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Language Access Program of the DC Office of Human Rights Releases 2019 Compliance Review

10 March 2021   Blog, Featured

The Language Access Program of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) recently released its 2019 Compliance Review.  The report, found on the Office’s website, serves as a valuable resource to anyone interested in learning more about DC’s limited English proficient population, about the city government’s obligations under the DC Language Access Act of 2004 (the Act), and about the performance of city government agencies to meet those obligations.
For public interest and pro bono lawyers, it is important to understand where agencies stand with regard to language access. If your housing client is limited English proficient, you may want to review the language access score for the DC Housing Authority (if your client is in public housing) or for the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (if your client needs a housing code inspection). This is just one example of the myriad ways that legal services clients interact with DC government agencies. 

Best Practices in Pro Bono: Beyond Trump, What Now?

03 February 2021   Blog

On Thursday, January 28, 2021, Washington Council of Lawyers reflected upon pro bono legal services and what changes, if any, have transpired after the historical 46th Presidential inauguration. The central question of this discussion was what the new administration might mean in providing pro bono legal services in the District.

Going Public: Tips on Navigating a Career in Public Interest Law

02 February 2021   Blog

On Wednesday, January 27, 2021, Washington Council of Lawyers hosted an in-depth discussion on how to navigate to a public-interest career, how to be successful once you get there, and how to thrive in an often emotionally taxing career path. It was an inspiring conversation with concrete tips to help guide those in pursuit of meaningful public interest law careers.

Spotlight On Evictions with Emily Benfer

22 December 2020   Blog, Featured

By Heather Krick On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, we hosted Spotlight on Evictions, a virtual conversation with Emily Benfer, Chair of the ABA’s Covid-19 Taskforce on Evictions. First, the program opened with remarks from current ABA President Patricia Lee Refo.…

The Year In Review: 2020 Advocacy Initiatives

17 December 2020   Blog, Featured

As the year draws to a close, we look back on our advocacy efforts supporting the Washington Council of Lawyers’ mission of a fair justice system for everyone, regardless of money, position, or power. During this challenging year, we have taken action on the issues on which we have a longstanding track record of leadership and advocacy. As the pandemic began to affect our most vulnerable citizens and their access to legal services and the courts, we also swiftly pivoted to address these new challenges in the context of our ongoing work in improving access to justice for all individuals.

2020 Awards Ceremony

08 December 2020   Blog, Featured

Our virtual 2020 Awards Ceremony brought all the warmth and inspiration our public interest community brings every day to helping those in need. We came together to give a special thank you to our award recipients for the work that they do to serve our community.

2020 Presidents Award for Public Service: Paul Smith

13 November 2020   Blog, Featured

Paul Smith has been recognized as one of the “nation’s elite litigators,” whose “profound commitment to advancing civil liberties make him a legal force to be reckoned with,” as well as someone who is “down to earth but also brilliant.” Washington Council of Lawyers knows him to be all these things, as well as our long-time board and honorary board member, former President, and frequent guest speaker at our events.  We are so honored to recognize Paul with our 2020 Presidents Award for Public Service.

Allison Miles-Lee: 2020 Legal Services Award Recipient

13 November 2020   Blog, Featured

Family law. Public benefits. Language access. A DC legal services attorney could build an entire career out of just one of those subject areas. Allison Miles-Lee is a champion of all three—and our 2020 Legal Services Award Recipient.

2020 Government Pro Bono Award Recipient Josephine Bahn

10 November 2020   Blog, Featured

Josephine (Jo) Bahn takes her commitment to service very seriously. Although early in her career, Jo has already made a significant impact in the legal field and her community. We are excited to recognize her many contributions to her community with the 2020 Government Pro Bono Award.