The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to mobilizing the resources of the private bar to address issues of civil rights violations and poverty in their community. Their active litigation docket ranges from individual matters to class actions focused on employment rights, immigrant rights, fair housing and lending, public accommodations, disability rights, and DC prisoners’ rights. Additionally, their DC Public School Partnership Program matches area law firms and businesses with DC public schools, bringing academic support and other services to thousands of District children. The Committee also focuses on public policy advocacy, producing reports on criminal justice reform, affordable housing, human rights, and DC public schools.
Since its founding in 1968, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee has sought to address issues of discrimination and civil rights in the DC metropolitan area. Their work started with efforts to address issues of discrimination and poverty identified by the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (known as the Kerner Commission) as the root causes of the riots that erupted in cities across the country throughout the 1960s. Over the past 45 years they have expanded from a small staff focused primarily on issues of racial discrimination into a larger organization providing pro bono representation in a broad range of civil rights and related poverty issues impacting every group protected by their federal, state, and local civil rights laws. They execute their mission by leveraging their broad expertise with the assistance of pro bono attorneys at over 100 DC area law firms.
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