Barbara McDowell, Founding Director of the Appellate Advocacy Project for the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, will be posthumously awarded the Servant of Justice Award by Legal Aid at the 25th Annual Dinner held on April 29th. Barbara McDowell’s good friend and fellow Yale Law School graduate Professor Sarah Gordon at the University of Pennsylvania will present the award.
The annual Servant of Justice Award is Legal Aid’s highest honor and recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the cause of equal access to justice in the District of Columbia. More than 600 individuals from the D.C. legal and corporate communities will attend the dinner.
Barbara McDowell, a national leader in public interest advocacy, was the first director of the Legal Aid Appellate Advocacy Project and served in that position for five years. She became the leading anti-poverty voice in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals handling more than 70 matters and winning several important cases that established the rights of the poor. Several of her Legal Aid cases have had national significance.
“Barbara had a strong belief in doing social justice programs in the District and beyond,” said Drinker Biddle Partner Jerry Hartman, Barbara’s husband and founder of The Barbara McDowell and Gerald Hartman Foundation. “I am committed to continuing her work through the efforts of the Foundation that was established with the assistance of Drinker Biddle.”
In 2011, Drinker Biddle created as part of the work of the Foundation, The Barbara McDowell High Impact Pro Bono Initiative, a program that aims to impact social justice concerns by sponsoring high impact litigation in conjunction with pro bono organizations such as the representation of death-row prisoners in post-conviction proceedings in Mississippi and the awarding of food stamps to indigent persons in the District of Columbia and to blind persons in New York City.
For more information on the Barbara McDowell and Gerald Hartman Foundation, go to http://www.Mcdowellfoundation.org.