Law firms raise $3.6m for D.C. legal services

May 2, 2013 Law firms in Washington DC contributed $3.6 million to the costs of local civil legal services providers last year, as part of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission's second annual Raising the Bar in D.C. Campaign.

Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit commended the contributing firms at the Campaign’s annual event, but warned that access to justice problems were getting worse, noting that in the District of Columbia, for example, more than 90 per cent of litigants are unrepresented in certain types of civil cases.

"Until the legal profession as a whole accepts responsibility for ensuring all people need legal help can actually get a lawyer, I fear we will never make significant progress toward that goal," he said. Besides giving money, Tatel encouraged firms to do more pro bono work and advocate on behalf of greater public funding for legal services.

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