More than $4.5 Million Awarded to DC Civil Legal Aid Organizations

[District of Columbia, March 23, 2016] -The DC Bar Foundation announced the 2016 recipients of the Access to Justice (ATJ) Grants Program (public grants), which awards grants to DC-based legal aid organizations that provide free legal help to low-income DC residents. A total of $4,544,000 was awarded to 33 projects, of which eight are new.

Funded by a grant from the District of Columbia Office of Victim Services Justice Grants, the ATJ Grants Program funds projects in three categories: (a) underserved areas; (b) housing-related matters; and (c) a shared legal services interpreter bank. DCBF awarded 28 grants in the underserved areas category, totaling $3,138,000; four grants in the housing-related matters category, totaling $1,106,000; and one $300,000 grant to a shared legal services interpreter bank.

Now Accepting Applications for Foreclosure Prevention and Community Redevelopment Projects

[District of Columbia, March 7, 2016] – The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) is now accepting applications from DC-based legal aid organizations for foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment legal assistance projects. The application is hosted on DCBF’s new online grants management system and due by 5:00 pm on Friday, April 8, 2016.

DCBF will award $950,000 for foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment legal assistance projects in mid-June 2016, with the grant year beginning July 1, 2016. Organizations can apply for one-, two- or three-year grants. Interviews will take place on May 10, 11 and 12, 2016. The funds were made available through a settlement on mortgage-related litigation between the U.S. Department of Justice and Citigroup. To start an application for these funds, visit our online grants management system here.

Jennifer L. Berger of Legal Counsel for the Elderly to Receive Annual Scoutt Prize

[District of Columbia, Feb. 5, 2016] – The District of Columbia Bar Foundation (DCBF) has selected Jennifer L. Berger, Esquire, as the recipient of the 2016 Jerrold Scoutt Prize. Ms. Berger is a Supervisory Attorney at Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE).

The prize is awarded annually to an attorney who has worked for a significant portion of his or her career at a nonprofit organization providing direct hands-on legal services to the needy in the District of Columbia, has demonstrated compassionate concern for his or her clients, and has exhibited a high degree of skill on their behalf.

In her ten years as Supervising Attorney at LCE, Ms. Berger has worked to advocate for elderly citizens experiencing difficulty in the housing area. In her nomination, Jan May, Executive Director of Legal Counsel for the Elderly, said of Jennifer: “She shows a dogged commitment to enhance the quality of life for low-income D.C. seniors through legal advocacy, social service, and public outreach.” Mr. May also praised Ms. Berger for her passion and determination to provide her clients with the best representation.

Young Lawyers Network Council Calls for Applications

[District of Columbia, Feb. 4, 2016] – The Young Lawyers Network (YLN) Leadership Council offers younger attorneys an opportunity to further the goal of access to justice in our community by working with the DC Bar Foundation—the leading funder of civil legal aid for the District’s poor and underserved. Members of the YLN Leadership Council are appointed to DC Bar Foundation Board committees, and serve as liaisons to the organization’s Board and Advisory Committee.

The DC Bar Foundation will add several new YLN Leadership Council members for a two-year term expiring June 30, 2018. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on May 2, 2016.

Now Accepting Applications for the FY16 Access to Justice Grants Program

[District of Columbia, Dec. 21, 2015] – The DC Bar Foundation has released the online application for the FY16 Access to Justice (ATJ) Grants Program for DC civil legal aid providers seeking project funding. The application is due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2016. Awards will be announced mid-March 2016.

The DC Bar Foundation will award grants to nonprofit legal aid providers located in the District of Columbia to fund direct civil legal aid to low-income DC residents in the following three areas: (a) underserved areas of the District of Columbia; (b) housing-related matters; and (c) to support a shared legal aid interpreter bank. Applications may be submitted for new projects and renewal of previously funded projects. The FY16 public grant funding period covers May 1, 2016 through April 30, 2017.

Third Annual Go Formal for Justice Gala Raises Nearly $60,000 for DC’s Civil Legal Aid Network

[District of Columbia, October 21, 2015] — On Saturday, October 17, the DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network hosted its third annual Go Formal for Justice gala, which raised nearly $60,000 for the District’s civil legal aid providers.

More than 250 guests attended the event, which was generously hosted by Mayer Brown LLP, and included entertainment from NYX Live, an open bar with local craft beer, wine, and liquor, spirits tastings by Virginia Distillery Company and Craft Wine & Spirits, a tarot card reader, and a silent auction. Auction items included a private Potomac River cruise, a Charlottesville wine tasting weekend, and a two-night staycation at the W Washington DC Hotel. Reduced-price public interest tickets were available for the event, and a number of tickets were donated for attorneys receiving loan repayment assistance from the Foundation.

DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network to Host Third Annual Go Formal for Justice Gala

[District of Columbia, October 9, 2015] – On Saturday, October 17, the DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network will host its third annual Go Formal for Justice Gala, to benefit the District’s civil legal aid network.

The black tie optional event will feature music by NYX Live, an open bar with local craft beer and liquor, a spirits tasting by Virginia Distillery Company, light hors d’oeuvres and desserts, red carpet photos, a tarot card reader, and a silent auction. Auction items include a private Potomac River cruise, a Charlottesville wine tasting weekend, and a two night staycation at the W Washington D.C. Hotel.

More than $243,000 Awarded to DC Legal Aid Organizations for Foreclosure Prevention and Community Redevelopment Legal Assistance

[District of Columbia, October 6, 2015] – The DC Bar Foundation has awarded more than $243,000 to five DC-based legal aid organizations for four projects providing foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment legal assistance.

The funding will:

1. Support legal aid attorneys who represent low-income and elderly DC residents in foreclosure cases;
2. Provide counsel to preserve affordable housing for Asian American tenants of Museum Square;
3. Hire an attorney to preserve the historic Deanwood neighborhood; and
4. Ensure that affordable housing properties in DC transition to market rate in a way that avoids displacement of low-income DC tenants.

$950,000 Available for Foreclosure Prevention and Community Redevelopment Grants

[District of Columbia, September 29, 2015] — The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) is pleased to announce $950,000 in available funding for foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment legal assistance provided by DC-based legal aid organizations that serve low-income DC residents.

The funds were made available through a settlement on mortgage-related litigation between the U.S. Department of Justice and Citigroup (Citi). The settlement provides $2.5 billion for consumer relief, including millions to select Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) programs. Through IOLTA, the interest from lawyer trust accounts is pooled to provide civil legal aid to the poor. It exists in every state, as well as the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. DCBF is the designated administrator of the District’s program.

DC Bar Foundation Seeks Scoutt Nominations

[District of Columbia, September 2, 2015] — The District of Columbia Bar Foundation is seeking nominations for the 24th annual Jerrold Scoutt Prize. A nominee must be an attorney who currently works full-time, or who has been employed full-time for a significant portion of his or her legal career, by a nonprofit organization that provides direct, hands-on legal services to poor or otherwise disadvantaged persons in the District of Columbia. The nominee must have demonstrated a compassionate concern for his or her clients while exhibiting a high degree of skill representing them.

The firm of Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger LLP created the prize in 1993 to honor the founding partner Jerrold Scoutt Jr. and sponsors it with a stipend of $2,500. Last year, Kathryn M. Doan, Executive Director of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, received the award for her exceptional work and dedication to human rights. Since the award’s creation, 25 outstanding public interest attorneys have received the Scoutt Prize. The prize will be presented during the 2016 DC Bar Judicial Reception on April 21, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.