law Unit, Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia John O’Connor, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, Pro Bono Volunteer And join the conversation on social media using #DCProBono21!
Volunteers will conduct intake interviews with low-income DC residents seeking to seal or expunge their criminal records. Interviewees have been pre-screened by Rising for Justice (RFJ) and Christian Legal Aid of DC (CLA). We strongly encourage all volunteer attorneys to continue their relationships with interviewees by volunteering with RFJ and CLA and agreeing to represent interviewees in their expungement case. Volunteers will need to be available for a quick 20-minute training the week prior on Thursday, October 21st, at 2:00 pm. Information will be provided once you register. No prior expungement experience is necessary! Students and non-attorneys are welcome to volunteer and will be paired with attorneys!
The everyday lives of people in the United States and around the world are impacted and manipulated by the technology that surrounds us. That technology often is built on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The racial biases that are embedded in this technology lead to another, and rampant, level of systemic racism that is both insidious and hidden. Combatting this is the goal of algorithmic justice initiatives. Join us for a discussion on algorithmic justice and the discriminatory use and impact of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies on communities of color and low-income communities with the District of Columbia. Attendees will learn why algorithmic justice is so important, how systemic racism permeates technology and how this technology plays into people’s daily lives. Attendees will hear about the imperfection of regulations around algorithmic justice and about the surveillance campaign in DC and why the public and legislators need to step in and create appropriate forums to have these discussions and not just bring sunlight to the use of surveillance, but give the public real input on whether and how these technologies should be used. Panelists: Alan de Levie, Leader of DC Legal Hackers and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at American University, Washington College of Law Clare Garvie, Senior Associate with the Center on Privacy & Technology and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Jason Tashea, Founder and director at Justice Codes and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Matthew Bruckner, Associate Professor at Howard University School of Law Nassim Moshiree, Policy Director, ACLU-DC Valerie Schneider, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Law Center at Howard University School of Law
All trial lawyers aim to win their cases. But great trial lawyers also ensure that they protect their clients' right to appeal. There are specific steps to take and strategies to employ to properly make a strong record for appeal. It's best to incorporate preparation for a possible appeal into your litigation toolbox because if you fail to object, proffer, move, and argue to preserve the record of errors at trial, you may waive your clients' right to pursue those issues on appeal. Join us on Wednesday, October 20, from 12:00-1:30 pm ET via Zoom for Litigation Skills Series: Making the Record for Appeal. The training will be conducted by Sasha Drobnick and Lizzy Vogel from DV LEAP. Through an interactive presentation and real-world-style examples, you will learn the steps to take to preserve issues for appeal. You will consider techniques to use throughout your case: in pretrial motions, during examinations, in your closing argument, and even by filing post-trial motions. This course is $45 for Washington Council of Lawyers members (join) and members of co-sponsoring organizations, and $75 for non-members. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. Reach out to Nancy Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in applying for a scholarship. This course has been approved for CLE credit in CA (1.25 General), NJ (1.6 General), and NY (1.5 Professional Practice - experienced and newly admitted). CLE approval is pending and not guaranteed in VA. Reciprocal credit may be permitted in other jurisdictions, but is not guaranteed. Appeals can be won or lost at trial! Come and learn how to make the record for appeal before you even set foot in the courtroom! We are pleased to co-sponsor this training with the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association.
We are now accepting nominations for our 2021 Legal Services Award and 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 government pro bono lawyers. Our 2021 Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 2. 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. Nomination materials are due by 5 pm ET on Monday, October 4, 2021. The awards criteria and nomination instructions are below. Legal Services Award Our Legal Services Award recognizes the work of lawyers who serve in the public interest community: the staff attorneys who provide outstanding representation to low-income individuals day in and day out. These may be rising stars or unsung heroes – but they demonstrate a passion for helping people and a hunger for increasing access to justice. We’re looking for nominees with one or more of the following characteristics: An advocate who has not previously been widely, publicly recognized for her or his work and whose work benefits low-income or otherwise marginalized clients in the Greater DC Metro Region; An individual who supports the DC public-interest community in improving the access to justice for those who cannot afford an attorney; An advocate who has endeavored to bring together the public-interest, pro bono, and government legal communities to improve the quality and availability of free legal services for those in need; and Someone who has gone above and beyond the normal requirements of their job to assist persons in need or has demonstrated outside-the-box thinking about how to resolve difficult legal issues. Past Winners: 2020 Allison Miles-Lee, Bread for the City 2019 Tricia Monroe, The Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia 2018 Lindsy Miles-Hare, Ayuda 2017 Tracy Goodman, Children’s Law Center 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. Pro bono service can take many forms and is not limited 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. The Government Pro Bono Award recipient will be a government attorney who has made significant pro bono contributions. The pro bono work performed may include, but is not limited to activities such as: Involvement in establishing or implementing an agency pro bono program; Increasing the level of pro bono service by agency attorneys through promotion or facilitation of pro bono opportunities; Mentoring or training agency lawyers handling pro bono matters, litigating cases or providing non-litigation legal services to low income people or entities; or Participating regularly in pro bono clinics. Please note that the above lists of pro bono activities are not exhaustive. We gladly will consider nominations of attorneys who have performed other kinds of pro bono service. Past Winners: 2020: Jo Bahn, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 2019 Marissa Schnaith, U.S. Department of Labor 2018 Catalina Martinez, U.S. Small Business Administration 2017 Deborah Birnbaum, U.S. Department of Labor 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 Nominations should describe the nominee’s relevant professional activities, including (1) a description of the legal services and/or other efforts upon which the nomination is based, (2) an explanation of the impact of that work on clients, other advocates, and/or others and (3) the time period covered by the activities. Nomination materials should be no longer than 6 pages in length, including the nomination, resume, and any other supporting documents, such as letters of recommendation. Nomination materials should be submitted to email@example.com. If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Lopez at 202.942.5063. Deadline All nominations must be received by 5:00 pm ET on Monday, October 4. Learn more about the Awards Ceremony and past award winners.