Pro Bono Week Profile: Angela Buckner

Pro Bono Week Profile: Angela Buckner

By Amy Nelson “Public service is a privilege,” says Angela Buckner, a volunteer lawyer at Whitman-Walker’s Name and Gender Change Clinic. Angela has sought out public service throughout her career, and is one of the clinic's many proud volunteers. (more…)
A Low Bono Referral Service Comes To DC

A Low Bono Referral Service Comes to DC

Two years ago, we began Looking into Low Bono, a series of events exploring ways to expand access to justice for clients of modest means. As part of that process, we examined service models from around the country, heard from other low bono experts, and learned from established initiatives in other jurisdictions. In response, attendees took action—they formed an independent working group and worked hard to bring low bono solutions to Washington, DC. (more…)
Event Series: The State Of African Americans In DC

Event Series: The State of African Americans in DC

The Georgetown University DC Public Policy Initiative and the School of Nursing & Health Studies are hosting an upcoming event series: The State of African Americans in DC. The series joins reports commissioned by the DC Commission on African-American Affairs and sponsored by Georgetown in order to focus on the condition of African Americans living in DC. (more…)
Our 2016 Mentoring Program

Our 2016 Mentoring Program

Our 2016 Mentoring Program will be starting soon, and we can’t wait to welcome this year’s mentors and mentees. Mentees are paired with an experienced lawyer mentor and meet with that mentor two to three times throughout the year. We also hold six additional mentoring events, including panels on setting career goals and succeeding as a new lawyer and happy hours with local public-interest lawyers. The combination of individual meetings and group programs provides answers to questions about life as a new lawyer and a variety of tips and perspectives that can help lawyers throughout their careers. (More…)
Now Accepting Nominations For Our 2016 Awards

Now Accepting Nominations for our 2016 Awards

Do you know a dynamic legal-services lawyer who represents low-income clients, works to improve access to justice, or thinks creatively to solve difficult legal problems? Do you know any dedicated government lawyers who also volunteer their time to organize pro bono efforts or represent low-income clients? If so, we need your nominations for our 2016 Legal Services Award and 2016 Government Pro Bono Award! Each year at our Awards Ceremony, we recognize the extraordinary work of some of the District's most dedicated public-interest and pro bono lawyers. Our 2016 Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 1 at 6:30 pm. (more…)
Justice In Aging Fellow Shana Wynn Works For District Seniors

Justice in Aging Fellow Shana Wynn Works for District Seniors

By Miranda Hines Shana Wynn, a 2015–2016 Borchard Law and Aging Fellow, may need to clone herself: She is effectively doing the work of two people, fighting on two fronts to ensure that her clients can age with dignity. She works primarily for Justice in Aging, which does policy work; two days a week, she also represents clients pro bono at the Southeast DC office of Neighborhood Legal Services Program, which serves residents of Wards 7 and 8. (more…)
Our New Board Members, 2016 Edition

Our New Board Members, 2016 Edition

It’s that time of year when we welcome our incoming board members. Each of these public-interest-minded folks will officially join our Board of Directors in September. (more…)
Meet Our Summer Intern, Miranda Hines

Meet Our Summer Intern, Miranda Hines

Hello! My name is Miranda Hines and I'm excited to intern for Washington Council of Lawyers this summer. I'm from Akron, Ohio, and right now I'm an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis. I'm majoring in English Literature and Political Science (focusing on on comparative politics and theory). Outside the classroom I am a writer and current Design Chief for Washington University’s ISSUES Magazine, which covers social, political, and economic issues facing the urban community in the St. Louis area and seeks to broaden the student community’s awareness of the challenges facing those who live and work around us. I love studying political science and discussing it with others, this fall I'll be serving as a Teaching Assistant for one of my school's American politics classes. (more…)
Blogging For Ward 7: Community Activist Susie Cambria

Blogging for Ward 7: Community Activist Susie Cambria

By Peter Nye Ward 7 blogger and community activist Susie Cambria has worked on District policy and public-interest initiatives for more than two decades, partnering with local nonprofits and the DC city government before launching Susie's Budget and Policy Corner in 2009. But she first got involved in community issues early in her childhood. Her parents led her in that direction: “Being an activist was just something that we did.” When she was seven, her father, a Shriner, took her to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts. She was influenced by the patients’ problems, especially those of a seven-year-old amputee who pushed himself around in a cart. Susie promptly hosted a neighborhood fair to raise money for the patients. She raised seven dollars; impressed by her dedication, the Shriners donated twice as much. (more…)
Protecting The Veterans Who Protected Us

Protecting the Veterans Who Protected Us

By Ryan C. Wilson For veterans, applying for government benefits and housing can feel like David fighting Goliath. A confusing array of deadlines and eligibility requirements often choke veterans' efforts to get the benefits to which they are entitled. And when veterans attempt to find housing, post-service disabilities can expose them to slumlords who bypass the legal process and force them out onto the streets. The Washington Post recently highlighted two veterans who were forced to live in their Southeast apartment for months during the winter without heat and then locked out without their possessions. [more…]
Expungement Clinic In Anacostia

Expungement Clinic in Anacostia

By Caroline Fleming On May 17, DC Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May will host a record-sealing and expungement fair in Anacostia. At the fair, volunteer lawyers will help DC residents with the complicated process of sealing or expunge criminal records. If you're a DC lawyer or legal professional interested in pro bono work, it's a great way to volunteer for a discrete period of time. The fair supports the broader movement in DC to make it easier for people with criminal records to get jobs. In particular, the 2014 Ban the Box law prohibits certain DC employers from asking about criminal history on their initial application forms, and allows them to ask about criminal convictions only after making a conditional offer of employment. [...]
Preserving Homeownership In Deanwood

Preserving Homeownership in Deanwood

By Amy Gellatly At Neighborhood Legal Services Program, we want to make sure that longtime Deanwood residents are able to preserve their homes and pass them down to future generations. That’s why we are launching a new Homeownership Preservation program out of our Deanwood office. With this program, we will advocate on behalf of homeowners and make sure that they have access to the District’s services for homeowners in distress. (More…)
The Dogs Of Public Interest Law: Moose

The Dogs of Public Interest Law: Moose

New at The Dogs of Public Interest Law: Moose! She’s a mixed-breed pup who hangs out with Dena Sher, Assistant Legislative Director at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. (more…)
Our 2016 D.C. Bar Endorsements

Our 2016 D.C. Bar Endorsements

The D.C. Bar is one of the largest bar organizations in the country, and it sets the tone for lawyers in D.C. and elsewhere. With this in mind, each year we endorse candidates for D.C. Bar office who share our commitment to advancing pro bono, public-interest law, and access to justice more generally. This year, we endorse the following candidates. (Lists of multiple candidates appear alphabetically, and not in order of preference). (more…)
Poverty And Participation, East Of The River

Poverty and Participation, East of the River

By David Steib Exclusion begets poverty begets exclusion begets poverty begets exclusion begets poverty. “When the participation of people living in poverty is not actively sought and facilitated, they are not able to participate in decision-making and their needs and interests are not taken into account when policy is designed and implemented,“ said a March 2013 report by the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. ”Lack of participation in decision-making and in civil, social, and cultural life,“ the report added, is ”a defining feature and cause of poverty, rather than just its consequence.” (More…)
Street Sense Columnist Connects At-Risk Residents With Legal Resources

Street Sense Columnist Connects At-Risk Residents with Legal Resources

By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge Timothy Farrell, volunteer writer for the DC newspaper Street Sense, is not your average urban columnist. His youthful exploits may appear to be … unusual—he recalls, for example, being hustled into the back of a military truck by army personnel during an evacuation in Rhodesia. But despite these experiences, Tim had a fairly privileged upbringing, and he now seeks to use his education and legal expertise to give back to the community. (More…)