DC Attorneys/Law Firm Staff Honored for Volunteer Service

September 18, 2006

Two local attorneys and a non-lawyer staff member from Washington, DC firms will receive this year’s Pro Bono Legal Service Awards for outstanding volunteer legal service to low-income individuals from the Washington region. The awards will be made on Sunday, October 1 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 Community Services of the Archdiocese of Washington. Last year alone, $10 million in free legal services was provided to 6,000 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 are:

Kevin C. Fitzgerald, Esq., managing partner of Troutman, Sanders LLP Washington, DC office, has been a member of the Legal Network’s Advisory Council since 2003. He has been instrumental in having his firm accept pro bono cases for the Legal Network and participate in client intake each month. Mr. Fitzgerald also has served as chairman of the Advisory Council’s Golf Tournament Subcommittee, helping to raise $30,000 for the Legal Network.

William E. Lawler, III, Esq., partner at Vinson & Elkins, LLP, has been a member of the Legal Network’s Advisory Council since 2002. He has been instrumental in placing pro bono cases with his law firm, active in recruiting outstanding lawyers to serve on the Network’s Advisory Council and instrumental in raising major donor support for the Legal Network.

Francine L. Higginbotham, a non-attorney specialist in McKenna, Long & Aldridge, LLP’s corporate practice group, has supervised and conducted intake on the Legal Network’s telephone client intake line every Wednesday and Thursday for 10 years and is a “constant source of support,” according to the letter of nomination.

Since 1989, over 25,000 people have received assistance from the Network and its volunteer attorneys and law firms. The Legal Network also offers community law-related education seminars and training for attorneys on a variety of civil law topics such as family law and public entitlements. 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
Director of Communications
[email protected]