September 10, 2009

Lawyer Volunteers Are Awesome

Check out this month’s Washington Lawyer. The “Letter from the President” by Kim Keenan, the new District of Columbia Bar President, sheds light on an important partnership between Bread for the City and the DC Bar Pro Bono Program’s monthly Advice & Referral Clinic, which we have hosted for well over a decade.

The Advice & Referral Clinic brings volunteer attorneys together to counsel clients in myriad legal matters: bankruptcy, tax issues, employment law matters, housing and family law, wills, etc. Access to legal advice can be very hard to come by for lower-income clients—even in a city with as many lawyers as we have. This free, no appointment necessary, come as you are legal service is critical to helping those in potentially volatile situations find resources to maintain stability for themselves and their families.

The sheer volume of people helped by the clinic is amazing—more than 1,100 during fiscal year 2008 - 2009. But what is also quite striking is the dedication of the attorneys. Not only are attorneys from law firms, federal agencies, voluntary bars and alumni associations regularly donating their Saturday mornings, they are also taking the time to learn areas of law for which they are not experts—and they’re doing it all for free.

The next Advice & Referral Clinic will be held at Bread for the City’s Northwest and Southeast Centers this Saturday from 10:00am to 12:00pm. If you need help, stop on by. If you want to volunteer, visit

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