D.C. Firms Raise Nearly $6M to Increase Access to Justice

By Jeffery Leon

May 17, 2019

Raising the Bar Image

On May 15 the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission hosted its Raising the Bar in D.C. campaign breakfast, honoring the 43 participating firms that together raised nearly $6 million in 2018 to help serve low-income District residents with urgent legal issues.

Held at the offices of Sidley Austin LLP, the event was attended by distinguished guests Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the D.C. Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Robert Morin of the D.C. Superior Court, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson, and D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen of Ward 6. The event opened with remarks from Dr. Peter Edelman, chair of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission, who provided updates on the contributions received in the past year.

Twenty-nine firms contributed .11 percent of their D.C. office revenue toward the campaign, reaching platinum-level-giving status. Eight firms gave .09 percent (gold level), while six firms contributed .075 percent (silver level).

In the past year, five firms increased their commitment and moved from gold to platinum level: Arnold & Porter LLP, Crowell & Moring LLP, DLA Piper, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. One firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, was welcomed into the Leadership Circle. Since the beginning of the campaign in 2011, aggregate giving has increased more than $3 million.

In her remarks, Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby thanked the firms for their service over the past year, adding that there will always be a need for more help for the District’s most at-risk communities. “What you do matters more that we can ever say, and the court can’t do this alone,” Blackburne-Rigsby said.