DC Area Attorneys/Foley & Lardner Law Firm Honored for Volunteer Service

October 03, 2007

Two local attorneys and the Foley & Lardner law firm received this year’s Pro Bono Legal Service Awards for outstanding volunteer legal service to low-income individuals from the Washington region. The awards were given on September 30 at a brunch following the annual Red Mass for justices, lawyers and government officials.

The honorees are volunteers with the Archdiocesan Legal Network, a program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. Last year alone, $10 million in free legal services was provided to 4,408 people in need through the generosity of more than 280 volunteer attorneys and 55 law firms. The Legal Network operates six intake sites in the District of Columbia and suburban Maryland, and conducts telephone intake.

The awards are given each year by the John Carroll Society, a spiritual, charitable and social organization for Washington-area Catholic professionals. This year’s Pro Bono Legal Service Award winners were:

Lauri E. Cleary, Esq., partner at Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered, in Bethesda, MD is a member of the Legal Network’s Advisory Council. She has been active in accepting pro bono cases herself and enlists other attorneys in her firm to accept cases in areas in which she does not practice.

Brian W. Stolarz, Esq., associate at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP , in Washington, DC, has accepted more pro bono cases from the Legal Network than any other attorney in the past year. Even when unable to take a case, he is always willing to offer brief advice to a client.

Foley & Lardner LLP in Washington, DC has sponsored interns from the Georgetown University Law Center to work at the Legal Network the last two summers. The interns assisted lawyers at Foley and Lardner with many pro bono cases that the Legal Network often could not place with other law firms or volunteer attorneys. The interns worked at the Legal Network for seven weeks before shifting to full-time work at Foley & Lardner. Additionally, volunteers from the firm conduct in-person intake interviews at the Legal Network twice each month.

Since 1989, approximately 35,000 people have received assistance from the Network and its volunteer attorneys and law firms. The Legal Network also offers free law-related education seminars for the community and training for attorneys on a variety of civil law topics such as family law, immigration, wills and probate matters and social security benefits. In 2001, the Legal Network received the Council for Court Excellence’s Justice Potter Stewart Award for providing outstanding legal services to the community. The Legal Network also received the Partnering for Justice Award from the DC Consortium of Legal Service Providers in 1999.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]