DC Legal Aid Transformations Network 

In June 2021, the DC Bar Foundation brought together 57 legal aid providers, funders, community activists, social service providers, and other stakeholders to discuss how to reimagine a more equitable civil justice system in our City. The DC Legal Aid Transformations network grew out of this convening.

You can learn more about the network's formation and progress by reading the following articles from DCBF's newsletter:

 

The group will meet quarterly on the second Wednesday of the month to increase collaboration and transform the delivery of legal aid in the District. Save the dates for future meetings on June 8, 2022 and September 14, 2022. Please click the button below to register for the June 8, 2022 meeting, taking place virtually from 1 - 4 PM.

NETWORK UPDATES:

  • In 2021, the Foundation partnered with Visible Network Labs to create a map of DC's civil legal aid network. This mapping displays the existing relationships between organizations within the network and is being used to inform our understanding of how to improve our city's civil legal aid network so that it works for all residents. Click HERE to read Visible Network Labs' full report on the DC Legal Aid Transformations Network and this network mapping exercise. 

DC LATN Map.PNG
  • On our March 9,  2022 Quarterly Convening, 40 Network members built community, heard presentations from Network members, and deepened our understanding of how to transform legal services by focusing on "upstream" approaches and centering anti-racism, wellbeing and anti-poverty. Kirra Jarratt shared about the ongoing work of the Design Team, the Network Manager hiring process, and plans for client focus groups in April to improve the intake/referral process. Gabby Majewski (DC Affordable Law Firm) and Gabby Lewis-White (DC Bar Pro Bono Center) co-presented a "Network of Networks" idea: to connect smaller cohorts to make collaboration easier among people who don't yet know each other, to clarify roles, and to move forward Jonathan Smith's (Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs) idea to reach out to community members (not just providers) so that community members guide the Network's work. Network members pointed out that past survey data can help Network members understand what our different groups are doing, and suggested that identifying members' non-legal service partners would be critical. Amanda Beacom (Visible Network Labs) discussed the Network Survey Report 2021 and encouraged people to reach out to her with questions. Members discussed the difference between "upstream" work, which identifies problems at their root cause, and "downstream" work, which addresses immediate needs that are the symptoms of those root causes, and people wrote down their expansive visions of upstream work, as well as the barriers to those visions becoming real. George Jones (Bread for the City) named that racism is why we focus so much time on downstream work, and invited people to Envisioning an Anti-Racist D.C.'s March 15th panel event, part of an anti-racist organizing effort that is asking every sector to address racism in their sector. The next Quarterly Convening was shortened and is June 8, 1:00 - 4:00 PM Eastern. Registration is now open. Please click the black button above to register.