From Jen Masi <[email protected]>
Subject The Power of Our Pro Bono Partnerships
Date October 28, 2020 2:16 PM
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Reaching more than 5,000 children and families every year Pro Bono Partner Williams & Connolly Helps DC Families Secure Homes for Future Holidays In December 2018, residents across the District were preparing for the holidays and enjoying the comfort of their warm homes. At that same time, a fire broke out in a Brightwood Park apartment complex, leaving six families without a place to call home. Residents of the building had appealed to management for years to fix terrible housing conditions – faulty electrical wiring, moldy ceilings and walls, rats that fell from those ceilings, and more – without success. As we see time and again through Children’s Law Center’s medical-legal partnership with DC health clinics, poor housing conditions including mold and pests can trigger serious health issues — like asthma — in kids. The children who lost their homes in the fire that night were not only traumatized – their health had been endangered by unsafe housing. Children’s Law Center attorneys and investigators, led by lawyer Kathy Zeisel, filed a complaint and secured temporary Red Cross shelter for the six families. But unlike our typical pro bono partnerships, we brought in Williams & Connolly to co-counsel, knowing that a case of this size needed pro bono help from a team of fierce civil litigators. That team included firm associates Tracey A. Fung, Michaela Wilkes Klein and Tony Sheh, with partner Andy Keyes providing support and supervision. The team represented the homeless families, filing a complaint on their behalf asking for damages in addition to relief. “This was not a small case to litigate, and the firm empowered our team to investigate all of the facts and to present the best possible arguments on behalf of the clients at every stage of the case, including all the way through expert discovery and pretrial,” says Tony. “I think that’s a testament to how seriously the firm takes its commitment to pro bono service.” After more than two years, the case settled in 2020 – about a month before trial. All the families involved knew the settlement wouldn’t bring back their homes, but they were relieved to know that the property owner was being held accountable for the damage and loss they caused. Tracey, a member of Children's Law Center's Advisory Board, reflects: "It was wonderful to know that we were having a meaningful impact on our clients' daily lives and that we were helping our clients empower themselves to protect their families in the future." "They did such an excellent job," shares one of the families represented by Tracey, Michaela and Tony. "We are so happy to have had their help. It means everything to us and to the other families." For Michaela, working on this pro bono case was fulfilling both personally and professionally. "Most of us enter the legal profession with the hope of promoting justice and helping others," she says, "and this pro bono opportunity did just that." Children’s Law Center is proud to highlight Tracey, Michaela and Tony’s dedicated pro bono work in the service of DC’s children and families during DC Pro Bono Week 2020. Read more on our pro bono partnership with Williams & Connolly here. Congratulations to Our 2020 Pro Bono Champion: Fish & Richardson P.C. During our 2020 Helping Children Soar Benefit, Children’s Law Center was pleased to recognize Fish & Richardson P.C. as this year's Pro Bono Champion. For more than a decade, Fish & Richardson has partnered with Children’s Law Center to support the District’s children and families in need. The firm has taken over fifty pro bono cases with Children’s Law Center since 2009, taking on more cases each year to help us reach even more children and families. Their attorneys lend their time to serve our community and provide critical legal assistance on matters impacting a child’s family, health and education. We express our sincere appreciation for the firm’s dedication to pro bono and commitment to racial justice. Fish & Richardson’s support is essential to ensuring Children’s Law Center touches the lives of thousands of children each year. Missed our Helping Children Soar Benefit? Watch recordings of both nights here. We were honored to recognize Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady as our 2020 Distinguished Child Advocates. If you appreciate their leadership, it's not too late to send them a message of gratitude. Make a gift to Children's Law Center now, and we'll share your message. Learn More About the Power of Our Pro Bono Partnerships Earlier this week, Children's Law Center partnered with Bread for the City to share how each of our organizations serves our District neighbors East of the Anacostia River. Watch the recording of our webinar where we highlight how our medical-legal partnerships with health clinics in Wards 7 and 8 allow us to solve non-medical barriers that impact a child's health. We also share more on how pro bono lawyers partner with us to reach more than 5,000 children and families each year. Please reach out or click here to learn how you can volunteer to provide culturally humble pro bono representation to the children and families across DC who need our help the most. Best, Jen Masi Pro Bono Director Donate 501 3rd Street NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20001 Unsubscribe [email protected] Update Profile | About our service provider Sent by [email protected] powered by Try email marketing for free today!
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