Posts Tagged ‘Issue 28 (November 2018)’

News of Note

Combined Federal Campaign is Underway

We are participating in the 2018 Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area, which began in late September and continues to January 11, 2019. The CFC is the official workplace giving campaign of the federal government. If you are a federal employee and would like to support our efforts to strengthen DC’s civil legal aid network, use designation code: #87057. Find out more about our involvement in the CFC here.

Will You Answer Our “Call to Action”?

Each year through our Call to Action initiative, generous support from local law firms and businesses makes access to justice possible for District residents who need legal resources. Support the Foundation’s Call to Action by donating on our website or filling out our printable donation form.

Host a Go Casual Event at Your Workplace:

This year, our legal aid community celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Go Casual for Justice dress-down campaign. So far, 37 workplaces have signed up to participate- help us reach our goal of 60 participating workplaces! Register by emailing, and learn more about Go Casual on our website.

We’re Hiring!

Are you interested in rewarding work promoting equal access to justice in the District? The DC Bar Foundation is hiring additional programs staff to join our hardworking team. See details here.


Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

During this season of thanks, we at the DC Bar Foundation are grateful for more than 40 years of opportunities to do what we do.

Ensuring equal access to justice for every District resident, regardless of income, is our calling. And families like Ms. T’s are why we continue to be compelled to do this work.

At age 64, Ms. T was facing eviction. She was also in hospice, and one of her two disabled sons was confined to a bed. Ms. T paid her rent devotedly, but the local housing authority’s voucher program withheld more than $6,300 in back rent, due to housing code violations in the unit. In addition, her family was not receiving adequate home health care assistance. It was a frightening time.

Through the combined efforts of our grantee Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) and other local partners, Ms. T and her sons were spared eviction and began receiving better home health care. They now live in a wheelchair-accessible unit complete with an elevator. In fact, Ms. T is no longer in hospice due to improvements in her medical condition – contributed to by her new living conditions.

Ms. T and her sons got the legal help they needed, but couldn’t afford, because of a four-decades-strong partnership. From our very beginning in the late 1970s when both organizations were new, the DC Bar Foundation forged a powerful bond in service with LCE. And for the past 40 years, we have championed the dignity and rights of our most vulnerable neighbors together.

This and many other valued relationships are the foundation for all we do, allowing us to provide unique, full-spectrum support and sustainability for DC legal aid. It is life-changing for those in our community who need it most. We give thanks for each of you who make it possible!


Kirra L. Jarratt
Executive Director

Giving Tuesday is Today, November 27!

This month marks the 7th annual Giving Tuesday campaign, a global giving initiative that kicks off the charitable season. On the heels of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday – this year on November 27 – allows each of us to make a difference, through gifts to the DC Bar Foundation and other nonprofit organizations.

Donating to DCBF on Giving Tuesday is an easy yet powerful way to make an impact on the legal aid community in Washington, DC. Your gift empowers vulnerable DC residents as they navigate a confusing and often isolating legal landscape.

Support the Foundation this Giving Tuesday by making a gift on our website. Thank you for your generosity!

Supervision Skills Training Benefits DC Legal Professionals

This summer, the DC Bar Foundation hosted a two-day Supervision Skills Training at Sidley Austin LLP, geared toward legal aid professionals whose organizations lack the budget for professional development opportunities.

The training introduced skills and systems for strong organizational supervision, supporting attendees to become effective supervisors who encourage innovation, nurture talents, support diversity, and reward hard work.

Cindy Kim, Supervising Attorney with the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, gave our July training a five-star rating. As a first-time participant in supervision training, Cindy said the course gave her a solid framework for leadership. She appreciated that the material was tangible and easily applicable to her daily routine. Specifically, by learning about different leadership styles, Cindy was able to better understand her own strengths and weaknesses, using that knowledge to maximize her leadership potential.

We aim to host more of these trainings in the future, ensuring that our legal partners have the tools to build strong teams and provide high-quality legal services across the District.

Partner Profile: Mark Johnson-Lewis

Each month we highlight an individual working to make the justice system more accessible to DC residents. This month features Mark Johnson-Lewis, Evaluation and Impact Manager at the Foundation and one of our newest DCBF team members!


Evaluation and Impact Manager

Years on the Job


Where did you grow up?

Williamstown, MA; Nairobi, Kenya; and Gaborone, Botswana.

What was your first job in DC and what did you learn?

I started as a research assistant at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. I learned a ton about membership organizations, politics, program management, research, evaluation, K-16 education. OK, I was there for almost 9 years, so… I learned a lot.


Daily Habit


Favorite Movie

Diva (1981)

One Item from your Bucket List

A cabin in Tunbridge, VT.


Farming, camping, bourbon.

Guilty Pleasure

James Bond movies. But not the ones with Timothy Dalton.