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The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us. But since it first reached the District nearly a year ago, Legal Aid’s client community has been hit the hardest. And as stay-at-home orders were issued and schools and workplaces shut down across the city, our neighbors struggled to both stay safe and make ends meet. Unemployment claims skyrocketed, domestic violence surged, and housing and food insecurity rose sharply. Never has Legal Aid faced such profound challenges.

That is why we are so grateful to the hundreds of attorneys throughout the city who took on pro bono cases in 2020, helping clients secure critical safety-net benefits, navigate complex custody disputes exacerbated by the pandemic, ensure that landlords made needed repairs, and more.

And why we want those of you who provided pro bono service over the past year to receive the recognition you deserve. If you provided at least 50 hours of pro bono service in 2020, you are eligible to be included on the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll. Applications are due on Monday, March 15, 2021, so submit your application today!

To register for the Honor Roll, attorneys must complete a simple online application certifying that they provided at least 50 hours of pro bono service – or 100 hours for the High Honor Roll – in 2020. Law firms also may submit bulk applications for eligible attorneys in their organization. The list of participating attorneys will be published on the DC Courts’ website.

For those of you who are thinking ahead, now is a great time to start on your pro bono goal for 2021! Indeed, Rule 6.1 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Ethics calls upon members of the Bar “to participate in serving those persons, or groups of persons, who are unable to pay all or a portion of reasonable attorney’s fees or who are otherwise unable to obtain counsel.”

If you are interested in learning more about pro bono opportunities with Legal Aid and how to get involved, please contact Jodi Feldman at jfeldman@legalaiddc.org, or Sylvia Soltis at ssoltis@legalaiddc.org.

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