The mission of DC Law Students in Court (LSIC) is to provide free, high quality legal representation to low-income District of Columbia residents while teaching and inspiring the next generation of lawyers. We are committed to protecting the legal rights of vulnerable men, women, and children who have civil, criminal, and housing legal problems that originated in the District. Our steady presence in the courts serves as a vital check on a system that favors people with counsel and resources over people without.
Almost 50 years ago, a consortium of District of Columbia law schools created the LSIC as a response to the crisis in legal services for the poor in the Landlord-Tenant and Small Claims courts. As the oldest legal services clinic in the District of Columbia, LSIC is unique among legal services organizations: while providing high-quality services, we train approximately 90 law students from area law schools each year in clinical education programs. Our law students devote approximately 30,000 hours of pro bono work each year to addressing basic human needs – shelter and liberty – for hundreds of vulnerable people. We teach our students practical lawyering and courtroom advocacy skills as we instill a passion for justice and commitment to public service, which they carry with them after the graduate.
With the help of volunteer third-year law students, the services we provide are very cost-effective. Our unique clinic structure allows us to leverage donations so that each of our attorneys can provide excellent legal assistance for hundreds of individuals and families in need each year. This amazing return on social justice dollars may be one of the reasons that the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington has described Law Students in Court as “one of the best small non-profits in the Washington, D.C. region.”
Our free legal services prevent unnecessary evictions and homelessness and ensure a fair justice system for our community’s most vulnerable people.
We need your support now more than ever.