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Chief Judges Recognize More Than 5,000 Attorneys on Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll

May 02, 2024

On April 29, D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and D.C. Superior Court Chief Judge Anita Josey-Herring released the 13th annual Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll , recognizing 5,032 attorneys who completed 50 hours or more of pro bono service during the last calendar year. Of those attorneys, 56 percent (2,823) reported performing 100 hours or more of volunteer legal work in 2023, qualifying them for inclusion in the High Honor Roll.

The D.C. Courts said the Honor Roll demonstrates D.C. Bar members’ strong dedication to pro bono service, especially as attorneys face ever-increasing pressures to bill more hours, work more efficiently, and use fewer resources. In addition, the D.C. Courts thanked the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center and the D.C. Access to Justice Commission for their partnership in sponsoring the Honor Roll.

Kelli Neptune, executive director of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, also applauded the honorees’ outstanding and sustained commitment to pro bono service. “We hope this list of deserving individuals will inspire more to answer the call to service and help balance the scales of justice,” Neptune said.

In a joint letter to the honorees, the chief judges said they are “acutely aware of the significant obstacles faced by individuals with limited resources who all too frequently must represent themselves in proceedings, often against represented parties. We salute you for using your time, talents, and expertise to ensure that those who cannot afford an attorney have meaningful access to justice.”

The Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll also reflects a diverse cross-section of the D.C. legal community, with honorees hailing from 166 firms, solo practices, federal and local government agencies, corporations, associations, and public interest organizations. Their service would not be possible without significant help from the District’s legal services community in screening and referring cases, offering trainings, and providing mentorship and support to attorneys handling pro bono matters.

“The District of Columbia is fortunate to have a truly exemplary cadre of legal services organizations whose attorneys work every day to make access to justice a reality,” wrote the chief judges. “Yet there remains a significant gap between those who need legal services and those who the legal services community with their limited resources can help. The continued participation of pro bono counsel is simply indispensable to our civil justice system. It will take all of us, working together, to make equal access to justice a reality in the District.”

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