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Advocacy & Justice Clinic for Solo and Small Firm Attorneys

What It Is
The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advocacy and Justice Clinic provides representation to clients with civil legal problems in an effort to address the unmet legal needs of District of Columbia residents living in poverty. This past year alone we placed more than 300 cases with pro bono attorneys. Solo and small firm attorneys are being recruited to participate in the Advocacy and Justice Clinic to help clients address serious housing code violations, secure desperately needed public assistance, and handle child support matters.

Training and Support
The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center offers a comprehensive support network and resources to ensure our volunteers provide high-quality legal representation. Each pro bono lawyer will be assigned an expert mentor who is available to provide guidance on all substantive and procedural matters, as well as client management issues that arise during the course of representation. Pro Bono Center staff is also available to provide support and consultation. In addition, a free online resource is available to all pro bono attorneys, which includes comprehensive libraries of training material, model pleadings, training manuals, and training videos. The Pro Bono Center also has limited litigation funds available to be used in these pro bono cases and will arrange for interpreter and translation services, if necessary.

How It Works
About a week before the clinic, the pro bono attorney will receive the case file so that conflicts can be cleared and the attorney can review the initial case information. The pro bono attorney will have the initial client meeting at the clinic. D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center staff and the expert mentors will be available on site at the clinic to facilitate the initial meeting and provide immediate support. Please review the steps outlined in the section below to apply.

How to Become a Volunteer
In order to participate in this clinic you must:

  • Have at least two years of litigation experience or some relevant experience in housing, disability, or family law;
  • Be licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia; and
  • Be willing to take on representation of a pro bono client and see the case through to completion.

If you meet the above criteria, please contact Managing Attorney Vanessa Batters-Thompson at [email protected] to schedule a brief, 15-minute telephone interview.