Marc L. Fleischaker, DC Bar Foundation Board President, was presented the Justice Potter Stewart Award by the Council for Court Excellence at its 18th Annual Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner, held on Thursday, May 8, 2014. Established in 1997, the Justice Potter Stewart Award commemorates the life and commitment to public service of the late Justice Stewart, who served on the Supreme Court from 1958 to 1981.
In his speech to attendees, Fleischaker stressed the importance of pro bono work and acknowledged his colleagues who have devoted efforts to underserved and less unfortunate communities, including Peter Edelman, Chair of the DC Access to Justice Commission; Rod Boggs, Executive Director of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; and Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“As law firms continue to adapt to this competitive environment, it is essential that we retain our values. Among those is the recognition that we are among the most privileged members of society, and that we have both a professional and personal obligation to promote the rule of law, and to assist the poor. The needs are enormous and will remain so. Realistically, we can never fully satisfy the demand for high quality legal services for the poor, but that is not a reason to stop trying—indeed, it is the reason to try even harder,” said Fleischaker.
Marc Fleischaker has served as Board president for the DC Bar Foundation since 2013. The Bar Foundation awarded its first direct grants to DC legal services providers in 1978. Since that time, the Bar Foundation has awarded more than $23 million in grants funded by IOLTA and private contributions through the DC Legal Services Grants program.
The District of Columbia Bar Foundation was established in 1977 to provide lawyers and law firms with an effective vehicle for fulfilling their ethical obligation to ensure that all residents of our community have access to competent legal representation by funding legal services for the underprivileged. The Foundation awards grants to DC civil legal services organizations, administers the publicly-funded DC Poverty Lawyer Loan Repayment Assistance Program, and provides technical assistance and training to the District’s civil legal services providers.