Over the last 90 years, Legal Aid has been focused on helping solve legal crises for District residents living in poverty. Whether our clients have faced eviction, foreclosure, domestic violence, or so many other emergencies, our lawyers have been there to intervene on their behalf and provide life-changing assistance.  

But what if we didn’t wait to help until one of our neighbors was in crisis? What if we helped address the underlying problems that cause clients to need help in the first place? To that end, this year Legal Aid launched our Community Lawyering Project, aiming to increase access to justice for low-income District residents by intervening before they reach that crisis point and address legal needs that might help prevent more significant issues down the line.  

Percent of Legal Problems for which Low-Income Americans Sought Help (2022 Legal Services Corporation study)

Our two new Community Lawyers are working to build partnerships with community organizations and bring our work directly into the communities we serve instead of waiting for people to come to us. In the few months since the program began, we’re proud to say it’s been a success and will only continue to grow. Since June, Legal Aid has reopened our office at the Big Chair in Anacostia for walk-in hours and set up regular clinics with the Washington Literacy Center, Shaw Library, Parklands-Turner Library, and FRESHFARM Markets where our attorneys are on site to answer legal questions or conduct intakes. Our Community Lawyers are also in the process of setting up Know Your Rights trainings and presentations at DC Public Libraries to ensure that residents can advocate for themselves.

Farmers Market


One DC resident walked into the Big Chair office with a notice that she was being sued for eviction. She explained to one of our community lawyers, Inka Boehm, that she shared a lease with her ex-partner and had recently been issued a protective order against him. Inka was able to help her fill out the correct paperwork needed to leave the lease without it harming her record, allowing her to find new, safe housing for her children and herself. 

Legal Aid's Impact

Organizational Information & Acknowledgments