The DC Bar Foundation envisions a future where access to civil legal aid does not depend on prior knowledge of the civil legal system, political power, or financial and other resources. We understand that to streamline legal services access for DC residents; we will have to increase coordination among civil legal aid providers. We had approached earlier efforts to create a better, more coordinated civil legal aid system through our long-standing grants program. In 2020, we tried a different approach. We identified a consultant with expertise in the development of coordinated legal aid systems in other parts of the country to research our community and past efforts and then recommend a strategy. This consultant's work resulted in a December 2020 concept paper that became the foundation for this current effort. 


Following the release of the concept paper, the DC Bar Foundation has continued to seek feedback from various stakeholders throughout the civil legal aid system and refine the concept as we learn more. Recognizing the impossibility of relying solely on individual and small group conversations, we are now seeking input in a way that will allow us to reach many more stakeholders and receive even more specific feedback about the system design.

Coordinated Intake and Referral Personnel Request for Information

DCBF, in collaboration with the DC legal services community, is developing a user-friendly, secure, accessible Coordinated Intake and Referral System (CIR) for residents of DC with civil legal needs. The CIR will serve as a single point of entry to easily connect residents with a civil legal services provider that can offer appropriate representation and/or legal resources and information.


In order to establish the CIR program, we will need to gather a great deal of information about the existing civil legal aid network. We estimate that we will need two people to work closely with our system designer and the District’s legal aid organizations to understand the breadth and depth of the services that exist now. Though not exhaustive, we imagine these two individuals will perform the following activities, in partnership with the system designer:


  • Gathering existing information on the services that each legal aid organization provides;

  • Determining questions and clarifications about where cases should be routed;

  • Meeting with legal aid organizations to discuss case placements;

  • Drafting, revising, and finalizing a case placement logic document; and

  • Developing and testing a pilot program to test case routing and placement.


We have budgeted approximately $175,000 to support this work.


Responses to this RFI must be submitted via email to by February 15, 2022, by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

CLICK HERE to access the RFI

Client Focus Group

The DC Bar Foundation will host an initial round of focus groups in November and early December 2021 with current and former legal services clients. Subsequent groups will involve a broader range of community members. Interested in helping us with this? Please email us at

Request for Design Feedback and Input

Thanks to the more than twenty diverse organizations who provided feedback and input on our anticipated Coordinated Intake and Referral System structure and design. The period for feedback and input closed on November 5.