Pro Bono Program: Advancing a Proud Tradition of Public Service
The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program provides opportunities for D.C. Bar members to engage in pro bono service—part of every attorney’s professional responsibility and a proud tradition at our Bar. We are committed to making pro bono legal assistance available for our neighbors living in poverty in Washington, D.C.
The Pro Bono Program depends entirely on voluntary participation: no member is compelled to provide pro bono service. Yet each year hundreds of Bar members choose to serve as pro bono legal counsel. We facilitate their participation by providing extensive training in selected practice areas, and offering a diverse range of volunteer opportunities that are convenient, effective, and rewarding.
Our Advocacy and Justice Clinic matches low–income clients with volunteer attorneys from major law firms and federal agencies. The Pro–Se–Plus Divorce and Custody Clinics assist unrepresented individuals who want to file an uncontested divorce or address custody issues outside the divorce process. The Bankruptcy Clinic provides representation to those individuals who qualify. The Advice and Referral Clinic and new Immigration Clinic bring attorneys to low–income neighborhoods where legal assistance is most needed, providing individuals with face–to–face advice on a wide range of civil matters, including immigration, probate, public benefits, custody, and housing. Volunteers assist unrepresented litigants at D.C. Superior Court at four resource centers operated by the Pro Bono Program: the Landlord Tenant Resource Center, the Probate Resource Center, the Tax Sale Resource Center, and the Consumer Law Resource Center. The Community Economic Development (CED) Project pairs business and transactional attorneys with community–based nonprofit organizations that provide social services, build housing, and foster economic development. The CED Project also assists small, disadvantaged businesses serving the District’s low–income neighborhoods.
The Pro Bono Program also maintains two web–based resources—probono.net/dc and LawHelp.org/dc—that provide pro bono attorneys with access to helpful materials and expertise, and inform thepublic about the law and referral resources. In addition to volunteering their time, thousands of Bar members make voluntary financial contributions that sustain the Pro Bono Program. The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program has repeatedly been praised, honored with national awards, and celebrated as a model for other bars.
The D.C. Bar is supported entirely by volunteer contributions. Dues cannot be used to fund Pro Bono Program activities. Consequently, contributions of time and money from Bar members are an indispensable component of fulfilling our mission: serving the pro bono needs of the District’s low–income community and providing pro bono opportunities for Bar members. We invite you to support the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program as a contributor and as an active participant in pro bono service.
You can include a tax–deductible contribution to the Pro Bono Program along with your dues statement. You can also visit our Web site to make a payment, register for a training session, or find more information about the Pro Bono Program and volunteer opportunities. Contact the Pro Bono Program at 202-737-4700.