Member Spotlight

District of Columbia Bar Foundation

Jul 1, 2021

DC Bar Foundation

DC Bar Foundation

The DC Bar Foundation is the leading private funder of civil legal aid in the District of Columbia. It is committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income. DCBF’s mission is to fund, support, and improve legal representation of the poor, vulnerable, and otherwise disadvantaged in the District of Columbia.

The DC Bar Foundation awards grants to the District’s legal services organizations that provide free civil legal services to low-income and underserved people in the District. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $80 million in grants.

Whether it is providing financially disenfranchised individuals with full representation in a court of law or leading a “know your rights” informational session in a local community center, civil legal aid gives a voice to those in need. DC Bar Foundation is the largest funder of civil legal aid and a steadfast community partner, committed to protecting the basic rights of all people. Through the help of the DC Bar Foundation, DC residents with low incomes can gain access to justice to protect and improve their lives, regardless of what they can afford.

DC Bar Foundation Names Marc L. Fleischaker as 77 Society Chair

Marc L. Fleischaker, Chair Emeritus of Arent Fox and former president of the DC Bar Foundation, has been named Chair of the DC Bar Foundation’s 77 Society. Fleischaker succeeds the late Daniel Rezneck, who served as chair since the Foundation formed the Society in 2017.

Named in honor of the year the DC Bar Foundation was founded (1977), the 77 Society recognizes the generosity of donors and the impact their support has on the Foundation’s goal to transform the District’s civil legal aid network.

Kirra L. Jarratt, the DC Bar Foundation’s CEO and NCBF Board Member, announced Fleischaker’s appointment at the annual President’s Reception, May 6. Read more about Marc L. Fleischaker and 77 Society here.

CEO Kirra Jarratt’s Testimony before The Council of the District of Columbia

Kirra Jarrett

Kirra Jarrett

Kirra Jarratt recently had the opportunity to testify during the public hearing on Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request. As the leading funder of civil legal aid in the District, the DC Bar Foundation is uniquely positioned to be an essential partner in the District’s recovery as they seek to stabilize and improve the quality of life for residents impacted the most by the pandemic.

Kirra elaborated in her testimony, an investment in the civil legal aid network now will also save the District millions of dollars over time. Failing to fund civil legal aid now means the District will incur increased long-term costs related to a variety of services, like those required for unhoused persons, victims of domestic violence, and emergency health care – as well as lost tax revenue. Research from other jurisdictions around the country shows a return on investment of 5 to 12 times the amount spent on civil legal aid. “The DC community is at a critical juncture, and the decisions we make now will impact what the District’s recovery from the pandemic looks like a decade from now and beyond. Building back better is the opportunity of our lifetime, and it is our moral and civic duty to do so.”

Read more here.

Staff and Leadership

The DC Bar Foundation is supported by 10 staff members including their CEO, Kirra L. Jarratt. Kirra also serves on the NCBF Board of Directors. They are also governed by a Board made up of 12 Directors. Meet the staff and full Board here.

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