DC Bar Foundation Awards Over $319,000 to FY15 Loan Repayment Assistance Program Applicants

[District of Columbia, Dec. 17, 2014] — The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) announced the recipients of its two loan repayment assistance programs (LRAP) for FY15. More than $319,000 was awarded to 69 civil legal services lawyers, who provide direct civil legal services to low-income, underserved DC residents. They will receive an interest-free loan from DCBF to help pay their monthly student loan payments from January to December 2015, at which time these interest-free loans will be forgiven.

Board President Marc Fleischaker, Chair Emeritus of Arent Fox LLP, said, “The Bar Foundation is extremely pleased that we are able to help attorneys continue in their careers as poverty lawyers. There is a critical need for lawyers willing to work in the public interest for less money than they would otherwise make, and when we can help bring access to justice to lower income individuals, the entire community benefits.”

Since 2007, DCBF has run two loan repayment assistance programs: the DC Poverty Lawyer Loan Repayment Assistance Program (DC LRAP) and the DC Bar Foundation LRAP (DCBF LRAP).

“The goal of LRAP is to enable DC legal services providers to recruit and retain talented lawyers to work on behalf of the District’s low-income, underserved residents. This year, we had a 30 percent increase in LRAP applications from last year, which means there are now more lawyers to provide direct civil legal services to those DC residents most in need,” said Imoni Washington, Director of Programs of the DC Bar Foundation.

The DC LRAP is funded by the Council of the District of Columbia for law school loan repayment assistance to lawyers who live and work in DC. At the direction of the Council, and pursuant to a grant agreement with the District of Columbia’s Office of Victim Services, DCBF lends its expertise to the District by identifying, awarding, and monitoring DC LRAP. The DCBF LRAP has no residency requirement, although all participants must work in the District. Private contributions, revenue from the Go Formal gala and the Go Casual city-wide denim event, and interest on certain trust accounts fund the DCBF LRAP.

For both loan repayment assistance programs, the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP provides a team of volunteer paralegals and lawyers to assist with the application process, administration, and monitoring.

The DC Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1977, is the largest funder of civil legal services in the District. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia, and it is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. The Foundation provides grants and training and technical assistance to local non-profit legal services organizations and awards loans to D.C. poverty lawyers to help with their educational debt.

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DC Bar Foundation Sponsors NITA Training for DC’s Public Interest Lawyers

The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) and the DC Bar Courts, Lawyers and Administration of Justice Section and Litigation Section co-sponsored a four-day National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) basic litigation skills training, from October 22 to October 25, 2014. Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan LLP generously donated its state-of-the-art conference space to host the training and lent its events and facilities staff to assist with logistics. Twenty-four public interest lawyers from 15 legal service providers attended the training, which was graciously discounted by NITA.

This is the second time that DCBF has hosted a NITA training, which provides public interest attorneys with direct, hands-on training to improve their litigation and advocacy skills. Kelly White, Staff Attorney at Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, said, “The NITA program pushes you to think on your feet in a wonderful way. The instructors are captivating and offer clear ways to enhance trial practice. I am now a stronger advocate for the immigrant families and asylum seekers that CAIR Coalition serves.”

Six experienced volunteer instructors led lectures and workshops over the first three days, with mock trials taking place on the fourth day. Additionally, 12 volunteers from five local law schools assisted with the training’s day-of logistics. Three DC judges joined the volunteer instructors to preside over the mock trials, while the volunteer instructors gave critiques to the participants.

The NITA training is one of many that the Foundation organizes and sponsors for attorneys working at legal services providers as part of DCBF’s training and technical assistance program. “We are thrilled with this opportunity for two of our very talented, new attorneys,” said Daniel Bruner, Director of Legal Services at Whitman-Walker Health. “NITA trainings are renowned but ordinarily beyond our limited financial means. Thanks to the generosity of the Bar Foundation, DC Bar, Sutherland and NITA, our clients will benefit from our attorneys’ enhanced advocacy skills.”

The DC Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1977, is the largest funder of civil legal services in the District. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia, and it is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. The Foundation provides grants and training and technical assistance to local non-profit legal services organizations and awards loans to D.C. poverty lawyers to help with their educational debt.

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DC Bar Foundation Seeks Scoutt Nominations – 10/21/14

The District of Columbia Bar Foundation seeks nominations for the 23rd 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 honor of founding partner Jerrold Scoutt Jr. and sponsors it with a stipend of $2,500. Since the award’s creation in 1993, there have been 23 outstanding public interest attorneys who have been recipients. The prize will be presented during the 2015 DC Bar Judicial Reception on May 15, 2015.

Nominations must be in writing, and include the nominee’s curriculum vitae. Articles of interest and letters of support are encouraged. Submit nominations and supporting material by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 to jarratt@dcbarfoundation.org (preferred) or in hard copy (6 copies required) to the District of Columbia Bar Foundation, 1420 New York Avenue NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20005-6210. Requests for further information should be addressed to Kirra L. Jarratt by email at jarratt@dcbarfoundation.org.

The DC Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1977, is the largest funder of civil legal services in the District. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia, and it is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. The Foundation provides grants and training and technical assistance to local non-profit legal services organizations and awards loans to D.C. poverty lawyers to help with their educational debt.

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DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network Raises Nearly $64,000 in Second Annual “Go Formal for Justice”

Washington, D.C.—On Saturday, October 18, the DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network hosted more than 300 young lawyers and others in its second annual gala event, “Go Formal for Justice,” to raise almost $64,000 for the Foundation, topping last year’s proceeds by $9,000.

DCBF executive director, Kirra L. Jarratt said, “The Young Lawyers Network did a phenomenal job creating a signature event to benefit DC’s legal services providers. We are so thankful for the guests, sponsors, and auction donors who helped make this year’s event such a success.”

The black tie event, held in the dazzling lobby at Mayer Brown LLP’s K Street office, included entertainment from Crazy in Stereo; spirits tastings by Leopold Brothers, Green Hat Gin, and Virginia Distillery Company; craft beer and liquor from Devils Backbone, Green Hat Gin, Copper Fox, Lyon Distillery Company, Virginia Distillery Company, A. Smith Bowman, and Belmont Farms Distillery; a photo booth; a tarot card reader; and a silent auction featuring a set visit for a taping of “The NFL Today,” a wine weekend in Charlottesville, a private boat trip on the Potomac, and a personalized signed copy of Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices. An after-party was held at Crepeaway, which donated 20% of their proceeds from 12am to 1am to the Foundation.

The event was chaired by Courtney Weiner of Lewis Baach PLLC and Alison Lima Andersen of Arent Fox LLP. Weiner, also the co-chair of the Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council, said, “We were thrilled to be able to throw a great party that brought young lawyers out to support the Bar Foundation.” DC Bar Foundation president Marc Fleischaker of Arent Fox LLP said, “This is fast becoming a special tradition in the Washington legal community.”

“Go Formal for Justice” coincides with the start of Pro Bono Week, celebrated nationwide from October 19 through 25, which ends with the Foundation’s “Go Casual for Justice” jeans day fundraiser, a city-wide event where employees at participating workplaces donate $5 or more to wear jeans to work. The proceeds of both events benefit the District’s legal aid providers.

The DC Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1977, is the largest funder of civil legal services in the District. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia, and it is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. The Foundation provides grants and training and technical assistance to local non-profit legal services organizations and awards loans to D.C. poverty lawyers to help with their educational debt.

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DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network to “Go Formal for Justice” in Second Annual Gala

On Saturday, October 18, the DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network will host its second annual gala event, “Go Formal for Justice,” to benefit the Foundation. The black tie optional event will feature a performance by Crazy in Stereo, open bar featuring local craft beer and liquor, desserts from Cake Love, light hors d’oeuvres, photo booth, tarot card reader, craft liquor tasting with Leopold Brothers, Green Hat Gin, and Virginia Distillery Company, and a silent auction. The many auction items include a set visit for a taping of “The NFL Today,” a wine weekend in Charlottesville, a private boat trip on the Potomac, and scripts for the pilot episodes of “The Good Wife” and “Suits” signed by members of the casts. Last year, this event had a sold-out attendance of approximately 350 young lawyers and other professionals, and raised more than $55,000 to fund, support, and improve the legal services network in DC.

The DC Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the leading funder of civil legal services in the District of Columbia. It is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia. Go Formal for Justice is scheduled to coincide with the start of Pro Bono Week (October 19-25, 2014) and complements the “Go Casual for Justice” jeans day fundraiser happening that week at 100+ law firms that has benefited the Foundation’s programs for the past five years.

Please visit www.dcbarfoundation.org for more information about the DC Bar Foundation.  The event will take place from 8 pm to 12 am, at Mayer Brown, 1999 K St., NW.

The DC Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1977, is the largest funder of civil legal services in the District. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia, and it is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. The Foundation provides grants and training and technical assistance to local non-profit legal services organizations and awards loans to D.C. poverty lawyers to help with their educational debt.

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