Tracking a Network of Community Partners with the DC Bar Foundation

June 2020 – Ongoing // Washington D.C. Area // PARTNER CPRM Project

The DC Bar Foundation is the leading funder of civil legal aid in the District of Columbia. We are committed to the vision that residents of the District have equal access to justice, regardless of income.

The Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was established in 1977 to provide a vehicle for lawyers and law firms to contribute to legal services organizations in the District of Columbia. In 1985, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals established the District’s IOLTA program, which the Foundation administers. In 2006, the Council of the District of Columbia appropriated funds for civil legal services grants and a poverty lawyer loan repayment assistance program, designating the DC Bar Foundation as administrator.

The Bar Foundation awards grants to the District’s legal services organizations that provide free civil legal services to low-income and underserved people in the District. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $80 million in grants.

VNL is working with the Foundation, developing a formal process and tool to demonstrate the strength, connectivity, and exchange among its evolving network of grantees.This includes the ability to assess the quality and quantity of grantee relationships as a mechanism for achieving community engagement, cross-sector social and resource networks, and policy/legislative outcomes to support the DC Civic Legal Aid programs. The DC Bar Foundation would also like to use network data to determine what role it should play in its grantee network, and how best to support the network.

"We're trying to understand, what is the current state of the legal aid network within the district? Where is it strong, where is it weak, and how can we improve upon that to achieve the transformation we'd like to see?"
Kirra Jarratt
Executive Director, DC Bar Foundation

Our Project Team

Kaley Bachinski

Kaley Feenstra, M.H.P.


Andy Zheng

Andy Zheng

Senior Network Data Analyst

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