Letter From the CEO

In 2019, our most vulnerable neighbors received more of the skilled, accessible, life-changing legal aid they needed – because of your support.

I am grateful for what we have achieved this year, in solidarity and partnership with you.
We are growing an ever-stronger local legal aid community. In tough times for many individuals and families who call the District home, we are addressing a substantial and ever-growing need. Our work helps ensure access to legal services for every District resident, regardless of ability to pay.

Three victories for our low-income neighbors this year were made possible by your support:

  • Awarding a record amount of grants. This will expand accessible services in our community and create a fairer legal experience for every resident.

    For 2020, we have announced $10.5 million in grants to 33 DC legal aid organizations that provide free services to thousands of residents in need. Our funding amplifies and mobilizes these organizations’ collective impact in a way none could achieve on their own.

  • Launching an evaluation of our Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program (CLCPP). This is the Foundation’s first-ever outcomes-based evaluation, which will allow us to better articulate our impact in DC. It will also provide us with data to recommend program changes to both the grantees, and to the DC City Council regarding how and what we can fund, so we can continue to channel our support to where it is needed the most. While this evaluation focuses on our eviction defense funding, the lessons we learn will inform all of our grantmaking.

  • Developing a new strategic plan. We have adopted a bold new guidepost: “To transform the civil legal aid network, working closely with all stakeholders, so District residents have a fair and equal legal experience.”

    This is a major shift from our previous strategic plan goals, which focused on financial growth, program efficiency, and becoming a model nonprofit. . We are now moving toward an externally-focused goal that calls for transforming the legal aid network through increased engagement, greater collaboration, and measuring impact and outcomes.

Though we made critical strides together in 2019, we must continue to address the need in our community. We have much work ahead, to achieve equal access to justice for every District resident.

Thank you for standing with us this year, for our neighbors who depend on a thriving legal aid network in times of dire need. Together we can make 2020 a transformative year for justice and equality in the District.

With gratitude,

Kirra L. Jarratt
Chief Executive Officer