Posts Tagged ‘Issue 10 (February 2017)’

Washington Monument in the snow

Letter from the Executive Director

As we enter the Foundation’s 40th year, we are taking a step back to reflect on all we’ve done in that time, with the help of you, our community partners. Through the last four decades, we have provided funding and resources to empower people, protect families, and strengthen communities across the District. Take a moment to read a story about a DC resident who received critical legal help through DCBF’s funding, the recipient of our annual Jerrold Scoutt Prize for exceptional legal services attorneys, and about our Call to Action Co-Chair, Shirley Higuchi, in our Partner Profile. We’re proud of everything we’ve been able to achieve together in 40 years to make justice more accessible for some of DC’s most vulnerable populations, but there is still much work to be done. This year, be a part of that, and join us in fighting for access to justice.
Kirra L. Jarratt, Executive Director
DC Volunteer Lawyers Project

Stories from our Grantees

Read about the work of our grantees and the clients they have helped, this month, from DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.

A young woman had her first child when she was 15, and her abusive, on and off relationship continued with the father of her child for another 8 years, eventually resulting in a second child.  Throughout the eight years, their relationship had been marked by serious violence; the young woman had been punched, choked, threatened, and pushed down the stairs while pregnant with their second child. Her partner had also destroyed property during his outbursts, punching holes in the walls, breaking windows and doors. The young woman had obtained 5 protection orders during this time, some of which she had been persuaded to vacate. Finally, when her pre-teen daughter no longer wanted to live at home, she came to DCVLP looking for help to get out of this relationship. With the help of DCVLP, she was able to obtain a divorce, sole custody of their children, and the extension of a civil protection order that had previously been violated. She has now started to move on with her life.

Shirley Higuchi

Partner Profile: Shirley Higuchi

We regularly highlight the efforts of those who work to make our justice system more accessible and equitable for all. This Partner Profile features Shirley Higuchi, Co-Chair for DCBF’s Call to Action.

Shirley Ann Higuchi

Head of Legal & Regulatory Affairs

American Psychological Association

Years on the Job

Where did you grow up?
Ann Arbor, MI

What brought you to DC?
Georgetown Law School

What was your first job in DC, and what did you learn?
Associate, EPSTEIN BECKER GREEN. I learned healthcare law during a transformative time.


Daily Habit

Favorite app

Favorite Movie
Sound of Music

Favorite Restaurant

Favorite Vacation Spot

Guilty Pleasure
Red wine

One Item from your Bucket List
Horse back ride in Ireland

Yoga, horseback riding & health and wellness

Late Senator Daniel K. Inouye

Your News Source
USATODAY & Washington Post

One thing (other than your phone) you never leave the house without is…
Sun screen

You get to paint a mural on the side of the White House. What do you paint?
My photo with the Obamas


Most rewarding element of your work
It ties in well with social justice & policy

Biggest failure and what you learned
Not listening and being aware- I learned to listen

Three main challenges you faced early in your career
One of the few women, being Asian & mentorship

If I hadn’t become a lawyer, I would be…
Capitol Park police on horseback

If I weren’t working at American Psychological Association, I would be…
In the Japanese American Incarceration community


Legal aid is important to me because . . .
It’s doing the right thing

My dream for the legal system is…
To have it adequately funded

The most pressing civil legal aid issue in DC is….
Access to services

Little known fact about your organization
Cutting edge legal work in parity implementation


Want to be featured in an upcoming DCBF Newsletter? Fill out our Partner Profile Survey and tell us about your part in DC’s legal aid community.