The DC Bar Foundation awards grants to 501(c)(3) non-profit civil legal services providers in the District of Columbia that serve low-income District residents. The DC Legal Services Grants, awarded in June, are funded by private contributions and revenue from the District’s IOLTA program. They support core operations of legal services providers city-wide. The Access to Justice Grants, awarded in March, are funded by a grant from the District of Columbia, and are targeted to support lawyers working on housing-related issues, programs serving underserved District communities, and a community interpreter bank. Learn more about the DCBF grants here.
Training & Technical Assistance
The Foundation supports its grantees with training programs with scholarships to targeted training opportunities, and by sponsoring specialized training. Additional technical assistance opportunities help strengthen and build capacity with the District’s legal services community.
Poverty Lawyer Loan Repayment Assistance Program
Low salaries coupled with high educational debt make it difficult or impossible for lawyers to accept or remain in positions with the District’s legal services providers. As part of its efforts to increase access to justice, the Foundation launched in 2006 a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) for poverty lawyers working in the District. At the same time, the Foundation was named to administer the newly-created publicly-funded LRAP. The programs annually support roughly 50 poverty lawyers working in the District with interest-free, forgivable loans, based on law school educational debt, of up to $1,000 per month. Learn more about the Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
Jerrold Scoutt Award
The Foundation administers the prestigious Jerrold Scoutt Award, established by the firm of Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, in honor of the public interest commitment of one of its founding partners, Jerrold Scoutt, Jr. Given annually, the Scoutt Award recognizes a full-time legal services lawyer who has demonstrated a career-long compassionate concern for his or her clients while exhibiting a high degree of skill representing them. Learn more about the Scoutt Award.