WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 30, 2004) — McDermott Will & Emery's Washington, D.C. office was recently recognized by two organizations for its pro bono efforts.
Lawyers for Children America nominated the Firm's Washington, D.C. office for the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award. Lawyers for Children America is a nonprofit organization that recruits, trains and supports pro bono lawyer guardians ad litem for children and adolescents in abuse and neglect systems. Starting in 1998 members of McDermott's D.C. office have been doing pro bono work under the auspices of Lawyers for Children America. Since partnering with Lawyers for Children America with the Firm's MWE: Kids First initiative, McDermott has taken on more Lawyers for Children America cases than any other firm. In 2003, McDermott lawyers donated 876 hours of legal services, valued at about $300,000, to abused and neglected children.
McDermott's MWE: Kids First initiatives is a project, coordinated in the Firm’s eight U.S. offices, which focuses on representing children in need to assure they receive appropriate public education and remain in school. MWE: Kids First, organized in collaboration with a local referral agency in each office's city, provides legal representation for a variety of needs, including special education for eligible children, legal inquiries regarding children with health needs, school access and registration, school discipline, school eligibility for immigrant and undocumented children, and law reform and legislative policy.
In another pro bono initiative, McDermott's Washington, D.C. office was named co-recipient of the District of Columbia Bar's 2004 Frederick Abramson Award in June 2004 for its work staffing the Landlord-Tenant Resource Center of the DC Bar Pro Bono program at Superior Court. The co-awardees included the Bar's Landlord Tenant Implementation Committee and the other firms that staff the Center. McDermott has handled many individual cases and has also taken a real leadership role in staffing the Center. The center provides onsite information for pro se litigants in the court's Landlord-Tenant Division. Firm lawyers and legal assistants help pro se litigants file motions, fill out forms and provide advice on a range of procedural and substantive issues.
The Firm's landlord-tenant pro bono team includes lawyers, Guy Collier and Stefan Meisner; and legal assistant Pamela Davis.