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Photo: Collage Of Headshots Of (top Left To Bottom Left) Diane Dauplaise Jess Davis-Ricci Krista Selnau LieAnn Van-Tull

Welcome Our New Board Members!

Join us in welcoming Diane Dauplaise, Jess Davis-Ricci, Krista Selnau, and LieAnn Van-Tull! We are proud to have these inspiring leaders join our Board. You can meet our new board members at the 2023 Fall Kickoff on September 26 at 6:00 pm at Goodwin Procter.
Graphic: Nominations Now Open For Justice Impact Awards

Nominations Now Open for our newly renamed Justice Impact Awards

We are now accepting nominations for our newly named Justice Impact Awards. We will recognize government and legal services lawyers go above and beyond for our community and law firm and corporate legal department lawyers who demonstrate exceptional commitment to pro bono service. Read on for nomination criteria and deadlines.
Ethan Cornell Standing Picture

Thank you and good luck to our 2023 Summer Intern Ethan Cornell!

While the summer isn't quite over, we do have to say goodbye to our 2023 Summer Intern Ethan Cornell. Although Ethan only joined us for the month of July, he made positive contributions to our team and brought a unique perspective to our work. We are thankful for the ways Ethan helped move our mission forward this summer. Thank you, Ethan!

Fellowships 101 Recap

On July 13, current fellows and fellowship program administrators provided insight into the fellowships process at Fellowships 101. The conversation touched on why folks choose to pursue fellowships, the application process for different programs, important considerations when looking for programs and host organizations, and helpful tips and tricks for applying! We concluded the conversation with a presentation from NALP on the PSJD. 

Supreme Court: View from the Press Gallery Recap

On Tuesday, July 11th, we welcomed lawyers, interns, and law students to our 35th annual “Supreme Court: View from the Press Gallery” event. This event peels back the curtain on the recently concluded Supreme Court term through the eyes of the journalists who have covered the Court for decades. We were excited to welcome everyone back in person for the first time since 2019!
2023 Summer Forum Keynote Nicole Austin-Hillery

2023 Keynote Conversation with Nicole Austin-Hillery

Washington Council of Lawyers’ Annual Summer Forum began on June 7 with an inspiring and enlightening discussion by keynote speaker Nicole Austin-Hillery. Nicole is the President & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., and a former Washington Council of Lawyers President and Board Member. Nicole was joined in conversation by current Washington Council of Lawyers President Debbie Cuevas Hill, Supervising Attorney at Legal Aid DC. During her opening remarks, Nicole covered her journey, as a way to inspire everyone to follow a purposeful path on their own personal and professional journeys. Nicole shared her “Nikki-isms”, guiding principles that have helped her on her journey, you can find the complete list below. 

2023 Summer Forum Preview: Human Rights & Immigration Law Panel

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...." Such reads the inscription on the Statute of Liberty, the sight that many of the early immigrants of the United States first saw. Our country is a beautiful mixing bowl of different cultures, beliefs, and nationalities, thanks in large part to centuries of immigrants coming to the United States hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families. That dream of a better life still rings true in the hearts of those seeking to immigrate here today. However, for those new to the United States, navigating a foreign legal system can be a treacherous undertaking. That's where immigration lawyers become essential. This panel will give you insight into what the field of immigration law looks like today and opportunities in which you can provide assistance.

2023 Summer Forum Preview: Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

The Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Panel will explore the critical role that lawyers play in protecting individuals' fundamental rights. Although there are legal safeguards that prevent discrimination in many parts of our daily lives, these rights can often go unprotected and ignored without the help of pro bono and public interest attorneys. Our Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Panel will give attendees a glimpse at the great need for talented lawyers in this field and showcase ways that you can help protect individual rights.

2023 Summer Forum Preview: Criminal Law & Death Penalty Panel

Over the past year, our communities have continued to engage in deep reflection on the systemic harms of abusive policing and mass incarceration. There is no area of law more central to those discussions than the criminal legal system. In this session, our panelists will share their work and insights in the criminal law space to uphold central individual liberties, stem the tide of mass incarceration, and protect communities. Learn more about these important topics at our 2023 Summer Forum Panel on Criminal Law & Death Penalty Panel.

2023 Summer Forum Preview: Poverty Law Panel

People living in poverty struggle daily to meet basic needs for themselves and their families. Critical relief: housing, nutrition, health care, fair employment, and protection from violence, often turn not on rights but on access to those rights and remain out of reach for many trying to navigate complex rules and requirements. While legal representation can transform an individual’s ability to access what they need to survive and thrive, low-income litigants are the least likely to have an attorney to help them exercise their rights. Pro bono attorneys who fill this gap literally change and save lives. Learn more about the wide-ranging legal issues individuals living in poverty face and what pro bono opportunities are available in D.C. and across the country to help address these needs at our 2023 Summer Forum Panel on Poverty Law on Thursday, June 15 from 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm ET. Register here to join the virtual conversation.

2023 Summer Forum Preview: Environmental Justice Panel

Environmental law issues impact residents in D.C. and across the country in a variety of unforeseen ways. People in poverty and communities of color are more likely to live in environmentally unhealthy places. Climate change motivates immigration all over the globe. Join us for our newest summer forum panel discussion about the many ways environmental justice implicates human rights and racial justice. We are excited to hear our inaugural panel discuss how legislative advocacy, individual representation, class action and other tools can bring us closer to achieving environmental justice. Find out more on June 8th.

2023 Summer Forum Preview: Non-Litigation Pro Bono Panel

Pro bono: it’s not just for litigators. There are a variety of pro bono matters that don't require you to step foot in the courtroom. Opportunities include setting up businesses; drafting or revising employee handbooks; protecting intellectual property; and providing tax advice among many others. And there are opportunities for system change through legislative advocacy and policy work. Trained lawyers can help draft wills for vets, navigate uncontested divorce proceedings, research novel issues, and much more. If you want to help but don't care to go to court, this panel is for you.
2023 Summer Forum Keynote Nicole Austin-Hillery

2023 Summer Forum Keynote With Nicole Austin-Hillery

We are thrilled to welcome Nicole Austin-Hillery, President & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, as the keynote conversation for the 2023 Summer Forum.  Ms. Austin-Hillery has dedicated her life and career to fighting for systemic change for marginalized communities. Her advocacy efforts not only work to change oppressive systems, but also lead the change for how Americans understand those systems and the interconnectedness of human rights concerns. Her work is an inspiration as it uplifts the voices and experiences of those that are not typically heard or seen to better society for all. Read on to find out more.
Graphic: In-House Pro Bono Program & Fair

In-House Pro Bono Program and Fair: Making Pro Bono Work in a Virtual World Recap

We had a great time working with the Association of Corporate Counsel’s National Capital Region to host the In-House Pro Bono Program and Fair: Making Pro Bono Work in a Virtual World. Over the course of an hour, our panelists told us about how their respective organizations adapted their pro bono offerings in response to the pandemic and shared advice for audience members looking to get involved in pro bono work.
Award Recipient Collage From Top Left Kristian Eliason, Karen Newton Cole, Latham & Watkins, Tracy Suhr

2022 Awards Ceremony – Inspiring & Uplifting

We were back! It felt so good to be in the same room again to celebrate the dedication of pro bono volunteers and public-interest lawyers in DC. We came away energized and inspired and ready to face whatever challenges 2023 brings. Read on to share in the celebration.
Graphic: Screenshot Of Panelists For Pro Bono Goes Local

Pro Bono Goes Local Recap

DC Pro Bono Week official;y kicked off with Pro Bono Goes Local! Our panelists began with a lightning round covering where the need for pro bono attorneys exists within our community by highlighting the nuances of our community, statistics that drive their work, and where they see the gaps in justice for District neighbors.
Graphic: Liam Montgomery Headshot

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Passionate Advocacy for Survivors

Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) is proud to celebrate the dedication and commitment of our Board Chair, Liam Montgomery. Liam, an eleven-year veteran of United States Naval Aviation and a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP, has been a passionate advocate for survivors of crime, veterans, and numerous other pro bono causes. His leadership in pro bono work is an inspiration to others at his firm and throughout our DC community.
Photo: Group Of Georgetown University Law Center Students

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Law Students Can Do Pro Bono Too!

Following the end of D.C.’s eviction moratorium, many residents were worried about falling behind on their rent and the looming threat of losing their homes. When the DC Office of the Attorney General planned pop-up clinics to help residents access emergency federal funding for housing and utility expenses, dozens of Georgetown students – including a Black Law Students Association contingent that made this a group pro bono project – joined the efforts.
Photo: Mary Gately Headshot

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Pro Bono Work Comes in Many Forms

Maya Angelou profoundly said, “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy.  Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”  I am reminded of this quote when I reflect on Mary Gately’s profound service and deep commitment to the pro bono work she performs as DC Affordable Law Firm’s Litigation Director, a role she performs entirely on a pro bono basis.  Across the past three years, Mary’s work with and on behalf of DC Affordable Law Firm’s clients soared to unprecedented levels, leading to exceptional legal outcomes for dozens of DC Affordable Law Firm’s low- and modest-income clients while synchronously shaping and inspiring the careers of the next generation of public interest attorneys. 
Photo: Mariah Hines Headshot

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profiles: Helping Vulnerable Individuals in Our Community Across Practice Areas

It is inspiring to speak with Mariah Hines, an associate in Sidley Austin’s Healthcare group, about the quantity, variety, and impact of her many pro bono engagements. Her pro bono matters span across practice areas including disability benefits, immigration, housing discrimination, and more. Even more impressive is that Mariah has done so much to help others so early in her legal career, having graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2020.
Photo: Chris Marin Headshot

Welcome Our New Program Director, Chris Marin!

Join us in welcoming Chris Marin as our new Program Director. Chris is a recent graduate of the American University, Washington College of Law, where they cultivated a passion for access to justice and finding innovative connections between legal professionals to advance the work of pro bono and the public-interest community.
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