Grantee Spotlight


The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP) addresses the critical shortage of legal assistance for low-income people in Washington, DC, especially in cases involving domestic violence. WBAF’s grant supports HAVEN: Housing Advocacy for Victims, an initiative within DCVLP’s Domestic Violence Program. HAVEN provides District victims of domestic and other gender-based violence, the majority of whom are women, with legal assistance and advocacy on victim legal rights in housing, employment, and financial matters. HAVEN’s goal is to help victims achieve safety, housing and employment stability, and economic self-sufficiency.


The 2021 grant to the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project was designated as the Patricia Gurne Memorial Grant. Ms. Gurne, who passed away last year, was a past president of both the Women’s Bar Association and the WBA Foundation. To honor her service, we presented this named grant in 2021.


Sara B. Tennen, Executive Director of DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, said, “With the generous support of funders like the Women’s Bar Association Foundation, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project is able to provide safety and stability for over 2,100 victims and their children through comprehensive pro-bono legal services. We are grateful for WBAF’s longstanding support of this important work.”

With the help of hundreds of well‐trained volunteer lawyers each year, DCVLP provides comprehensive legal services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, and other forms of gender‐based violence, and to vulnerable children living in dangerous situations. They help clients escape violence and move toward safety & stability. To volunteer with DCVLP, contact Jennifer Watkins at