On June 1, 2021, the Legal Aid Society of The District of Columbia (Legal Aid) launched its annual Making Justice Real Campaign to raise funds that cover the cost of providing free legal services to poverty-stricken individuals and families living in Washington, D.C.
The Making Justice Real Campaign brings together thousands of people to support the mission of the Legal Aid Society, the city’s oldest and largest civil legal services organizations. The goal: make justice “real,” in individual and systemic ways, for those who cannot afford legal services.
The campaign has raised millions since 1990 to pay for legal services in the areas of domestic violence/family, housing, public benefits, and consumer law. In addition to providing direct representation, Legal Aid also help clients avoid unnecessary legal entanglements through outreach and education, and help them resolve their own disputes with advice and other brief assistance.
Co-chaired by Phil Inglima and Susan M. Hoffman of Crowell & Moring, the campaign hopes to raise $3 million between June 1 and July 30 with the assistance of more than 70 D.C.-based law firms. Each year, Legal Aid helps more than 10,000 people each year. This year, Legal Aid saw increased demand for services because of the hardship imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We at Legal Aid are so grateful that the D.C. legal community continues to stand by our clients, who are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said Eric Angel, Executive Director of Legal Aid.
Inglima, chair of Crowell & Moring, has litigated a broad range of criminal and civil matters in trial and appellate courts, with an emphasis on criminal frauds and parallel civil and regulatory enforcement proceedings. He has counseled companies in the development and implementation of compliance programs and has guided clients through regulatory reporting and disclosure processes. He also has extensive experience in handling congressional investigations and professional responsibility proceedings. In high-stakes, high profile matters, he has achieved outstanding results for a wide variety of corporate and individual clients over the past 25 years.
“I am thrilled to be supporting the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia as an Honorary Chair of the 2021 Making Justice Real Campaign,” Inglima said. “The work Legal Aid does to make justice real for the people of D.C. is remarkable and has never been more important.”
Hoffman oversees Crowell & Moring’s pro bono program and is the firm’s designated Public Service Partner at Crowell & Moring. The pro bono work of the firm ranges from representation of the homeless, elderly individuals, and persons living with AIDS to assisting domestic violence victims in obtaining protection orders to “impact” and appellate litigation. Hoffman serves as president of the Crowell & Moring Foundation, a separate nonprofit organization. She is active in local bar activities, having recently concluded her term as president of the D.C. Bar. Her past bar involvement includes service on the D.C. Bar Board of Governors, as co-chair of the D.C. Circuit Standing Committee on Pro Bono, on the Board of Governors' Screening Committee, and as a member of the D.C. Bar Nominations Committee and the D.C. Bar Public Services Activities Review Committee. She has been a mediator in alternative dispute resolution programs of the U.S. District Court for D.C. and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia works tirelessly to help those most in need and I look forward to helping this year’s Making Justice Real Campaign be the best one yet,” said Hoffman. “At Crowell & Moring, we see service to the community as a key pillar of our work and supporting Legal Aid is a perfect way to give back.”
To learn more about the campaign, sign up to participate, or donate, visit LegalAidDC.org/Campaign.
The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia was formed in 1932 to “provide legal aid and counsel to indigent persons in civil law matters and to encourage measures by which the law may better protect and serve their needs.” For more than 80 years, Legal Aid has been making justice real – in individual and systemic ways – for persons living in poverty in D.C. Since its founding, Legal Aid has served tens of thousands of the District’s neediest residents. Last year, more than 4,000 individuals came to Legal Aid for an initial interview during our open walk-in hours. Legal Aid currently serves individuals and families living in poverty in four priority areas – public benefits, consumer, family/domestic violence, and housing law. It also litigates appellate matters through its nationally-recognized Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project. To find out more about Legal Aid, please visit its website at www.legalaiddc.org.