As 2017 comes to an end, we reflect on all that has been accomplished, and even more on all that is still left to do. December is a time for holiday cheer, as well as helping our DC neighbors secure equal access to justice. I would like to thank all of you for your continuous support of the Foundation’s initiatives, both new and ongoing.
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH) has been standing for, and with, DC residents struggling with poverty and homelessness since 1986. The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) was the first funder to support WLCH on the day they opened their doors over 30 years ago.
We invite you to join our newly established 77 Society, a mid-level donor society created to recognize the generosity of individuals donating toward our cause of providing civil legal aid to all residents in need of it. The 77 Society is named for the year in which DCBF was founded, in recognition of how far we have all come in working to provide for District residents in need of legal services.
Each month, we highlight your efforts to make the justice system more accessible for DC residents. This Partner Profile features Daniel Rezneck, Senior Assistant at the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia. He is a founding member of the DC Bar Foundation, a member of our Past President’s Council, and the inaugural Chair of the 77 Society. Thank you for your service to the Foundation, and to all DC residents, Mr. Rezneck.
As November comes to an end, on behalf of everyone at the DC Bar Foundation, I would like to give thanks to you, our civil legal aid community. Whether through your nomination of a Scoutt Prize recipient, your support of your workplace’s Go Casual for Justice day, your advocacy on behalf of a client, or your service with any or our grantees, it is your ongoing participation that creates a lasting impact on DC residents in poverty who need legal support.
The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) values its longstanding relationships with lesser known organizations that focus on sometimes forgotten segments of the DC community. For many years, DCBF and its donors, through our private grant program, have supported the work of a part-time lawyer at University Legal Services (ULS).
November marks the kickoff of Call to Action, the Foundation’s largest annual fundraising campaign. Through this initiative, and the generosity of area law firms and corporations, our private grants program continues to provide critical resources to civil legal aid organizations throughout the District.
On October 26, Morgan Lewis & Bockius hosted us for the 2017 DC IOLTA Bank Summit. The summit was co-hosted with the DC Bar, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and the Board on Professional Responsibility, and brought together many of the banks that participate in the DC IOLTA Program, including Prime Partners Colombo Bank, Congressional Bank, and Industrial Bank.
This September, the DC Consortium of Legal Services Providers (the “Consortium”) released a final report, with funding from the DC Bar Foundation, on the Community Listening Project, which began nearly five years ago to identify challenges and barriers low-income DC residents face in overcoming poverty.
Each month, we highlight the efforts of those who work to make the justice system more accessible for DC residents. This Partner Profile features Ron Flagg, Vice President for Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Legal Services Corporation, and one of our 2018 Call to Action campaign co-chairs.
Today, there are more than 110,000 DC residents living in poverty. As this number continues to grow, so does the overwhelming need for civil legal aid. Together, the DC Bar Foundation and our grantees help provide access to legal representation for those who need it most. Our work, however, cannot be accomplished without the ongoing support of others in the legal aid community, our volunteers, and our donors. Two weeks ago, we celebrated these relationships at our annual Fall Reception, where we engaged with DCBF community members and discussed the Foundation’s work.
The DC Bar Foundation values grantees that demonstrate thoughtful and effective use of pro bono work because strong pro bono relationships maximize free legal services provided to low-income DC residents. The legal aid lawyers we fund work side by side with pro bono lawyers on thousands of cases to multiply the millions of dollars we award each year. If not for our dedicated grantees and their network of pro bono lawyers, the needs of these residents would be even greater. In honor of the kick-off of DCBF’s Go Casual for Justice campaign, we would like to take the opportunity to highlight Sidley Austin LLP as the defending Go Casual leader and a strong supporter of DC’s legal aid organizations, providing thousands of hours of pro bono support to our grantees and others.
The DC Bar Foundation’s annual Go Casual for Justice campaign kicked off on Monday, October 23rd. Go Casual is a denim-day fundraiser in which organizations around the District raise money in support of DCBF and the District’s civil legal aid community. Employees at participating workplaces are encouraged to make a donation in order to dress down during their office’s designated “Go Casual Day.”
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