D.C. Courts Announce the 2023 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll

Over 5,000 attorneys provided 50 or more hours of pro bono service

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

Over 5,000 attorneys (5,032) reported performing 50 hours or more of volunteer legal work in 2023. Even more impressive, 56% of these attorneys (2,823) reported performing 100 hours or more of pro bono work in 2023, qualifying them for inclusion in the High Honor Roll. The D.C. Courts are especially pleased that the Honor Roll represents such a strong dedication from D.C. Bar members to pro bono service, as attorneys face ever-increasing pressures to bill more hours, work more efficiently, and use fewer resources.

In a joint letter to the honorees, the Chief Judges wrote, "As chief judges, we 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 members reflect a diverse cross-section of the D.C. legal community, 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 Chief Judges said, “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. 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 the equal access to justice a reality in the District.”

In addition to this recognition from the D.C. Courts, Honor Roll members satisfy their professional obligation under Rule 6.1 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct by performing 50 hours or more of pro bono service. Moreover, they have demonstrated their commitment to ensuring equal access to justice for their District neighbors and others who need legal help.

# # #