Greg Lipper was introduced to Washington Council of Lawyers in 2011 by Taryn Wilgus Null, our then-President and at the time a colleague of Greg’s at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, where Greg is a First Amendment litigator. Taryn invited Greg to attend one of our programs with her, and introduced him to some of our other members. Fast forward: Greg joined our Board of Directors in 2012, instantly became the Chair of our brand-new, but sorely needed, Communications Committee, and revolutionized our outreach, communications, and impact. Greg’s tireless work ethic, quick wit, and razor sharp editor’s pen have transformed the way we reach DC’s public interest community. Some attorneys have even commented that they ENJOY reading our emails! Under Greg’s leadership, we started an active, lively Twitter account; before Greg, we didn’t even know what Twitter was. Greg and his team on the Communications Committee have launched us into photos, graphics, Facebook, Storify, Flickr, Tumblr, and an overall “bettr” way of working towards our mission of promoting pro bono service and the public interest practice of law. We asked our board members what they liked best about Greg, and here is what they had to say: Greg gives 110% to everything he does. Greg is always pushing the envelope and successfully encouraging the Washington Council of Lawyers to reach new heights. His energy and enthusiasm know no bounds. Greg possesses an uncommon blend of humor, sincerity, and intellect. Greg brings new ideas and ways to use technology to advance our core mission with such excitement for our work. Greg has pushed and pulled us into the 21st century in terms of our use of social media. His energy and enthusiasm are boundless. Plus, he makes me laugh—a lot. Greg constantly challenges everyone around him to be more thoughtful, rigorous and excellent. He changes the very nature of any conversation and dialogue with his presence. The council is a far more energetic and current organization because he is on its Board. Greg has tenacity! Greg has played a critical role in the marketing and inter-connectedness of the Council with its members and the public. Kudos to Greg! Greg’s energy, creativity and technical expertise makes him an indispensable member of the Council. I admire his willingness to advocate for a position in light of opposition—his willingness to challenge the board makes us a stronger organization. Greg gets things done as soon as the idea is out of someone’s mouth! I’m grateful for his very helpful combination of dedication, energy and efficiency! There are too many good things about Greg to be able to mention them all here – I will email with a bit more reflection to pare it down! I will Tweet my comments about Greg. We are grateful for all of Greg’s work, and we are delighted to recognize him with our Above and Beyond Award.
Presidents’ Award for Public Service: Roderic V. O. Boggs (Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs) Government Pro Bono Award: Kathryn Legomsky (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) Legal Services Award: Rebecca Lindhurst (Bread for the City) Above & Beyond Award: Jennifer Tschirch (Catholic University, Columbus School of Law) Law Firm Award: Kirkland & Ellis LLP
By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge For Roderic V.O. Boggs, recipient of our Presidents' Award for Public Service, 1971 was a big year. That was the year when Rod became Executive Director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. And it was also the year that he helped to launch our own organization, Washington Council of Lawyers. In the decades since then, our legal community has enjoyed the fruits of Rod's labor. (More…)
By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a leader not only in litigation and advocacy, but also in pro bono and public interest work. Every year the firm contributes at least 3% of its attorney time to pro bono work, and it encourages all of its lawyers to work on pro bono cases. Kirkland pro bono work comprises a wide range of issues—including immigration, disability rights, civil rights, prisoner rights, death penalty cases and criminal appeals, guardianship, veterans’ benefits, and more. (More…)
By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge Katie Legomsky has a busy day job. Since 2010, she's been an attorney in the General Counsel’s Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and she's currently on a one-year detail as a trial attorney at the DOJ Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section. But it's the work she does during her spare time that earned her our 2015 Government Pro Bono Award. Since 2011, Katie has volunteered for the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, serving as a pro bono litigator and a mentor for junior volunteers. (More…)
By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge Since joining our board in fall 2012, Jennifer Tschirch (by day, Pro Bono Coordinator at Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law) has thrown herself into the work of Washington Council of Lawyers. Jen agreed to take on a massive job: organizing DC Pro Bono Week, an annual series of events, trainings, and programs to celebrate and promote pro bono work. Under Jen's leadership, DC Pro Bono Week has grown and flourished. As one of our board members said, when reflecting on Jen’s work, “I feel like DC Pro Bono Week has become a national model for local community engagement and Jen’s organization and dedication is a very big reason.” (More…)
By Sierra Blanchard-Hodge Our 2015 Legal Services Award goes to Rebecca Lindhurst, a Managing Attorney in the Legal Clinic at Bread for the City. Rebecca has worked with Bread for the City since she arrived in DC in 2002, and she has demonstrated an uncommon devotion to serving members of the low-income community. At the same time, she has worked tirelessly to build associations and create programs to ensure that even more low-income tenants have access to representation, and to seek policy changes leading to better protection of tenants' rights. (More…)