In addition to the main DC Pro Bono Week events, a series of affiliated trainings will take place before, during, and after Pro Bono Week. The full list is below: September 26 DC Bar Pro Bono Center - Public Benefits Training Series: TANF Session - Cash Assistance for Families in Need Wednesday, September 26 12:00 – 2:30 pm DC Bar Conference Center (901 4th Street NW) Register October 2 Children’s Law Center: Custody Guardian ad Litem Training Tuesday, October 2; 9:30 am—4:00 pm McDermott Will & Emery (500 North Capitol St NW) Register October 3 DC Bar Pro Bono Center: Public Benefits Training Series: Eligibility for Public Health Insurance in DC Wednesday, October 3 12:00—3:00 pm DC Bar (901 4th Street NW) Register October 4 DC Bar Pro Bono Center: Small Business Legal Issues: A Training for Volunteer Attorneys Thursday, October 4 9:00 am—1:00 pm Arnold & Porter (601 Massachusetts Avenue NW) Register October 9 DC Volunteer Lawyers Project: Providing a Voice for Children: Guardian Ad Litem Tuesday, October 9 9:30 am–3:00 pm King & Spalding (1700 Pennsylvania Ave NW Suite 200) To attend a training, please RSVP to email@example.com. Christian Legal Aid's Estate Planning/Probate Training Tuesday, October 9 6:30–8:00 pm Winston & Strawn LLP, 1700 K Street NW Register October 10 Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless: New Volunteer Training Wednesday, October 10 10:30 am–3:00 pm (lunch will be provided) Winston & Strawn LLP (1700 K Street NW) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for this training. October 11 DC Volunteer Lawyers Project: Keeping Victims Safe: Litigating Family Law Cases Thursday, October 11 9:30 am–3:00 pm Feldesman + Tucker + Leifer + Fidell (1129 20th St NW #400) To attend a training, please RSVP to email@example.com. October 16 DC Volunteer Lawyers Project: Fighting for Victims: Litigating Protection Order Cases Tuesday, October 16 9:30 am–3:00 pm Gibson Dunn (1050 Connecticut Ave NW) To attend a training, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. DC Bar Pro Bono Center: Child Custody Training, 2-Part Series: Part 1 Tuesday, October 16 5:45—8:45 pm DC Bar (901 4th Street NW) Register October 17 Neighborhood Legal Services Program: Litigating Housing and Employment Discrimination Cases at the Office of Human Rights Wednesday, October 17 Noon–2:00 pm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (1333 New Hampshire Avenue, NW) Register Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities: Adult Guardianship, Alternatives, and Advance Planning for People with Disabilities Wednesday, October 17 Noon–2:00 pm Wiley Rein, LLP (1776 K Street, NW) Please register via email to JBronson@DCQualityTrust.org. October 18 DC Bar Pro Bono Center: Child Custody Training, 2-Part Series: Part 2 Thursday, October 18 5:45—8:45 pm DC Bar (901 4th Street NW) Register October 19 DC Bar Pro Bono Center: DC Family Court Volunteer Attorney Negotiator Program Friday, October 19 11:00 am—3:00 pm DC Bar (901 4th Street NW) Register October 23 Practicsing Law Institute:In-House Counsel Pro Bono: Challenges, Best Practices, and Opportunities for Engagement Webinar Tuesday, October 23 1:00—2:00 pm Register October 26 Tahirih Justice Center & Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Section: Pro Bono Immigration Court Training Friday, October 26 8:00 am—4:00 pm The Byron Auditorium, Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America (3600 John McCormack Road NE) Register October 30 Children’s Law Center: Caregiver Custody Training Tuesday, October 30 9:30 am—1:00 pm Winston & Strawn LLP (1700 K Street NW) Register November 7 DC Bar Pro Bono Center: Public Benefits Training Series: Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI/SSI & IDA) Wednesday, November 7 12:00—2:30 pm DC Bar (901 4th Street NW) Register November 8 DC Bar Pro Bono Center: Landlord Tenant Practice in the District of Columbia, 2-Part Series: Part 1 Thursday, November 8 5:45—8:45 pm DC Bar (901 4th Street NW) Register November 13 Children’s Law Center: Housing Conditions Training Tuesday, November 13 9:30 am—12:00 pm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough/EducationCounsel (101 Constitution Ave NW #900) Register November 14 DC Bar Pro Bono Center: Landlord Tenant Practice in the District of Columbia, 2-Part Series: Part 2 Wednesday, November 14 5:45—8:45 pm DC Bar (901 4th Street NW) Register Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities: Adult Guardianship, Alternatives, and Advance Planning for People with Disabilities Wednesday, November 14 5:00—7:00 pm Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP (1500 K Street, NW, Suite 1100, Room 11J) Please register via email to JBronson@DCQualityTrust.org. November 27 Tzedek DC: Volunteer Training Tuesday, November 27 12:00—1:30 pm Arent Fox (1717 K Street NW) Please register via email to RS@TzedekDC.org.
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.
For Tracey Ohm, of counsel at Stinson Leonard Street LLP and dedicated D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center volunteer, the reward of pro bono work isn't out-of-the-park wins. It's the gratitude she gets for the simple act of being an advocate. "The clients are so grateful to have someone standing up for them," she said. "That's both what I enjoy and what keeps me going."
Amanda McGinn, an associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, had just presented her Children's Law Center pro bono caregiver custody case before a DC judge, alongside co-counsel, Megan Greer, a counsel at Akin Gump. While daunting, Amanda knew that together, and through the resources Children's Law Center provides its pro bono teams, she and Megan could use their legal skills to help children thrive.
If you are looking for a pro bono opportunity to help a family achieve stability and hone your litigation skills, consider representing a parent in a child custody case. Just ask Kirkland & Ellis associate Nickolas Barber who, over the course of a year representing the father of two young sons referred from the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, appeared in court seven times, including for two evidentiary hearings and a full-day trial.
Brendan McNamara, a staff attorney at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, has made a consistent effort over the last three years to represent elderly clients referred to the firm through Legal Counsel for the Elderly's (LCE) Pro Bono Project. Brendan's experience illustrates why pro bono attorneys are so important to the lives of low-income and modest means individuals.