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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.

DC Pro Bono Week 2018 Profiles: The Complete Set

DC Pro Bono Week 2018 Profiles: The Complete Set

During DC Pro Bono Week 2018 we profiled lawyers who made a profound difference in the lives of their pro bono clients despite heavy demands on their time: 1. Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)'s Andrea Mangones profiles Pepper Hamilton's Brad Lennie, who regularly takes on some of KIND's most difficult cases. 2. Legal Aid's Jodi Feldman profiles Kirkland & Ellis' Nick Barber, who, over the course of a year, helped a father regain the custody of his two young sons. 3.  CAIR Coalition's Michael Lukens profiles Arnold & Porter's Nicholas Nyemah, Dominique Casimir, and Daniel Dovev, who recently won an asylum claim for an LGBT man from Swaziland who faced possible death in his home country. 4. D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center's Connie Sinclair profiles Stinson Leonard Street's  Tracey Ohm, who regularly volunteers at the Center's Advocacy & Justice Clinic. 5. Children's Law Center's Jennifer Masi profiles Akin Gump's Amanda McGinn and Megan Greer, who helped a family reach the best possible custody agreement for two young children. 6. Fried Frank's Karen Grisez and Legal Counsel for the Elderly's Sheryl R. Miller profile Fried Frank's Brendan McNamara, who has consistently and successfully advocated on behalf of elderly clients. Check out these profiles, and then sign up to handle a pro bono case of your own!

We’re Hiring! (Part-time, Administrative Director Position)

We’re hiring! (Part-time, Administrative Director position)

We are seeking a permanent, part-time Administrative Director to help us further our mission of promoting pro bono service and public-interest law. The Administrative Director will provide behind-the-scenes support for our membership outreach, training programs, and access to justice advocacy. Learn more here.  Priority will be given to those who apply before November 5.

Pro Bono Week 2018 Profile: Nicholas Nyemah, Dominique Casimir, And Daniel Dovev – Asylum Protection

Pro Bono Week 2018 Profile: Nicholas Nyemah, Dominique Casimir, and Daniel Dovev – Asylum Protection

Nicholas Nyemah, Dominique Casimir, and Daniel Dovev from Arnold & Porter LLP, recently won an asylum claim for an LGBT man from Swaziland who faced death in his home country. Working with their mentors from CAIR Coalition, the team’s case was one of the first before a new immigration judge. There were a number of unusual challenges in the case and the team identified and tackled each one with sharp precision and elegance.  Their arguments were so compelling that DHS stipulated to 90% of the elements.  The hearing lasted less than 30 minutes and the client is now reunited with his community here in the United States.