DC Bar Foundation Awards BFC to Support Free Legal Assistance in DC
January 06, 2023 by Crystal Iwuoha in
Bread for the City’s Legal Clinic is proud to announce that we are one of the 2023 recipients of the DC Bar Foundation’s Access to Justice, Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program, and General Support grants.
For over 15 years, Bread for the City has partnered with the DC Bar Foundation and other free civil legal service providers across DC to increase access to justice for residents living on low incomes. While the right to counsel for felony offenses is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment, civil offenses (including disputes around child custody, domestic violence, substandard housing, and illegal eviction, among other common and important legal matters) do not include a right to counsel. Unless an individual can pay for an attorney, they must address these matters alone in court, which puts them at a disadvantage regarding receiving a fair ruling. A 2019 study found that 88% of respondents in the DC Landlord/Tenant Court were without counsel, and 97% of respondents in paternity and child support cases in DC’s Family Court were without counsel – a pattern that makes reaching legal resolution and justice difficult for the respondent.
Bread for the City’s Legal Clinic, which includes attorneys working on family law, housing law, immigration, and public benefits matters, aims to address this disparity. The DC Bar Foundation in 2023 provided total funding for our Housing Preservation Project, Eviction Diversion Project, Child Support Community Legal Services Project, Community Lawyering Project, and Domestic Violence Community Legal Services Project, as well as general support for remaining legal work that we perform every day.
We’re grateful to the DC Bar Foundation for their renewed and increased support of this important work, and we look forward to partnering throughout 2023 on projects that better the lives of those in DC living on low incomes.
For more information, read here: DC Bar Foundation Awards $26.44 Million for Free Legal Assistance in DC.