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PRESS RELEASE: DC Bar Foundation Awards $28.06 Million for Legal Assistance in DC

[District of Columbia, December 19, 2023] – The DC Bar Foundation will award a record $28.06 million in 2024 to 36 DC legal aid organizations that provide free or low-cost legal assistance to thousands of DC residents facing life-altering legal issues but who cannot afford an attorney.


“The Foundation is honored to make grants to these 36 organizations,” says Kirra Jarratt, CEO of the DC Bar Foundation. “Their vital contributions to our city’s civil legal aid network are lifesaving for thousands of District residents.”


“Applications from grantee partners for this cycle reflect growth in community engagement strategies, systemic advocacy, and probate practice,” reports Aracelis Gray, director of programs at the DC Bar Foundation, “and staffing costs continue to be big drivers of budget requests, demonstrating the need for competitive compensation to retain staff.”


The DC Bar Foundation’s grants offer critical support to DC legal aid organizations that provide a broad spectrum of civil legal services to those in need. The majority of funds will go toward helping residents in Wards 5, 7, and 8, where there is a concentration of families of four living on an annual income of less than $25,000.


The Foundation tapped three funding sources for the record-breaking $28.06 million awarded. Appropriations from the Council of the District of Columbia through the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants fund the Foundation’s Access to Justice Program and the Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program. Private fundraising and revenue from the DC Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Program support the Foundation’s General Support Grants Program.


“I want to acknowledge the DC Council for its access to justice commitment for all District residents,” Ms. Jarratt said, “as well as the generosity of our individual and corporate donors who support our various campaigns, events, and fundraising appeals. Thank you for supporting the Foundation as it leads the effort to transform how District residents discover and experience access to legal assistance.”


To read about the DC Bar Foundation’s impact across the District, visit


About the DC Bar Foundation: We are committed to transforming DC’s legal aid network so all District residents have a fair and equal legal experience. Through our network approach, we actively bring together all invested stakeholders to identify and address the unmet civil legal needs of DC residents with low incomes, create solutions with a critical eye for racial justice and equity, and demonstrate meaningful impact.



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