Appellate Advocacy

Organization: Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Established in 2004 with seed money from the DC Bar Foundation, which continues to provide generous support, Legal Aid’s Appellate Project has become a “model of excellence” that the National Legal Aid and Defender Association has urged other legal services programs to emulate. The Project was named for its founding Director, Barbara McDowell, after her untimely death.

The Project not only litigates appeals on behalf of Legal Aid clients but also files “friend of the court” briefs on cases involving matters of importance to people living in poverty. Beyond litigation, the Project provides appellate instruction, consultation, and advice to the larger D.C. legal services community. Although most of the Project’s work involves cases before the District’s highest court – the District of Columbia Court of Appeals – the Project also gets involved in administrative appeals and cases before the District of Columbia Superior Court and the federal courts.

Learn more about Barbara McDowell, the renowned appellate litigator and U.S. Supreme Court advocate who served as the project’s first director and after whom our appellate advocacy project is named.

After Barbara’s untimely death, Legal Aid created the Barbara McDowell Endowment Fund for Appellate Litigation with funds donated both from Barbara’s estate and from the generous donations of her husband, Jerry Hartman. The Fund was created “to honor the immeasurable contributions that Barbara made to Legal Aid and the legal needs of persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia.” Jerry has continued to donate generously in Barbara’s honor to the Fund to sustain the ongoing, important work of The Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project. Jerry also founded The Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation, which supports organizations that undertake systemic litigation on behalf of disadvantaged persons and groups throughout the United States.
202-727-2132 (Fax); 202-628-1161 (Voice)
Application: You can apply online, utilize walk-in intake hours, or call (202) 628-1161 for more information.
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Service Category: Legal Advocacy & Legal Aid

Legal Aid Society of DC - Main Office
1331 H St NW Washington DC 20005

(202) 727-2132, (202) 628-1161

Legal Aid Society of DC - The “Big Chair”
2041 Martin Luther King Ave SE Washington DC 20020

(202) 727-2132