DWT's team is committed to staff at least one client “intake” session a month and handle individual cases. A volunteer staffing an intake session may meet up to seven potential clients in one hour. Each interaction requires actively listening to the client’s story and identifying legal problems, or simply providing a sympathetic ear. The cases that volunteers take away from legal clinic intake sessions vary, but they commonly include social security benefits, housing vouchers (or other housing programs such as rapid rehousing), shelter discipline/displacement, and housing conditions, among many others.
DWT's representation can range from informal phone calls to resolving confusion to representation in administrative proceedings, all the way to appearances in appellate court. In June, Adam Caldwell and Pat Curran represented a disabled, homeless WLCH client at the D.C. Court of Appeals challenging the D.C. Housing Authority decision. Adam and Pat’s request for expedited treatment was granted, and their merits briefing brought the D.C. Housing Authority to the settlement table. The client—who had been seeking public housing assistance for years—finally moved into a unit that could accommodate his disability.
Dan Reing, who coordinated work with WLCH, helped provide further volunteer support to the clinic by establishing a collaborative pro bono relationship with lawyers from DWT client Comcast. DWT volunteers visited Comcast’s Washington, D.C., office to provide training, and to pair Comcast volunteer with DWT volunteer to staff intake sessions clinics and represent WLCH clients.
DWT volunteers provided 103 hours of pro bono service to the clinic during the past year. They included: Van Bloys, Maria Browne, Adam Caldwell, Katori Copeland, Pat Curran, Chip English, K.C. Halm, Tiphanie Hill, Dan Reing, Bob Scott, and Mike Sloan. Others who have recently joined the team include: Danielle Frappier, Steve Horvitz, Nancy Libin, and Shannon McNeal.