Washington Lawyer - April/May 2018 - 28
Delivering Access to Justice
In 2017, we delivered access to justice to transform the lives of our neighbors
and the lawyers who serve them through the following clinics and programs:
FULL REPRESENTATION CLINICS
Housing Right to Counsel Project
At these clinics, we place cases with pro bono lawyers to help
individuals and families avoid eviction, ensure safe housing, file
for bankruptcy protection, preserve parent-child relationships,
and access vital public benefits. 376 Clients Served.
In collaboration with several other legal
services providers, local law firms, and the
D.C. Access to Justice Commission, the Pro
Bono Center launched this effort in 2015 to
dramatically increase legal representation
of subsidized housing tenants facing eviction.
In 2017, our staff trained and mentored
volunteers from four firms and the federal
government to represent clients in 20 eviction
cases through the Project.
SATURDAY NEIGHBORHOOD CLINICS
Our Saturday clinics give individuals the chance to meet with a
lawyer for free legal information, brief advice and, if needed,
a referral, on any civil legal matter at locations in Anacostia
and Shaw. At our location in Columbia Heights, individuals
have the same chance to meet with a lawyer to address their
immigration concerns. 1,688 Clients Served.
D.C. SUPERIOR COURT RESOURCE CENTERS
At our three resource centers, volunteers help pro se litigants
navigate the courts to avoid eviction, stop debt-collection
harassment, and protect family assets in probate proceedings.
5,669 Customers Served.
NONPROFIT LEGAL ASSISTANCE
The Pro Bono Center matched 69 nonprofits with pro bono
counsel, served 75 organizations through legal clinics, and
provided training to 1,369 nonprofit managers.
1,513 Nonprofits Served.
SMALL BUSINESS LEGAL ASSISTANCE
The Pro Bono Center enabled 411 small business owners to
meet with a volunteer lawyer, trained 564 entrepreneurs on
business law issues, and helped 50 small business drop-in
visitors. 1,025 Entrepreneurs Served.
PUBLIC INFORMATION RESOURCES
The Pro Bono Center provides free legal information online at
LawHelp.org/DC and on the phone via the Legal Information
Help Line and new SMS text messaging service. LawHelp
pages were viewed 62,507 times per month, and Pro Bono
Center staff answered approximately 6,154 calls on the
Help Line and exchanged 550 text messages with clients.
756,788 Questions Answered.
Housing Conditions Court Project
In 2017, the Pro Bono Center embarked
on a new effort with Arnold & Porter LLP to
provide legal representation to low-income
tenants seeking to compel their landlords to
correct housing conditions that are unsafe,
unhealthy, or in disrepair. Our staff trained
and mentored firm volunteers to represent
12 individuals from one property with
housing code violations.