DC's Chief Judges Release Pro Bono Honor Roll; Express Gratitude to Attorneys Helping Those Who Cannot Afford an Attorney

DC Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and DC Superior Court Chief Judge Anita Josey-Herring have released the ninth annual Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, recognizing the contributions of those DC Bar members and others authorized to perform legal work who donated 50 hours or more of pro bono service during the last calendar year. The Courts extend their gratitude to the DC Bar Pro Bono Center and the DC Access to Justice Commission for their partnership in sponsoring the Honor Roll. 

In calendar year 2019, nearly 5000 attorneys registered for the Honor Roll, with 2,943 (nearly 60%) providing one hundred hours or more of pro bono service and thus qualifying for the High Honor Roll. This represents at least 396,000 hours of pro bono service to DC residents.

In a joint letter to the honorees, the Chief Judges wrote, "As Chief Judges, we are acutely aware of the severe hardships faced by low-income individuals who all too frequently must represent themselves in proceedings in the DC Courts, often against represented parties. We are also aware of the growing need for access to pro bono services as thousands of District residents confront the stresses of reduced income and new legal challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We salute you for using your talents and expertise to help those unable to afford an attorney, and rely on your continued dedication and compassion in the face of new challenges to ensure equal access to justice."

The Capital Honor Roll members reflect a diverse cross-section of the DC legal community, representing 168 law firms and scores of solo practices, federal government agencies, and public interest organizations. Their service would not be possible without the support of the District’s legal services community that screens and refers cases, offers training, and provides support and mentorship to pro bono volunteers. The Chief Judges said, “The District of Columbia is fortunate to have a truly extraordinary cadre of legal services organizations whose attorneys work tirelessly every day to make access to justice a reality."

In addition to this recognition from the DC Courts, all Honor Roll members satisfy their professional obligation under Rule 6.1 of the DC Rules of Professional Conduct by performing 50 hours or more of pro bono service. Outside of this professional obligation, Honor Roll members performing pro bono work in the DC Courts demonstrate a commitment to serving their District neighbors.

For more information, and a list of the honorees, click here.