Our Mission

DC Reduced Fee Lawyer & Mediator Referral Service (DC Refers) connects qualified lawyers with potential modest-means clients who are seeking reduced fee legal services in the District of Columbia.  

DC Refers was created to increase access to justice for persons of modest means in the District of Columbia. Many people in the District of Columbia earn too much to qualify for free legal services from a pro bono lawyer or nonprofit legal aid provider, but do not earn enough to afford to pay the amount that most lawyers charge for legal services. People whose incomes fall between 200-400% of the federal poverty guidelines often have no good options for obtaining legal assistance. We seek to fill that justice gap.

DC Refers is a project of Responsive Law, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization that works to make the legal system more affordable, accessible and accountable. 

Our Steering Committee

Meet the members of our all-volunteer Steering Committee.

  • Susan D. Bennett, Director of the Community and Economic Development Law Clinic and Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
  • Briane Cornish, Legal Tech Consultant 
  • Katie Dilks, Associate Director,  Public Interest Programs & New Initiatives, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Nancy Drane, Executive Director, D.C. Access to Justice Commission
  • Andrea Ferster, Law Office of Andrea Ferster; Past President, D.C. Bar
  • Alan Herman, Mediator, Superior Court Multi-Door Program, Former Supervisory Attorney, Legal Counsel for the Elderly (Hotline, Reduced Fee Panel), Former Clerk, D.C. Court of Appeals, Retired U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate
  • Samantha Howard,  Administrative Legal Assistant, The D.C. Tenants' Rights Center
  • Elizabeth Landau, Staff Attorney, Amara Legal Center
  • Nancy Lopez, Executive Director, Washington Council of Lawyers
  • Jennifer Lyman, Senior Assistant for Appeals, D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel
  • Laura Possessky, member of the ABA House of Delegates, former President, Women's Bar Association of DC
  • Avi Sickel, Director of the Family Court Operations Division, Superior Court of the District of Columbia 
  • Ivy Smithers, Hotline Attorney/Manager of Reduced Fee Panel, Legal Counsel for the Elderly 
  • Wendell Webster, Co-Founder and Partner, Webster & Fredrickson, PLLC; Board Member and Past President of the Washington Bar Association
  • Nina Wu, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Benefits Law Unit, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

* Employment/organizational affiliation provided solely for identification purposes.