Recognition from the Court
Open Letter to 2015 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll Registrants from Chief Judge Washington and Chief Judge Satterfield
On behalf of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, we want to express our profound appreciation to each of the attorneys who qualified for recognition on the 2015 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll. As you know, since 2011 the D.C. Courts have recognized attorneys who have contributed fifty hours or more of pro bono work to those who cannot afford legal counsel. As Chief Judges, we are acutely aware of the severe hardships faced by indigent individuals who all too often must navigate our court system without legal assistance. We salute you for using your tremendous talents and expertise to help those living in poverty to have equal access to the courts and for leveling the playing field through your pro bono service.
Each year we are deeply moved by the incredible number of registrants for the Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll increase and this year is no exception. In 2015, four thousand ninety-seven (4,097) attorneys registered for the Honor Roll, with two thousand two hundred forty-three (2,243) qualifying for the High Honor Roll for providing one hundred hours or more of pro bono service. It is deeply gratifying to see that our community’s commitment to pro bono spans the many segments of our Bar. The 2015 Honor Roll members represent all sectors of our diverse legal community, hailing from one hundred thirty-three (133) law firms and individual practices plus a broad array of other legal settings including federal and local government agencies, corporations, associations, law schools and public interest organizations.
We are tremendously proud of the robust tradition of pro bono service by attorneys in the District of Columbia. We applaud those who embrace their ethical obligation, as contained in Rule 6.1 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, to perform at least fifty hours of pro bono work annually (or to contribute to organizations that provide legal representation to those unable to afford counsel). The District of Columbia is fortunate to have a truly extraordinary cadre of legal services organizations whose attorneys work tirelessly every day to make access to justice a reality. But because of the severity and urgency of the need, the dedicated work of pro bono counsel is simply indispensable to our civil justice system. It will take all of us, working together, to make our civil justice system accessible to all.
Thank you for answering – and in many cases – exceeding the call to service encapsulated in Rule 6.1 We know that your service emanates not only from a commitment to your ethical obligations but also from your principled belief in equal access to justice. We are proud to recognize your dedication by the addition of your names to this year’s Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll.
Eric T. Washington
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Lee F. Satterfield
Superior Court of the District of Columbia