Pro Bono Center

Pro Bono Center Annual Report 2015-16


To view the 2016-2017 D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center Annual Report in PDF form, please click here.

The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center transforms lives by delivering pro bono legal assistance where and when the community most needs our help.  With the generous support of our donors, and more than 1,000 dedicated volunteers, we operate award-wining clinics and resource centers that transform lives, one client at a time. Here are the Pro Bono Center’s key accomplishments in 2016-2017 (July 1 through June 30):

 

Individual Representation Photo

Individual Cases Placed with Pro Bono Counsel

Through our flagship legal clinic, the Pro Bono Center screened, placed, supported and mentored cases for full representation by pro bono lawyers from 23 law firms and federal government agencies.  Our volunteers help individuals and their families avoid eviction and homelessness; ensure safe, affordable housing; file for Chapter7 bankruptcy protection; defend against personal injury claims and debt collection; preserve parent-child relationships; and access vital public benefits and medical care.  Our Housing Right to Counsel Project provided pro bono counsel to a particularly vulnerable group of residents:  tenants facing eviction from subsidized housing.  Additionally, our new Housing Conditions Court Pilot Project provided pro bono counsel to low-income tenants seeking to compel their landlords to correct housing conditions that are unsafe, unhealthy, or in disrepair.

Clients Served: 408

Saturday Neighborhood Clinics

Saturday Neighborhood Clinics

Increasing access to justice includes taking our services directly to neighborhoods where our clients live and work.  Our monthly walk-in clinics provided individuals an opportunity to meet with a volunteer lawyer for free legal information, brief advice, and referral on any civil legal matter governed by D.C. or federal law in the neighborhoods of Anacostia and Shaw.  Individuals with immigration matters were served quarterly in Columbia Heights.

Individuals Served: 1,688


D.C. Superior Court Resource Centers

D.C. Superior Court Resource Centers

Most people with a legal problem who are living in poverty in the District of Columbia must represent themselves.  For the average person, the legal system is complex, the courts are intimidating, and the stakes can be very high.  Through our three resources centers at D.C. Superior Court, our volunteers helped pro se litigants on-site to navigate the courts in order to avoid eviction, stop harassment from debt collectors, and protect family assets through probate.

Individuals Served: 5,669


Nonprofit Safety Net 2

Strengthening the Nonprofit Safety Net

People living in poverty rely on a network of nonprofit organizations for essential services such as food, shelter, health and dental care, job training, employment, and more. The Pro Bono Center provided legal clinics; legal training for nonprofit executives and managers; and matched organizations with pro bono counsel in employment, real estate, intellectual property, contract review, and other matters.  We also continued to raise the profile of the impact of gentrification on nonprofit organizations in the media, through meetings with government agencies, and through outreach to other nonprofits.

Nonprofit Organizations Served: 1,513


Supporting Economic Development 2

Supporting Economic Development in Underserved Neighborhoods

Small businesses create jobs and provide much-needed services in low-income neighborhoods.  To help small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed, the Pro Bono Center provided training in legal topics and offered monthly walk-in clinics for small business owners to meet one-one-one with a lawyer to discuss their legal issue.

Small Businesses Served: 1,025


Law Help Photo

Providing 24-Hour Public Access to Legal Help

As the demand for civil legal services continues to grow, the Pro Bono Center remains committed to serving the greatest number of people in need, with the help of technology and innovation.  We provided easy to understand information to the public online at LawHelp.org/DC and on the telephone through our Legal Information Help Line. We also launched a new SMS text messaging service to help us more easily communicate with clients placed with pro bono lawyers in our full representation clinics.

Average LawHelp Page Views Per Month: 62,507
Help Line Callers Served: 6,154