As I reflect on our recent announcement of new grant awards, I want to share a colleague’s story. Imoni Washington, Director of Programs at the DC Bar Foundation, is a DC native. She grew up in a middle-class family with a Foreign Service Officer dad, stationed for many years in West Africa. There she witnessed deep poverty, and vividly remembers visiting slave castles as a child. She later attended a Quaker high school focused on community service and equality, further shaping her vision.
Over the past year, DC Bar Foundation has awarded nearly $3.5 million for free legal assistance to low-income DC tenants facing eviction. (More than triple 2017’s awards!) Our longtime grantee DC Law Students in Court (DCLSIC) is among these recipients, awarded $777,000 this year to provide free-same day representation in eviction cases at DC Superior Court.
A young, skilled attorney is passionate about providing civil legal aid to low-income clients. She grew up with economic challenges herself, and was the first in her family to attend a four-year college—let alone law school. But she’s now saddled with law school debt and challenged by the DC-area’s cost of living. Local legal aid nonprofits face a barrier to recruiting her, because they can’t offer salaries competitive enough to meet these realities. Sound familiar?
Since 2007 the DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) has funded the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), providing 12-month, interest-free loans for educational debt, making it possible for skilled attorneys to work in legal aid. And because of LRAP, DC’s legal aid community can recruit talented, high-quality lawyers from around the country.
Applause for the team at Arnold & Porter, who raised more than $6,000 for access to justice in DC — just by going casual at the office!
Members of our Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council (YLN LC) serve as ambassadors for the Foundation’s mission and programs and cultivate resources to support DC legal aid providers. Submit your application by 5 p.m., Friday, August 3.
Dear Friends, Today we each have an extraordinary opportunity to show up for our local community. May 17-18, the Do More 24 campaign hosted by United Way of the National Capital Area spotlights more than 700 DMV nonprofits. It invites you and me to join forces for the causes we care about, right here at home. May 17-18, your Do More 24 gift to the DC Bar Foundation makes a powerful statement: You believe in equal access to justice for the District’s most vulnerable citizens. You are making it possible. And your gift creates life-changing outcomes for DC residents who desperately need civil legal aid. Here’s how:
Marilyn and Fred Johnson were a long-married couple in their 50s, living on a limited income. When both of their elderly mothers became ill, they faced an agonizing situation. To provide necessary care, Marilyn and Fred needed to leave their apartment of many years. They tried negotiating with the rental management company, who instead sued them for the $4,223 remaining on the lease.
Members of our Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council (YLN LC) serve as ambassadors for the Foundation’s mission and programs, as well as cultivating resources to support DC legal aid providers. Submit your forms and supporting documentation by 5 p.m., Friday, August 3.