Following a record-breaking fundraising evening at this year’s Servant of Justice Awards Dinner, Legal Aid Executive Director Vikram Swaruup was profiled for this month’s Washington Lawyer, highlighting how his experience in the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia and his personal background affect how he approaches our work.
Drawing on his background in the Office of the Attorney General, the article touches on his climb to senior counsel and then chief deputy attorney general, eventually overseeing hundreds of cases and managing more than 700 lawyers and professional staff. Former DC Attorney General (and 2023 Servant of Justice Honoree) Karl Racine noted, “Vikram, unsurprisingly, handled this role with humility and ease.”
The writer goes on to talk about how Vikram’s time in the office shaped his way of thinking about the law creatively and expansively, particularly in how it can be used to serve the District’s most vulnerable residents. “Maybe the laws are not developed well enough to fix all of the problems,” he explained. “Maybe some of the laws need to be changed through legislative advocacy; maybe we need to look into areas of the law that are not enforced.”
After mentioning the pre-existing relationship between Vikram and Legal Aid (we’d partnered on a few matters, including a 2020 challenge to the federal government’s attempt to limit SNAP benefits), the article digs into the unique perspective he’ll bring to this role as the first openly LGBTQ+ person to lead this organization and as an immigrant of South Asian heritage.
Board of Trustees President Joan McKown said it best: “I think he’s just the type of visionary person that will lead Legal Aid into its next chapter.”
You can read the full profile here: https://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/mayjune2023/index.php#/p/42.