Our inaugural Legal Services Award goes to Jodi Feldman, Supervising Attorney for Pro Bono and Training Programs at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. Jodi is known throughout our legal community for her work ethic and commitment to pro bono service, but she also has been called the quintessential “unsung hero.” Most of her work involves building infrastructure behind the scenes – creating and improving programs that enable pro bono attorneys to provide high-quality legal help to thousands of people in need. After graduating from Georgetown Law, Jodi practiced at Wiley Rein before becoming a Staff Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator of the Legal Services Program at Whitman-Walker Health. Jodi then joined Legal Aid in 2004, and jumpstarted its pro bono program. Legal Aid has increased the number of cases it places with volunteers every year for the past four years. Last year, attorneys contributed a staggering $16.5 million worth of attorney time for Legal Aid. Jodi’s work has increased not only the quantity of Legal Aid’s referrals, but also the quality of the resulting representation. She carefully matches pro bono lawyers with appropriate cases, makes sure that those lawyers get a Legal Aid mentor while working on their cases, and follows each case’s progress to its finish. She meets with various law firms throughout Washington, DC and coordinates firm-specific trainings. Jodi’s leadership also inspired unemployment-insurance referral relationships with both Arnold & Porter and McKenna Long & Aldridge and led to the establishment and maintenance of Skadden’s domestic violence Impact Project. On top of all of that, Jodi has given back to our legal community. She manages Legal Aid’s student intern program. She has been an active member of Washington Council of Lawyers and served on our board for several years. In fact, one board member notes that Jodi’s enthusiasm inspired her to become a member and participate in our events. Jodi is dedicated, energetic, and enthusiastic – and she gets results. We couldn’t be more pleased to honor her with our Legal Services Award. You can learn more about Jodi and our other award winners at our 2014 Awards Ceremony.
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…)