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’s 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.

Free Medicare Part D Walk-in Clinics

Free Medicare Part D Walk-in Clinics

Legal Aid and Whitman-Walker are hosting walk-in clinics for people who obtain regular prescription drugs and have Medicare Part D. The clinics will allow beneficiaries to meet with a lawyer and get a Medicare Part D analysis. The Open Season for Medicare Part D started on October 15. The Open Season runs through December 7 for individuals who do not also receive Medicaid or QMB, and through December 31 for low-income Medicare beneficiaries. It's always a good idea for beneficiaries to get a "Medicare Part D check up" every year to make sure that whatever Part D plan they are in will continue to cover their drugs next year. An English language flyer and a Spanish language flyer with the dates and locations of the clinics offered by Whitman-Walker Health can be viewed here. An English language flyer with the dates and locations of the clinics offered by the Legal Aid Society of DC can be found here. A Spanish language flyer with the dates and locations of the clinics offered by the Legal Aid Society of DC can be found here. Spread the word!

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.

Jessica Steinberg: Focused On Helping Tenants

Jessica Steinberg: Focused on Helping Tenants

By Jackie Rogers Jessica Steinberg’s professional life has been marked by a profound commitment to helping the legally underserved. From her early days as the sole legal aid housing attorney in San Mateo County, California, this clinical professor at George Washington University Law School has worked on a range of legal issues to promote economic and social justice. Professor Steinberg’s work in California highlighted for her the many hurdles disadvantaged tenants face when they seek legal remedies from their landlords for housing code violations: fear of landlord retaliation, extended time away from work, and a lack of affordable transportation and child care options all limit opportunities to combat unsafe housing. Moreover, many poor tenants are forced to navigate a confusing and intimidating legal system on their own. Professor Steinberg’s move to D.C. and transition to academia were part of her commitment to studying and mobilizing support behind new and innovative approaches to improving the legal resources and options available to the underserved. Establishment of the D.C. Housing Conditions Court in 2010 represented just such an approach, and became the central focus of Professor Steinberg’s careful study for nearly two years. The Court was set up to address legal issues faced by tenants and to expedite cases for those living in uninhabitable conditions. The Court was born out of widespread agreement that a court with a single focus on housing code violations was needed, as existing city agencies and courts were simply overworked and overburdened. The D.C. Housing Conditions Court implemented two innovative approaches. First, the court employs field inspectors to investigate alleged violations, rather than requiring tenants to produce proof of unsafe conditions themselves. Second, judicial progress hearings are held until repairs are made, thereby holding landlords more accountable for fixing violations. Professor Steinberg’s research indicates that the Housing Conditions Court is more successful than many traditional courts in addressing habitability issues, and tenants who appear without lawyers are less prejudiced by unfair outcomes. Professor Steinberg would like to see this D.C. Housing Conditions Court approach expanded to other cities and counties. But she also wants more done to train and inspire the next generation of public interest attorneys and those willing to provide pro bono services. “The key is to train young law students and lawyers on these issues early in their careers,” she explains. “We need to provide them more direct, hands-on exposure to the many hurdles facing low-income populations.” As a professor at George Washington University, Professor Steinberg will continue conveying an inspiring message to her students. Her goal is to ensure that “all law students and attorneys understand the special privilege we’ve been afforded as members of the profession, and the obligation that comes with it to fight for justice and equality.”   Jackie Rogers was an intern for Washington Council of Lawyers in 2017. 

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.
Pro Bono Week 2018: Tracey Ohm – Pro Bono Attitude Of Gratitude

Pro Bono Week 2018: Tracey Ohm – Pro Bono Attitude of Gratitude

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."
Pro Bono Week 2018 Profile: Amanda McGinn & Megan Greer – Representing A Devoted Grandmother

Pro Bono Week 2018 Profile: Amanda McGinn & Megan Greer – Representing A Devoted Grandmother

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.