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These Local Law Firms Make a Strong Case for Pro Bono Work

Washington Business Journal

It’s literally in the American Bar Association’s manual — Model Rule 6.1 calls for a goal of 50 hours of pro bono service per year for each and every lawyer. These aren’t always the cases that get the front-page headline or obviously rack up the billable hours, so such pro bono cases can sometimes go overlooked. But it’s worth stopping and actually looking at the kinds of cases Greater Washington attorneys have fought, free of charge, in just the past two years, representing everything from refugees to nonprofits to Death Row inmates. The firms tell us about their more invisible work in the region, from their points of view, of course — and who’s behind it.



Greg Linsin and Kierstan Carlson

An elderly women facing eviction from a HUD-subsidized co-op


The client said she suffered many health problems and a bedbug infestation in her unit for about eight years, forcing her to dump multiple sets of furniture and rip out her carpet. The co-op also failed to fix other code violations, such as bathroom ceiling damage, she claimed. In response, she said she began withholding rent, resulting in an eviction notice. She went for help to D.C. Legal Aid, which referred her case to the firm. Linsin and Carlson resolved the case in mediation with the co-op, which said it had resolved the bedbug issue by then. Under the settlement, the firm said the co-op agreed to forgive back rent, make repairs, and help pay for recarpeting and new furniture, enabling the woman to remain in her apartment.

"These Local Law Firms Make a Strong Case for Pro Bono Work," by Carolyn M. Proctor was published in the Washington Business Journal on March 8, 2019.