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Photo: 2020 DC Pro Bono Week Mayoral Proclamation

DC Pro Bono Week 2020: Recap

DC Pro Bono Week 2020 is a wrap, but the inspiration to make a difference in our community and the celebration of pro bono service continues. We know the need for pro bono lawyers doesn’t stop, even in normal years. And, in 2020, the pandemic has created an unprecedent legal needs crisis. It’s time to step up. As lawyers, we have a duty and obligation to help bridge the access to justice gap. Whether it’s by taking on a pro bono case, volunteering for an advice and referral clinic, contributing to systemic advocacy, or financially supporting a legal services organization, we can all do something for the public good.

Thank you to everyone who made DC Pro Bono Week possible and a special thank you to the lawyers who are helping their neighbors and moving us toward a more just and equitable society through pro bono. We also are grateful to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser for proclaiming October 26-30,2020 to be DC Pro Bono Week!

This year, we featured extraordinary pro bono advocates in our 2020 DC Pro Bono Week Profiles. These lawyers are shining examples of how individuals can make a real and lasting difference in the lives of their clients,  and how teams can leverage their collective skills, time, and knowledge to impact families, seniors, and perhaps the entire system of immigration detention.

We also offered a wide range of events and DC Pro Bono Week programs. We kicked off the week with Pro Bono Goes Local, where D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby and D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Josey-Herring gave hearty thank yous to pro bono lawyers and we heard from two pro bono superstars. Then, we toured (virtually) Bread for the City’s new facility and learned how Bread and Children’s Law Center holistically approach legal services. Finally, at Coding Justice we explored other service industries for tips and strategies for meaningfully engaging clients remotely. On Tuesday, we came together to celebrate pro bono at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Pro Bono Partnership Luncheon featuring Dr. Larry Richard of LawyerBrain, and hosted A Conversation with Kids About Immigration and Fairness and what they can do to help someone new. Wednesday brought a discussion of how pro bono can advance environmental justice, and Thursday saw our conversation about Advancing Racial Justice and Equity through Pro Bono which included an entire lineup of pro bono opportunities at organizations around the country.

And, of course, DC Pro Bono Week would not complete without opportunities to serve. Volunteers helped immigrants at the Immigration Consultation Clinic, small businesses at the Small Business Brief Advice Clinic, and vets during the Veterans Consortium Legal Muster Pop Up Clinics. Throughout, we discovered ways to get involved, volunteer, and create positive change.

With all of that, you might have missed something. Catch up on any of the programs with the following recordings:

Pro Bono Goes Local; passcode KgWX$97?

Meeting Our Clients Where They Are: Serving Families East of the River: no passcode required

Coding Justice; passcode #tTvB^C9

Pro Bono Partnership Luncheon; no passcode required

Pro Bono Goes Green; no passcode required

Advancing Racial Justice & Equity Through Pro Bono; passcode 4&4z+.zo

For even more information, check out the event summaries on our Pro Bono Publico Blog. There you will find lists of resources and ways to volunteer in a variety of practices and settings.

Keep the momentum going on social media using #DCProBono20 and by doing what you can to support pro bono.

Thank you for a great DC Pro Bono Week 2020!