Thank you to those that were able to join us for our many fantastic DC Pro Bono Week 2022 events. We hope you enjoyed the discussions, clinics, tours, and more!
Although DC Pro Bono Week is officially over, the need for pro bono volunteers is year-round. Check out the highlights from our 2022 DC Pro Bono Week to find out how you can get involved.
This year, we had so much to share, we started the week before! DC Refers explored the ethical implications of low bono, reduced cost, or limited representation opportunities. The good news is the ethics rules are the same no matter what! Learn more by watching Charlie Lemley, DC Refers Board Chair, Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School, and Senior Counsel at Wiley LLP, deep dive into the ethical implications here.
We hit the ground running on Monday with Pro Bono Goes Local! The kick-off included a lively discussion about the general needs for pro bono services in DC and wonderful remarks from Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby from the D.C. Court of Appeals and Chief Judge Josey-Herring from the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. If you missed it, you can view it here!
Our conversation included representatives from the following organizations briefly discussing their focus, key projects, and how to get involved:
- Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia: Housing
- Bread for the City: Domestic Violence
- Legal Counsel for the Elderly: Representation of the Elderly
- Neighborhood Legal Services Program: Criminal Record Sealing
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND): Immigration
While Pro Bono Goes Local provided a taste of the breadth of pro bono services, the events all week provided deeper discussions on what to expect when getting involved in pro bono work in a variety of practice areas. Dedicated staff from a variety of legal service organizations demystified how you can get involved in increasing access to justice in family law, environmental justice, reproductive rights, voting rights, and civil rights. Learn more about these organizations and find out how you can join in their efforts below:
- Access to Justice in Family Law and Serving Families East of the River
- Pro Bono Work that Helps the Environment
- Rights in Retreat- Reproductive, Voting, and Civil Rights
We also had the amazing opportunity to tour the D.C. Superior Court and got an inside view of the Domestic Violence Division, Domestic Relations Branch, and Landlord and Tenant Branch. During the tour, we saw every step of litigation from where to file the initial pleading to where the judge will lay down their gavel and all the mediation rooms and advice spaces in between!
Reaching out to organizations that focus on pro bono initiatives is not the only way to get involved. Does your office have a Pro Bono Coordinator? Touch base with them! Many organizations work closely with legal service providers in DC. See what organizations have a close connection with your employer.
Don’t have one yet? You can help create it! Many of the legal luminaries highlighted in our Pro Bono Profiles were the first people to establish a connection between their employer and an organization providing pro bono services to our community. Check out their stories and follow in their footsteps here!
We are grateful to the many participants that made our events a success! Thank you again to everyone that had a chance to join us!