Laura Draft

Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project

Established in 2004 with seed money from the DC Bar Foundation, which continues to provide generous support along with ongoing support from Gerald S. Hartman, Legal Aid’s Appellate Project has become a “model of excellence” that the National Legal Aid and Defender Association has urged other legal services programs to emulate. The Project was named for its founding Director, Barbara McDowell, after her untimely death.

The Project not only litigates administrative and judicial appeals on behalf of Legal Aid clients but also files “friend of the court” briefs in cases involving matters of importance to people living in poverty. Beyond litigation, the Project provides appellate instruction, consultation, and advice to the larger D.C. legal services community. Although most of the Project’s work involves cases before the District’s highest court – the District of Columbia Court of Appeals – the Project also gets involved in administrative appeals and cases before the District of Columbia Superior Court and the federal courts.

Barbara McDowell
Learn more about Barbara McDowell, the renowned appellate litigator and U.S. Supreme Court advocate who served as the project’s first director and after whom our appellate advocacy project is named.


We are open, but offices are closed to the public, please apply for services online or by the phone Estamos abierto, pero las oficinas están cerradas al público, por favor solicite los servicios en línea o por teléfono