The District of Columbia legal community is among the most generous in the nation in providing pro bono legal services to those in need. Because of these vital contributions, pro bono attorneys are an integral part of the legal services delivery network, partnering closely with the legal services community to ensure that the District’s most vulnerable residents have an advocate by their side when those things they most value are in jeopardy. Despite this generous pro bono culture and a robust legal services network, the urgent legal needs of indigent District residents chronically outstrips the supply. This justice gap has grown dramatically due to the economic downturn, which has pulled more residents into legal crisis while shrinking the capacity of the legal services network to meet pressing client needs.
The Commission is working in close partnership with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program to increase pro bono service. This includes the SAILS (Senior Attorney Initiative for Legal Services) Project, which encourages firms to institutionalize senior lawyer pro bono programs, and working with the Court to launch and coordinate the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, which recognizes individual attorneys who provide pro bono service at benchmarked levels.