The Legal Aid Society, in collaboration with Howard University School of Law (HUSL), in Washington D.C., launched its second annual Spring Break Student Pro Bono Project on March 11, 2019.
The Project was joint collaboration between management and staff attorneys who are members of a Howard Law School group - this group consists of staff attorneys D. Antoinette Kirwan (JRP), Natasha Ingram (CIV), Germaine Auguste (CDP), Robert Desir (CIV), Shomari Ward (JRP) and Japel Filiaci (CDP). The alumni had a vision to create a pipeline between their alma mater, one of the nation's preeminent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), and The Legal Aid Society.
D. Antoinette Kirwan, Staff Attorney in JRP and a Howard University School of Law graduate, served as the master of ceremonies. Inspirational speeches were delivered by Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Practice and a Spelman alumna; Germaine Auguste, CDP Staff Attorney; Robert Desir, Civil Staff Attorney; and Sirica McIntosh, JRP Staff Attorney, all three Howard University School of Law alumni. Carmia Caesar, Interim Assistant Dean of Career Service and Director of Experiential Learning at Howard University School of Law, presented closing remarks urging students to use the opportunity to begin their legal careers.
Bharati Narumanchi, Director of Recruitment, and Jennifer Lewis, Talent Acquisition Manager, organized the program and logistics. Directors Tracy Richelle High, Sarah Cave, and Charles Platt, who are members of the Board of Directors Diversity and Inclusion Committee, sponsored the breakfast and stipends.
Students will spend the next week earning pro bono credit and working directly with several of The Legal Aid Society's specialized units, including: the Community Justice Unit (CJU), the Decarceration Project and the Immigration Law Unit (ILU).