Legal Aid's Servant of Justice Awards Dinner brings the DC legal community together each year to celebrate those who “have demonstrated faithful dedication and remarkable achievement in ensuring that all persons have equal and meaningful access to justice.”

This year's Dinner - the first held in person since 2019 - raised a record-smashing $1.73 million for Legal Aid and honored two outstanding Servants of Justice: Dan Jarcho of Alston & Bird and Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women's Law Center. We also honored Matthew Cohen and Aaron Marx of Crowell & Moring with the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence and the Claimant Advocacy Program and former client Melinda Gray with the Partnership Award.

Daniel Jarcho, Servant of Justice Award

Dan Jarcho and his family


Dan Jarcho (second from right) is a litigation partner at Alston & Bird LLP who has made pro bono a central part of his career. Dan’s pro bono litigation work has benefited hundreds of thousands of people. He has collaborated closely with Legal Aid, serving as lead counsel in cases challenging systemic government practices that harm Legal Aid’s client community. One recent case prevented implementation of a federal regulation that would have cut food stamp benefits for nearly 700,000 Americans nationwide. Another case successfully contested the Social Security Administration’s seizure of federal tax refunds from more than 50,000 taxpayers without notice; the litigation led to payments of more than $10 million to affected individuals. Dan has also served on Legal Aid’s Board of Trustees since 2004 and was Board President from 2014-2016.


Dan Jarcho
Since I’ve been associated with Legal Aid for almost two decades in so many different capacities, I had thought I’d seen just about every facet of the organization. But I was wrong. I’ve gained an even deeper and more profound appreciation for this institution because of its critical role as a protector of our essential values during the period since we last met – the period of the pandemic.

Fatima Goss Graves, Servant of Justice Award

Fatima Goss Graves


Fatima Goss Graves is president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, president of the National Women’s Law Center Action Fund, and a co-founder of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. She is a nationally recognized leader in the fight for gender justice and an expert in law, policy, and culture change. Fatima has a distinguished track record working across a broad set of issues central to the lives of women and girls – including income security and COVID relief, equal pay, ending sexual harassment and violence, health and reproductive rights, education access, and workplace justice – with a particular focus on outcomes for women and girls of color. 


Fatima Goss Graves
As we face down the days until the Supreme Court rules squarely on abortion access in this country – as we face down the prospect of losing a constitutionally guaranteed right for the first time – I can’t help but leave with a call to all of you.

Jump in the fight, no matter how hard. Run toward the fire. How lucky we all are to have the capacity to do this work, to contribute to something better, to do it alongside smart and generous people. To be servants of justice. And even on the worst of days – for me at least – that will remain true.

Farewell to Eric Angel, Former Executive Director

Eric Angel


Legal Aid's longtime Executive Director Eric Angel, who stepped down after two decades of service earlier this year, was also recognized at the 2022 Dinner. 

Eric first came to Legal Aid as Legal Director in 2001 and became Executive Director in 2011. During his time as Executive Director, from 2011 to 2021, Legal Aid’s staff grew from 35 to nearly 90, and the organization’s budget concurrently tripled. Under his leadership, each of Legal Aid’s practice units expanded, the organization’s presence in the community grew, and we were able to launch new projects, including a foreclosure prevention project and an immigration project to name just two, that made legal services more accessible to DC residents.   

Beyond Legal Aid, Eric also made an impact on the legal services community and raised the profile for the need for access to legal services as a leader on the DC Access to Justice Commission. Eric’s passion for justice and his commitment to Legal Aid was evident. He was involved in every aspect of Legal Aid’s work from fundraising to systemic and policy advocacy to even occasionally taking on individual cases himself. What made him remarkable as a leader was his belief in his colleagues, compassion for clients, and willingness to do anything he could to further Legal Aid’s mission.

Legal Aid thanks Eric Angel for his incredible dedication to Legal Aid and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Legal Aid's Impact

Organizational Information & Acknowledgments