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Covington & Burling Makes Flagship Gift to Bread for the City’s SE Center Expansion

The law firm of Covington & Burling has made the first gift for an upcoming $15 million expansion of Bread for the City’s Southeast Center on Good Hope Road. This $100,000 contribution will help Bread for the City (BFC) expand its civil legal services practice for low-income individuals living East of the River, and is part of Covington’s commitment with the DC Access to Justice Commission’s “Raising the Bar” Campaign to help bridge the legal services funding gap in the District of Columbia.

legal clinicCovington and BFC have a long partnership, dating back to the early 1990s, when legal services were first offered as part of Bread’s comprehensive approach to fighting poverty. In addition to more than 20 years of financial support, Covington provides BFC with loaned associates, each of whom works part-time for a six-month rotation as a member of BFC’s legal team. These associates provide direct legal services to BFC clients in the housing law area, representing clients in Landlord-Tenant Court and various administrative agencies to fight evictions, improper rent increases, and housing code violations.

“Covington’s support is a critical part of our formula for fighting poverty in the District of Columbia,” says Bread for the City Chief Executive Officer George A. Jones, who is also a member of DC’s Access to Justice Commission. “Their kind of commitment to providing substantial financial and pro bono support to civil legal services is what this city needs if we are to ensure that all residents have access to healthy food, safe and affordable housing, and equal justice under the law.”Bread for the City’s legal clinic provides services to approximately 1,800 low-income DC residents each year, as well as brief service and referrals to several thousand more annually. Unfortunately, the clinic has outgrown the existing space at Bread’s Good Hope Road location. Bread’s legal clients need a larger waiting area and more private meeting rooms where attorneys can speak confidentially with them. And as the legal staff grows to meet the needs of our community, more work space is needed.

Covington’s grant comes from an attorneys’ fee award in a pro bono civil rights case in Arizona in which the firm won an injunction against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s racial profiling of Hispanic individuals. The firm’s policy is to donate fee awards in such cases to charitable causes.

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