The Public-Interest Legacy Of Judge Patricia Wald

The Public-Interest Legacy of Judge Patricia Wald

By Gregory M. Lipper Public-interest lawyers can and did learn a lot from Judge Patricia Wald, who died at age 90 on January 12. Many knew her as a giant of the District’s bar and bench—an influential writer turned successful public-interest litigator turned pathbreaking federal judge turned international war-crimes jurist. Fewer, perhaps, know that she was one of the lawyers who founded our own organization, Washington Council of Lawyers, in the early 1970s. Through it all, she marched to the beat of her own drummer, retaining a zeal for helping vulnerable people, a refreshing sense of humility and candor, and a willingness to push hard—and tell people what they didn’t want to hear—on behalf of society’s most vulnerable.
Puns Contest!

Puns Contest!

If you know anything about Washington Council of Lawyers, you know that we love a good pun. Lawyers never lose their appeal. Charging a phone - you have the right to remain on silent. Leap (year) at the opportunity to do pro bono. They may make you groan or shake your head, but they always make you laugh. Now you have the opportunity to become immortalized in our annals of puns by entering our first-ever Pun Contest. Enter here by Wednesday, February 20 at 5:00 pm. Please submit original text only. The subject matter can be anything related to access to justice, pro bono work,  or public-interest law. You can enter multiple times. And the best part is the prizes! Our first place winner will receive free attendance to a non-signature Washington Council of Lawyers event, a one-year membership to Washington Council of Lawyers, and a surprise gift; second place will receive a free one-year membership to Washington Council of Lawyers plus a surprise gift; and third place will receive a special surprise gift. Many contest submissions will be turned into graphics to be used on our website and social media outlets. So, put on your most clever thinking cap, and add to the rich history of Washington Council of Lawyers puns. And then join us at our February Happy Hour on Thursday, February 28 at Penn Commons (700 6th Street NW) from 6:30-8:30 pm where we will announce the winners. It is sure to be a fun evening! *Once entered, contest submissions become the property of Washington Council of Lawyers.

Resources For Furloughed Government Employees

Resources for Furloughed Government Employees

With so many federal government employees struggling during the shutdown, we've collected links to and summaries of resources available to federal employees who are furloughed. From free food to free CLE programs, many groups are trying to support those affected by the shutdown.
U.S. District Court Seeks Nominations For Daniel M. Gribbon Pro Bono Advocacy Award

U.S. District Court Seeks Nominations for Daniel M. Gribbon Pro Bono Advocacy Award

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeks nominations for the Daniel M. Gribbon Pro Bono Advocacy Award. Nominees may be an individual or firm that has demonstrated distinguished advocacy before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in a pro bono matter that concluded between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018. Candidates may self-nominate, and non-winning nominations from previous years may be resubmitted if the matter falls within the eligible dates. Nominations, which will be accepted beginning on January 1, 2019, must be in writing, and are limited to six (6) pages in length. Nominations may consist of a brief (no longer than two pages) description of the pro bono matter, as well as letters of support. No pleadings or court filings may be attached. The two-page description must be received no later than 12:00 noon on Friday, March 1, 2019. Letters of support will also be accepted through 12:00 noon on Friday, March 1, 2019. All nomination documents may be submitted electronically to the member of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services responsible for the nominations process, Michael Williams, at Alternatively, an original plus 10 copies of the nomination may be submitted to be received by the deadline to: Michael F. Williams, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, 655 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005. The family and friends of Daniel M. Gribbon have graciously endowed this award in honor of Dan Gribbon's lifetime commitment to and strong support of pro bono legal services. The nominations process is managed for the District Court by the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. Requests for further information should be directed to Standing Committee member Michael F. Williams by telephone at (202) 879-5123 or by email at More information can be found here.

2018 Awards Ceremony

2018 Awards Ceremony

By Alexis Applegate Thank you again to everyone who joined us at our 2018 Awards Ceremony, and extra special thanks to our award winners for the work that they do to serve our community. We were delighted to have Board Member and immediate past President Kelly Voss accept our Law Firm Award on behalf of Covington & Burling. We are proud to recognize the firm’s commitment to pro bono service, support for DC’s public-interest community and the myriad ways Covington has partnered with Washington Council of Lawyers to help us further our mission. We were also excited to recognize the hard work of our Government Pro Bono Award recipient, Catalina Martinez from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and our Legal Service Award recipient Lindsy Miles-Hare from Ayuda for their tireless devotion to ensuring that their clients receive the best quality representation and the support they provide their colleagues in the pursuit of justice. Chief Deputy Attorney General Natalie O. Ludaway represented the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia as we applauded the OAG’s creation of a new pro bono program which will allow more local government attorneys to take pro bono cases to help our neighbors in need. Lastly, it was an honor to award Shelley Broderick from the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law with the Presidents Award for Public Service in recognition of her decades of service to the District of Columbia and its residents. Shelley’s leadership, encouragement, and example have inspired new generations of public-interest lawyers and made our community stronger. Shelley is truly a catalyst for public service. We had such a wonderful evening celebrating with our friends and colleagues. Each year the Awards Ceremony not only serves to recognize the wonderful work of our award recipients, but also gives our community a chance to gather, have some fun (ask Shelley Broderick if you need help having fun), and recharge for the year of important work ahead. As Lindsy Miles-Hare, quoting Nelson Mandella, reminded us, "Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice." Good luck with all the hard work you will do for our community in the coming year, and please reach out to the Washington Council of Lawyers when you need assistance. See you in 2019!!   Alexis Applegate is the Communications Director for Washington Council of Lawyers.    

D.C. Office Of Attorney General Adopts Pro Bono Program

D.C. Office of Attorney General Adopts Pro Bono Program

By Alexis Applegate At the Washington Council of Lawyers annual Awards Ceremony on December 4, we will recognize the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for the District of Columbia for its recent adoption of an office-wide Pro Bono Program that encourages lawyers in its office to provide critical legal services to individuals in need. Attorney General Karl A. Racine and his team have worked diligently with Washington Council of Lawyers on this Program, which provides guidance to OAG attorneys who wish to participate in pro bono work. The new Pro Bono Program provides a helpful framework for these attorneys, detailing, among other subjects, the types of pro bono work they can take on and the guidelines they must follow when participating in pro bono projects. In 2016, Washington Council of Lawyers began to discuss the benefits of a pro bono program and to provide technical support to OAG. We recognized that these local government attorneys and legal staff possess both the skill set and the commitment to public service necessary to help those in need of legal services in our city. Learning from the experience of federal government attorneys, we realized that a formal program would enable staff attorneys to engage in this important work. From the start of this project, Attorney General Racine and his staff enthusiastically supported these efforts. We especially would like to thank Elaine Block, Ethics Counsel for OAG, for her ongoing work to create and finalize this policy. We are delighted that Chief Deputy Attorney General Natalie O. Ludaway will be representing OAG at our Awards Ceremony, where we will fete this significant achievement. Please join us on December 4 as we congratulate the OAG on such an exciting accomplishment. Alexis Applegate is Communications Director for Washington Council of Lawyers.

Catalina Martinez: 2018 Government Pro Bono Award Recipient

Catalina Martinez: 2018 Government Pro Bono Award Recipient

By Anne King Catalina Martinez, recipient of our 2018 Government Pro Bono Award and an attorney at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), stands out not only for her diligent work on her own pro bono matters, but also for her tireless efforts to recruit colleagues to pro bono advocacy. In fact, the opportunity to provide pro bono services spurred Catalina to become an attorney. As a paralegal, she assisted in advocating for low-income tenants facing eviction and found the work highly rewarding. Since joining SBA, Catalina jumped into pro bono advocacy right away and hasn’t slowed down since. For example, she has accepted numerous pro bono cases from the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advocacy and Justice Clinic and the Housing Right to Counsel Project. What’s more, she’s a regular volunteer at the D.C. Bar’s Advice and Referral Clinic. Last year, Catalina traveled to Florida and put in long hours assisting victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma by helping them apply for loans to repair their homes and businesses. Catalina also sits on the board of a non-profit that fosters social development programs for displaced children. At SBA, Catalina has dedicated herself to bolstering the agency’s support for pro bono work. She wrote and implemented a pro bono protocol and policy, joined the Interagency Pro Bono Working Group, and established SBA’s first Pro Bono Committee, which now includes members in DC, Virginia and Chicago. Catalina has worked hard to spread awareness of (and enthusiasm for) pro bono opportunities at SBA by, for example, hosting pro bono events including briefings and clinic trainings. Catalina’s advocacy makes a real difference for her pro bono clients and her outreach and organizational efforts encourage her colleagues to make a difference as well. We are thrilled to recognize Catalina as the recipient of our 2018 Government Pro Bono Award. Join us on December 4 to congratulate Catalina and the other 2018 award winners!   Anne King is a government attorney and a member of the board of directors of Washington Council of Lawyers.

Shelley Broderick: 2018 Presidents Award For Public Service

Shelley Broderick: 2018 Presidents Award for Public Service

By Sebastien Monzon Rueda Full of determination, moxie, and passion, Shelley Broderick has catapulted the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (“UDC-DCSL”) to one of the nation’s premier public interest law schools. Under her twenty years of leadership as dean, she emphasized creating a quality legal program that focuses on public service and clinical practice. This mission to create social progress changed the face of the legal profession in the District of Columbia. After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center, Shelley began her academic career as clinical faculty. She directed the Criminal Defense Clinic at the Antioch School of Law for ten years representing more than 2,000 individuals charged with crimes in the District’s local and federal courts. She also co-directed the Legislation Clinic for four years, supervising students working primarily on health and safety, environmental justice, and criminal justice legislation with the D.C. Council. She also taught the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School for many years. As dean, Shelley secured for UDC-DCSL the highest level of American Bar Association Accreditation. She oversaw the $1.6 million library expansion project, and raised over $15 million for endowed chairs, scholarships, public interest fellowships, and clinical programs. Under her leadership, students served the legal needs of thousands of low-income District residents through the School’s nine legal clinics. Professor Broderick is a founder and long-time participant in the D.C. Consortium of Legal Services Providers, an organization committed to increasing the quantity, improving the quality, and coordinating the delivery of legal services to low-income D.C. residents. She also is serving her fourth term as a member of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission. This past summer, Shelley stepped down as dean of UDC-DCSL after 20 years at the helm. In her reflection, Shelley thanked her colleagues and fellow alumni for their generous and caring support during her time as dean. Shelley's leadership, encouragement and example have led and inspired new generations of public interest lawyers. From leading students at a march against injustice to proudly proclaiming, “Your tax dollars at work!” when talking about the law school, Shelley is truly a catalyst for public service. It is an honor to award the 2018 Presidents Award for Public Service to the incomparable, Shelley Broderick. Sebastien Monzon Rueda is a member of Washington Council of Lawyers.

2018 Legal Services Award: Lindsy Miles-Hare

2018 Legal Services Award: Lindsy Miles-Hare

By Christina Jackson One of the most pressing priorities for the public-interest community today is the protection of the besieged rights of those who came to American seeking freedom, safety, and a better life. Our recognition of that present-day priority is reflected by our recognition of Ayuda's Lindsy Miles-Hare as our 2018 Legal Services Award Recipient. As the Pro Bono Managing Attorney at Ayuda, Lindsy brings together lawyers, coordinates social and language services, and offers training and outreach to volunteers in the DC metropolitan area. Throughout her career, Lindsy has worked tirelessly and with to secure access to justice for of low-income individuals. Due to Lindsy's advocacy and skills, thousands of clients have been protected from eviction, deportation, and loss of critical public benefits. At Ayuda, Lindsy has built the infrastructure for a pro bono program that enables it to serve hundreds of additional clients each year – and to provide excellent legal services to every client. Since 2017, Lindsy has managed seventeen (17) free immigration consultation clinics, providing critical advice to at least 400 clients and benefiting more than 1,100 family members. Moreover, many of those individuals were subsequently provided comprehensive immigration legal services through Ayuda's pro bono pipeline, which Lindsy also has improved and expanded upon in her time at Ayuda. Prior to joining Ayuda, Lindsy served as the Public Benefits Managing Attorney of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, where she managed the Immigration Legal Advice and Referral Clinic, the Health Care Access Project, co-managed the Advocacy & Justice Clinic, and staffed the Landlord & Tenant Resource Center. Her responsibilities included managing free brief advice clinics which connected hundreds of clients each year with free legal advice on a range of civil legal matters. Lindsy connected more than 300 clients per year with pro bono lawyers for full representation. Lindsy then provided critical subject matter expertise for all housing and public benefits cases, enabling the pro bono lawyers to step outside of their usual practice areas and provide vulnerable District residents with the excellent legal representation that they deserved and needed. Lindsy approaches her work with extraordinary joy, care, and respect for her clients. She is empathetic and passionate for the work of helping others, and her enthusiasm is infectious.  She makes volunteering fun and fulfilling, and allows countless lawyers the opportunity to contribute in a positive way to the lives of DC residents. Lindsy exemplifies the best the legal services community has to offer. Too many of our fellow citizens (who also are the descendants of immigrants) have become all too willing to turn away from the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. At this time, as never before, we believe it is important to stand with those who ask only what our forebears asked. And so we are particularly pleased to stand with Lindsy by bestowing on her our 2018 Legal Services Award. Learn more about Lindsy and the other award recipients at our 2018 Awards Ceremony. Christina Jackson is the Deputy Director of Washington Council of Lawyers.