By Alexis Applegate
At the Washington Council of Lawyers annual Awards Ceremony on December 4, we will recognize the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for the District of Columbia for its recent adoption of an office-wide Pro Bono Program that encourages lawyers in its office to provide critical legal services to individuals in need. Attorney General Karl A. Racine and his team have worked diligently with Washington Council of Lawyers on this Program, which provides guidance to OAG attorneys who wish to participate in pro bono work. The new Pro Bono Program provides a helpful framework for these attorneys, detailing, among other subjects, the types of pro bono work they can take on and the guidelines they must follow when participating in pro bono projects.
In 2016, Washington Council of Lawyers began to discuss the benefits of a pro bono program and to provide technical support to OAG. We recognized that these local government attorneys and legal staff possess both the skill set and the commitment to public service necessary to help those in need of legal services in our city. Learning from the experience of federal government attorneys, we realized that a formal program would enable staff attorneys to engage in this important work. From the start of this project, Attorney General Racine and his staff enthusiastically supported these efforts. We especially would like to thank Elaine Block, Ethics Counsel for OAG, for her ongoing work to create and finalize this policy.
We are delighted that Chief Deputy Attorney General Natalie O. Ludaway will be representing OAG at our Awards Ceremony, where we will fete this significant achievement. Please join us on December 4 as we congratulate the OAG on such an exciting accomplishment.
Alexis Applegate is Communications Director for Washington Council of Lawyers.