Washington Lawyer

Legal Beat

From Washington Lawyer, February 2011

By Kathryn Alfisi

News and Notes on the D.C. Bar Legal Community

D.C. Bar Partners With Fastcase for Free Legal Research Access
Active and judicial members of the D.C. Bar can now access a comprehensive online law library with Fastcase, the newest member benefit offered by the Bar, starting February 1.

The D.C. Bar has partnered with Fastcase, a Washington, D.C.-based company that combines the best of legal research with the best of Web search, to provide active or judicial members with a powerful tool for finding the law.

“The D.C. Bar is thrilled to be joining the Fastcase family, which brings a comprehensive legal research library to our members’ fingertips at little or no cost. We are confident that this innovative and powerful program will quickly become the Bar’s most popular member benefit offering,” D.C. Bar Communications Director Cynthia Kuhn said.

To use the service, active or judicial members should go to the Bar’s Web site at www.dcbar.org, click on the Fastcase icon, and log in using their existing username and password for the Bar site. Members who do not recall their log in information can retrieve it from the log in page. If you experience problems logging into Fastcase, e-mail the D.C. Bar at memberservices@dcbar.org.

The Fastcase service for active or judicial members includes free access to D.C. and federal case law; users may add unlimited access to the full Fastcase law library for $195 per year, an 80 percent discount off the standard premium cost. Enterprise licenses are also available for law firms and organizations.

Fastcase was founded in 1999 and has more than 400,000 subscribers globally. It began providing member benefits to state bar associations in 2005 and has since signed member benefit agreements with 18 state bar associations and numerous voluntary and metropolitan bar associations.

D.C. Bar members can access Fastcase training and research support at no cost, available under the “Help Option” once you are logged into Fastcase. Members can also contact Fastcase directly from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1-866-773-2782 or support@fastcase.com. Additionally, Washington Lawyer readers can find a Fastcase primer on pages 28–31 of the February 2011 issue.—K.A.

D.C. Council Restores Majority of Civil Legal Services Funding
On December 7 the Council of the District of Columbia voted to restore most of the funding for civil legal services programs that former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty proposed to cut under his “gap-closing” budget plan for fiscal year 2011.

While arguing that the cuts were essential to stave off budget problems in 2011, council members voted to restore the Access to Justice Program’s grant level to $2.951 million, which represents a 10 percent cut versus the more than 50 percent reduction under Fenty’s plan.

The council also reinstated the full $221,000 budget for the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) that benefits legal services lawyers.

The programs stood to receive $3.279 million in May 2010, but by November the amount came under threat of being slashed following the discovery of a $188-million gap in the city’s budget. To address the shortfall, Fenty proposed to cut Access to Justice funding by $1.7 million and LRAP by more than $20,000.

The legal community rallied to fight these potential cuts. D.C. Bar President Ronald S. Flagg and D.C. Access to Justice Commission chair Peter Edelman testified before the council, urging District officials to maintain the previous budget approved in May. They were supported by the chief judges of both the D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals, the executive director of the D.C. Bar Foundation, and directors and staff of numerous legal services and social services organizations.

 “A disproportionate funding cut of the magnitude proposed by the Mayor would have a devastating impact on the ability of civil legal services providers to serve the District’s low-income residents—to keep families in their homes, to help children access health care and education, to help domestic violence victims and their children escape dangerous homes, and to protect the elderly against predatory lenders,” Flagg said in his testimony.

Edelman’s testimony focused on the importance of Access to Justice programs not only to the District’s residents, but also to the city’s economic recovery. “I urge you to keep in mind that this program actually saves the District money,” he said. “Every dollar cut from legal services does not just injure the individual who is denied assistance; it results in greater expenditures elsewhere, often in public dollars.”

“While we are deeply concerned about cuts to TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] and other safety net programs that vulnerable District residents rely on, we are extremely grateful that the council preserved the Access to Justice funding,” said Jessica Rosenbaum, executive director of the Access to Justice Commission. “The cuts to these safety net programs are likely to greatly increase the already urgent need for legal services. These funds will ensure that thousands of indigent residents have an advocate at their side when those things most precious to them—their children, their homes, their safety—are in jeopardy.”—T.L.

Bar Seeks Nominees for 2011 Rosenberg, Brennan Awards

The D.C. Bar is calling for nominations for its 2011 Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service and 2011 William J. Brennan Jr. Award. Both awards will be presented at the Bar’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on June 30.

The Rosenberg Award is presented annually to a D.C. Bar member whose career exemplifies the highest order of public service. The Bar established the award in honor of Beatrice “Bea” Rosenberg, who dedicated 35 years of her career to government service and performed with distinction at the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She also served as a member of the Board on Professional Responsibility.

In keeping with the exceptional accomplishments of Ms. Rosenberg, nominees should have demonstrated outstanding professional judgment throughout long-term government careers, worked intentionally to share their expertise as mentors to younger government lawyers, and devoted significant personal energies to public or community service. Nominees must be current or former employees of any local, state, or federal government agency. For more information on the Rosenberg Award criteria.

The Bar established the William J. Brennan Jr. and Thurgood Marshall awards in 1993, which are presented bi-annually in alternating years. Award recipients are recognized for their excellence, achievement, and commitment to civil rights and individual liberties. Candidates for the Brennan Award must be members of the D.C. Bar who have demonstrated excellence in dedication and commitment to public interest law.

Nominations for both the 2011 Rosenberg and Brennan awards should be submitted to Katherine A. Mazzaferri, Chief Executive Officer, District of Columbia Bar, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005-4210. The last day of submission is February 11.

For more information about the Brennan Award, e-mail brennanaward@dcbar.org; for information on the Rosenberg Award, e-mail rosenbergaward@dcbar.org. Information for both awards can be found at www.dcbar.org/awards.

To learn more about the 2011 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, which will be held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, visit www.dcbar.org/annual_meeting/index.cfm.

Bar Sections Announce Steering Committee Openings
The D.C. Bar Sections are seeking members interested in Steering Committee positions for all 21 sections. Members wishing to be considered should submit a Candidate Interest Form and résumé to the Sections Office by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, February 3. Candidate Interest Forms were mailed and also are available online.

Steering Committee vacancies are for three-year terms. Each section has one, two, or three available positions.

The Sections’ Nominating Committees will review all Candidate Interest Forms to find the best qualified, diverse candidates. Two to three candidates will be nominated for each position. Previous leadership experience with voluntary bar associations or with the Bar’s sections is highly desirable.

The elections will take place in the spring of 2011, and the results will be announced in June. The winning candidates will assume their new Steering Committee roles on July 1, 2011.

For more information and to view the complete list of vacancies visit Sections Elections.

Helping Hands
helpingChildren’s Law Center (CLC) Executive Director Judith Sandalow (left) was thankful for helpers such as Trisha Hall (center) and Jessica Abrahams of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, who were among those who volunteered to wrap Christmas gifts on December 10 and 11 at the CLC offices. Volunteers wrapped an estimated 3,500 toys, clothing, and other gifts donated for the CLC’s annual Holiday Hope Drive. The drive provided gifts to 722 children in the District of Columbia, many of whom live in foster or group homes, have survived abuse or neglect, or have health conditions. Sandalow thanked the volunteers for joining CLC on Christmas “to let our children forget their troubles and just be kids.”—K.A.

Sandman Leaves D.C. Public Schools to Lead Legal Services Corporation
James J. Sandman, former general counsel and chief legal officer of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), has been named president of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), an organization that provides civil legal aid for low-income Americans.

Sandman emerged as the “outstanding choice” of the LSC board following a nationwide search and interviews with a number of other “superbly qualified” candidates for the position.

“Jim is a very distinguished attorney admired by his colleagues for his service to the community and to the legal profession. He is an extraordinary leader and we are thrilled and excited that Jim is joining us as the corporation’s chief executive,” LSC chair John G. Levi said.

Prior to his role at DCPS, Sandman was managing partner at Arnold & Porter LLP, where he spent 30 years of his career. As president of the D.C. Bar from 2006 to 2007, Sandman made it a priority to encourage more pro bono work throughout the legal community, particularly spotlighting opportunities for attorneys in a wide spectrum of practice areas.

In addition, he has served on numerous boards, including the Bar’s Pro Bono Initiative Working Group, the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, the National Association for Law Placement Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, Wilkes University, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the Whitman-Walker Clinic.

“I’m very excited about serving as LSC President. The position provides a unique platform for improving access to justice for poor Americans. I look forward to working with LSC grantees, the national legal services community, pro bono lawyers, bar associations, and other groups across the country to make our legal system work better for those who can’t afford a lawyer.”

Sandman is chair of the Bar’s Pro Bono Committee, cochair of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, and a member of the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee.

Maureen Syracuse, executive director of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, said Sandman’s selection marks a “great day for legal services and for the community we strive to serve.”

“I can’t think of a better choice at this critical time to lead the Legal Services Corporation than Jim Sandman. He is deeply committed to public service and passionate about increasing access to justice,” Syracuse said.

LSC distributes about 95 percent of its total funding to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 900 offices that provide legal assistance to low-income individuals and families throughout the nation.—T.L.

BPR Seeks Volunteers for Hearing Committees
The Board on Professional Responsibility of the D.C. Court of Appeals is seeking D.C. Bar members and members of the public who are interested in serving on its Hearing Committees.

There are 12 Hearing Committees of the board assigned to hear lawyer discipline cases brought by Bar Counsel, and contested petitions for reinstatement filed by attorneys who are disbarred or suspended and required to prove fitness to practice as a condition of reinstatement. Each Hearing Committee is composed of two attorneys and one public member. Lawyer members must be members of the D.C. Bar. In addition to the 12 standing committees, there is a roster of alternate Hearing Committee members who serve when a regular member is unavailable.

In contested disciplinary and reinstatement cases, the Hearing Committees consider evidence and the testimony of witnesses taken under oath. Committees generally are guided, but not bound, by provisions or rules of court practice, procedure, pleading, and evidence. Contested hearings can range from a few hours to several days. At the conclusion of the hearing, the parties file briefs, and the committee drafts a report to the board, with findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a recommended sanction. Reports usually are drafted by the committee chair, but the drafting may be delegated to another member. Hearing Committees also consider petitions for negotiated discipline, conduct limited hearings on the petitions, and may reject the petition or recommend acceptance to the court. Each Hearing Committee considers three to five cases a year, and hearings are open to the public.

Hearing Committee members are appointed by the Board on Professional Responsibility and can serve two consecutive three–year terms.

If you are interested in serving on a Hearing Committee, please send a cover letter and résumé to Elizabeth J. Branda, Executive Attorney, Board on Professional Responsibility, 430 E Street NW, Suite 138, Washington, DC 20001, or e-mail dcboard@dcbpr.org.

Volunteers Needed for Banneker Science, Youth Law Fairs
The D.C. Bar Sections Office is seeking volunteers for the annual Benjamin Banneker Academic High School Science Fair on February 25 and the 12th Annual Youth Law Fair on March 19.

The Bar’s Intellectual Property Law Section has sponsored the science fair since 1996. This year’s fair will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Banneker High School, 800 Euclid Street NW.

Despite the subject matter, volunteers need not have a science degree or background to serve as judges. Volunteers will attend a prefair briefing before judging the students’ science projects, which will be divided into approximately 15 categories.

Individuals interested in volunteering for the science fair should contact Vanessa Taylor at vtaylor@dcbar.org.

The youth law fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Avenue NW.

This educational event brings together students, lawyers, judges, educators, and community leaders at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to explore issues facing students in the District. This year’s theme will focus on cyberbullying.

The fair is sponsored by the Superior Court and the D.C. Bar Litigation Section, and cosponsored by various Bar sections.

To volunteer, contact the Sections Office at 202-626-3463 or outreach@dcbar.org. See Youth Law Fair for more information.

Bar Members Must Complete Practice Course
New members of the District of Columbia Bar are reminded that they have 12 months from the date of admission to complete the required course on District of Columbia practice offered by the D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education Program.

D.C. Bar members who have been inactive, retired, or voluntarily resigned for five years or more also are required to complete the course if they are seeking to switch or be reinstated to active member status. In addition, members who have been suspended for five years or more for nonpayment of dues or late fees are required to take the course to be reinstated.

New members who do not complete the mandatory course requirement within 12 months of admission receive a noncompliance notice and a final 60-day window in which to comply. After that date, the Bar administratively suspends individuals who have not completed the course and forwards their names to the clerks of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and to the Office of Bar Counsel.

Suspensions become a permanent part of members’ records. To be reinstated, one must complete the course and pay a $50 fee.

The preregistration fee is $219; the on-site fee is $279. Upcoming dates are February 8, March 19, April 12, May 14, June 7, July 9, August 9, September 10, and October 4. Advanced registration is encouraged.

For more information or to register online, visit www.dcbar.org/mandatorycourse.

probonoWashington Council of Lawyers Honors Bar’s Syracuse
The Washington Council of Lawyers (WCL) honored D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program Executive Director Maureen Syracuse, among other awardees, for her contributions to public service during WCL’s annual awards reception on December 7.

Syracuse received the Presidents’ Award for dedicating her entire legal career to public service and for her contributions to the District’s pro bono community. She was introduced by former D.C. Bar president James Sandman, then general counsel for the D.C. Public Schools.

“She has proven herself to be a leader, an entrepreneur, an innovator, and a bridge builder. She is both sensitive and responsive to the needs of the unrepresented. She knows that providing access to justice is an issue you have to come at from many different directions and many different ways,” Sandman said. “It’s wonderful to see the Washington Council of Lawyers honor Maureen with the recognition she has never sought but so richly deserves.”

Upon accepting her award, Syracuse thanked the staff at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program and volunteer leaders like Sandman and current D.C. Bar President Ronald S. Flagg, who she said “have done so much to contribute to the best pro bono culture in the country.”

“I’m accepting this award at a time of great uncertainty and I want to encourage the [WCL] to continue to provide the leadership it has over the years in supporting public interest lawyers and promoting pro bono practice,” Syracuse said.

She added that the legal community is “in the midst of a perfect storm” brought about by “multiple and separate phenomena” that are affecting the delivery of civil legal services to the public.

“[F]irst, we have rapidly increasing poverty in this country and here in the District, which is increasing the need for civil legal services; next, we have staggering cutbacks in public, charitable, and other funding—this is funding for basic human services and for the civil legal services providers struggling to meet the growing needs of the community; and finally, we have had upheaval in the major law firm world, which has threatened the availability of pro bono resources that are such a critical component of the legal services system in the District,” Syracuse said.

Also honored that night were DLA Piper LLP, which received the Law Firm Pro Bono Contribution Award, and John Warshawsky of the Civil Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division with the Government Service Pro Bono Award.

The affair, held at Arnold & Porter LLP, also featured a keynote speech by Georgetown University Law Center dean William Treanor, who said that while the legal profession is facing a difficult period, it is also a time for lawyers to take stock of what their fundamental commitments are.—K.A.

AU Marks Law School’s Founding With 5-Month Event
American University Washington College of Law kicked off its five-month Founders’ Celebration 2011 in January, an affair that aims to bring together students, alumni, judges, and members of the District of Columbia and international legal community.

The celebration opened on January 11 with the roundtable discussion “WikiLeaks, the Espionage Act, and the First Amendment: The Law, Politics, and Policy of Prosecuting Julian Assange.” The forum was just one of 75 events that will examine the legal implications of some of today’s most controversial issues.

It will culminate with the law school’s 16th Inter–American Human Rights Moot Court Competition from May 23 to 27.

The Founders’ Celebration will feature legal experts who will cover a range of topics, including the divide over the Washington Redskins trademark, immigration policy, national security, and the Guantánamo detainees. In addition, there will be moot court competitions and alumni dinners.

Many of the programs also offer continuing legal education accreditation in business law, constitutional law, diversity, criminal justice, cultural property, environmental issues, family law, health law, human rights, immigration, intellectual properties, international commercial arbitration, international criminal justice, international law, military law, and national security.

The celebration honors Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett, who established the Washington College of Law in 1896, becoming the first law school in the nation founded by women.

The event celebrates ideas and innovation and hopes to encourage conversation as well as create opportunities to shape the legal issues facing the world today.

For more information, visit www.wcl.american.edu/secle/founders/2011/index.cfm.—T.L.

energyEnergetic Efforts
Duane Morris LLP partner Sheila Slocum Hollis (left) and Energy Bar Association (EBA) Executive Director Lorna Wilson were among those who graced the eighth annual fundraising gala of the Charitable Foundation of the Energy Bar Association on December 9, where Hollis was honored with the Paul E. Nordstrom Service Award. Hollis has been a member of the EBA for more than 25 years, was the first woman president of the Federal Energy Bar Association (the predecessor of the EBA), and was president of the Women’s Council on Energy and Environment.—K.A.

Clients’ Security Fund Seeks Trustee Candidates
The Clients’ Security Fund of the District of Columbia Bar (the Fund) will have two trustee vacancies occurring next September and October, respectively. The Fund reimburses clients for losses caused by the dishonest conduct of members of the D.C. Bar. The Fund represents a fundamental commitment by lawyers in the District of Columbia to protect the integrity of the profession.

The Fund is operated by five volunteer trustees appointed by the D.C. Court of Appeals to serve five-year terms. The trustees generally meet 10 times a year to review pending claims, discuss Fund policies and procedures, review the financial operations and condition of the Fund, and discuss methods to improve the claims process.

Bar members who wish to be considered should submit a résuméand cover letter by mail to D.C. Bar, Executive Office, 1101 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005-4210 or by fax to 1-866-926-2585. The deadline for submissions is January 31.

For more information about the Fund, please visit www.dcbar.org/csf.

Bar to Conduct Judicial Evaluations
The D.C. Bar Judicial Evaluation Committee has launched its 2010–2011 judicial evaluation program. This year, more than 4,800 attorneys are invited to evaluate the performance of 28 judges who preside over the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

The selected attorneys have appeared before the judges in the 24-month period prior to the evaluation. Invited attorneys can submit a hard copy or online response. All participants will remain anonymous. The deadline for responses is January 28.

This year, the following D.C. Court of Appeals judges will be evaluated: James A. Belson, John W. Kern III, Frank Q. Nebeker, and John M. Steadman.

The following D.C. Superior Court judges will be evaluated: John M. Campbell, Russell F. Canan, Harold L. Cushenberry Jr., Carol Ann Dalton, Herbert B. Dixon Jr., Anthony C. Epstein, Henry F. Greene, John R. Hess, Alfred S. Irving Jr., Gregory Jackson, John Ramsey Johnson, Anita Josey-Herring, Richard A. Levie, Bruce S. Mencher, Zinora M. Mitchell-Rankin, Truman A. Morrison III, Thomas J. Motley, John M. Mott, Heidi M. Pasichow, Michael L. Rankin, Nan R. Shuker, Robert S. Tignor, Fred B. Ugast, and Curtis Von Kann.

Active judges are evaluated in their 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 13th year of service. Additionally, senior judges are evaluated during the second year of their four-year terms and once during their two-year terms (some serve four-year terms, others serve two–year terms).

Each evaluated judge, along with the chief judge of each court, will receive a copy of the survey results. Evaluation results of all senior judges and active judges in their 6th, 10th, and 13th year of service also will be sent to the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure.—K.A.

Reach D.C. Bar staff writers Kathryn Alfisi and Thai Phi Le at kalfisi@dcbar.org and tle@dcbar.org, respectively.

trendsBringing Constitutional Literacy to High School Students
It was your typical Sunday morning talk show format. You might have even called the debate format “boring,” says Jamin Raskin, a professor at American University (AU) Washington College of Law. But in October 1997, Shades of Gray, a monthly cable TV show produced by Montgomery Blair High School students in Maryland, created a stir that would serve as a launching pad for a national program to teach high school students about their constitutional rights.

The focus of the show’s October episode: gay marriage, a divisive topic even today, but considered risqué more than a decade ago. Two conservatives and two liberals engaged in a lively discussion that Raskin calls the “best public debate I’ve ever seen on the subject.”

The show was censored by school authorities, put on the shelf with no plans to air it. One of the students knew of Raskin’s work to defend civil liberties and called for help. Can the school do this, the student asked. Raskin told the students to send an e-mail to school authorities and ask why the show could not be aired.

“Forty-five minutes later, they get an e-mail back that says, ‘You can tell Professor Raskin that our reason for not running the show had nothing to do with the content of the speech. It was because of what the speakers were saying,’” Raskin recalls. “That’s about as close to a smoking gun as you are going to find in a First Amendment case.”

During the appeals process, the show was endorsed by the student council, the school’s Parent Teacher Association, and eventually the school principal. Even The Washington Times wrote an editorial in the students’ favor. As Raskin helped, he taught the students about relevant U.S. Supreme Court cases whose arguments they used as they appealed their case to the school board. In the end, the board voted to run the show.

Following the win, Raskin was deluged with requests from high school students across the country. “I realized that I’m not going to be able to represent all these kids, but . . . I wanted to write a book for high school students about their rights and what the Supreme Court has said because the schools that should be teaching students about their rights are trampling on their rights.”

The seeds for the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project were planted.

Balancing Rights and Responsibilities
In 1999 Raskin, with the help of fellow AU professor Stephen Wermiel, created the Marshall-Brennan Project in honor of Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan Jr. Supported by the justices’ widows Cissy Marshall and the late Mary Brennan, the project places AU law students with local high schools to teach constitutional law.

In its first year, the project had 20 Marshall-Brennan fellows teaching at eight high schools in the Washington metropolitan region. Many schools were apprehensive about the project, fearing a slew of lawsuits from students.

“What we explained to them was that if you teach kids about their rights, you’re really teaching them about the balance of rights and responsibilities,” Raskin says. “A legal education arms you with the intellectual self-defense that you need to be an effective citizen.”

Around 50 fellows are chosen to participate in the program each year. They are placed in groups of two or four, depending on whether the high school is on a block schedule or if the class meets every day. In a group of four, a pair will teach on Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday, while the other pair takes Tuesday, Thursday, and the alternate Friday. One pair teaches theory and case law; the other covers lab, which focuses on the more interactive moot court process.

To prepare for the classroom, all fellows attend weekly seminars to learn the material as well as discuss issues in education law and policy. In addition, education specialists and former fellows train them on different learning techniques.

Constitution in the Classroom
For the Marshall-Brennan fellows, learning how to juggle the demands of law school and teaching up to three classes a week is key. “It helps us bring some balance to our life that I think a lot of law students miss out being holed up in the library,” Jordan Miller says. Her teaching partner Emily Petrino adds, “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a different kind of work than your other classes because you have so many other people depending on you.”

Together they tackle a classroom of up to 17 students at Anacostia High School. Miller and Petrino teach moot court, showing students how to prepare oral arguments and debate. Moot court is one of the most popular aspects of the course, featuring local competitions and a national event in Philadelphia each year.

While certainly a résumé builder, Marshall-Brennan fellows see the project’s reward in their students’ success. “We see that transformation in a lot of them where it goes from thinking, ‘I’m not going to college. Why even bother doing this?’ to ‘It’s a possibility if I decide to apply myself,’” Miller says.

Maurice* was one of those students, the type of kid you pulled out of the classroom because he was distracting everyone, but whose potential was obvious. Miller and Petrino continually reached out to him, and by the end of his senior year, Maurice was meeting with them after school for college application help. In January, he started his first semester at the University of the District of Columbia, becoming the first in his family to attend college.

Extending Its Reach
The Marshall-Brennan Project’s reach has been extensive. The program has chapters around the nation and one in Cape Town, South Africa. An Australian university may also launch the program abroad.

In the end, Raskin has high hopes for the students. “I want them to take away the idea that it’s hard to be a good democratic citizen. You have to study. You have to analyze. You have to criticize. You have to both defend your rights and accept your responsibilities.”—T.L.

*Last name withheld.

Reach D.C. Bar staff writers Kathryn Alfisi and Thai Phi Le at kalfisi@dcbar.org and tle@dcbar.org, respectively.