Thomas C. Papson

Volunteer Staff Attorney
(202) 386-6689
(202) 727-2132
Thomas C. Papson

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center

B.A., University of Pennsylvania

Thomas C. Papson is a Volunteer Staff Attorney in Legal Aid’s Consumer Law Unit. He represents clients in a range of consumer law cases and is a member of Legal Aid’s team of lawyers providing same-day representation to defendants with cases on the Superior Court’s high-volume small claims debt collection calendar. He also is active in Legal Aid’s legislative reform efforts relating to consumer protection and broader efforts to enhance access to justice for Legal Aid’s client community.

Tom joined Legal Aid in September 2013, following his retirement from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. At McKenna, he maintained a commercial and government contracts litigation and compliance practice for more than 30 years, and served as Managing Partner of the Washington office. He was a member of the Legal Aid Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2005 and was Board President from 2000 to 2002. In 2018, Tom received Legal Aid’s Servant of Justice Award.

While in private practice, Tom was active in pro bono and other public service work. He served as court-appointed amicus in litigation concerning conditions in the D.C. public schools and as litigation counsel for two historic preservation groups in the District. Tom also held various leadership positions in the D.C. Bar, including Chair of the Judicial Evaluation Committee. He was the organizer and managing editor of the first D.C. Bar Practice Manual, for which he was recognized with the Bar’s President’s Award. He continues to serve as a volunteer mediator in the D.C. District Court’s Mediation Program.

Tom is an Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University Law School, where he teaches government procurement law and advocacy.

Tom is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Georgetown University Law Center. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge John J. Sirica of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Latest Blogs you might be interested in

16 Sep 2022

The District Must Do Far Better than Mayor Bowser’s Migrant Services and Supports Emergency Act of 2022

Traducción al español al final For months, the governors of Arizona and Texas have been busing migrants from the southwest border to the District to protest federal immigration policies that limit their ability to turn people away at the border. Just yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott arranged for two buses of migrants to be dropped off outside of Vice President Kamala Harris’s residence in a publicity-seeking act of racism and xenophobia with callous disregard for the migrants’ human rights and dignity.
08 Aug 2022

Making Justice Real Campaign Raises $3.3 Million for DC Legal Aid

For the third-consecutive year, DC’s legal community came together to raise more than $3 million for DC Legal Aid through the Making Justice Real Campaign, setting a new record at $3,305,388. Nearly half of the total was raised in the last week of the two-month drive, which ran from June 6 to August 5. “It is incredibly humbling for thousands of people from nearly every major law firm in the District to unite behind Legal Aid’s mission,” said Joan McKown, President of Legal Aid’s Board of Trustees and a Partner at Jones Day. “Especially at a time of increasing need for our client community, this is unbelievably good news.”
25 Jul 2022

DC Council Committees Must Approve the Domestic Worker Protections Bill This Fall

Legal Aid is deeply concerned about Chair Mendelson’s recent decision to change the committee referral for the Domestic Worker Employment Rights Amendment Act of 2022 (Bill 24-712). As a strong supporter of the Domestic Worker Employment Rights bill, we believe his re-referral could effectively stall the bill’s progress during the final year of Council Period 24. This triple referral causes an unnecessary delay that will hurt essential workers, such as home health aides, to whom we regularly provide direct legal services. Legal Aid urges Business Committee Chairman McDuffie and Government Operations Committee Chairman Robert White to consider and mark up the measure immediately (September or October) when the Council returns from recess so that the Council can pass the bill before the end of the year.