[District of Columbia, June 10, 2015] — The DC Bar Foundation awarded $615,000 in FY15 DC Legal Services Grants to 22 organizations that provide civil legal services to underserved, low-income residents of the District of Columbia.
The Foundation has awarded nearly $24 million in private grants to DC civil legal services providers since 1978. Grant money comes from the interest earned on trust accounts, as well as private contributions, primarily through the Call to Action campaign, chaired this year by Thomas S. Williamson Jr., Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, and Stasia Kelly, Co-Managing Partner at DLA Piper LLP.
This year, the Foundation received grant requests, totaling more than $1 million, from 27 organizations. The Foundation awarded grants to 22 organizations that provide direct legal assistance in areas of civil law such as housing, health and disability, immigration, education, employment, and victims’ rights. While most organizations received general support grants, four organizations received project grants. A list of the FY15 DC Legal Services Grants Program grantees can be found here.
Foundation Board President Marc L. Fleischaker, Partner and Chairman Emeritus of Arent Fox LLP, stated, “The Board is dedicated to ensuring the Foundation’s continued support of civil legal services providers in the District of Columbia. It is important to invest in these organizations so they can continue to provide access to justice for all residents of DC, regardless of income.”
Kirra L. Jarratt, Executive Director of the DC Bar Foundation, said, “The support from our donors allows us to assist civil legal services organizations that provide exceptional legal representation to the most vulnerable and underserved residents of DC. The Foundation could not award these grants to civil legal services organizations without generous donations.”
The DC Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1977, is the largest funder of civil legal services in the District. The Bar Foundation’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia, and it is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. The Foundation provides grants and training and technical assistance to local non-profit legal services organizations and awards loans to D.C. poverty lawyers to help with their educational debt.