Our very own, Daniel M. Clark, received the 2019 Scoutt Prize on last Thursday, October 10. Awarded by the District of Columbia Bar Foundation (DCBF), the Scoutt Prize is awarded annually to an attorney who has worked for a significant portion of his or her career at a nonprofit organization providing direct, hands-on legal services to poor or disadvantaged persons in the District of Columbia, has demonstrated compassionate concern for his or her clients, and has exhibited a high degree of skill on their behalf.
There is no one more deserving of this award than Dan. Not only has Dan dedicated over 20 years to DC’s legal aid community and to teaching the next generation of legal aid attorneys, he has transformed Rising for Justice’s current Eviction Defense Services (EDS) practice, where he serves as Co-Director, to provide services to DC tenants every hour the courthouse doors are open. Dan, like the rest of us at Rising for Justice, believes wholeheartedly that no DC resident facing legal jeopardy should be without counsel. Speaking about EDS earlier this year, Dan described our EDS office as the “legal emergency triage center.” “Our goal is to stop the bleeding, stabilize the tenant, and prioritize the risks faced by the tenant,” Dan says. “We, at Rising for Justice, take very seriously that the concept of Civil Gideon should be a reality for every DC resident,” Dan says. “To ensure we meet that standard each day, we don’t merit screen, we don’t turn people away.”
For a significant portion of his career, Dan has been in the trenches working to make a difference in the lives of District residents in need. Today, that’s where Dan remains — in the trenches fighting to ensure that every DC tenant receives the housing justice they deserve. Dan has also dedicated his professional expertise to mentoring law students to ensure the development of the next generation of advocates. We, at Rising for Justice, agree with the DCBF — “Dan represents the best of our profession.” We enjoyed celebrating Dan’s accomplishments and his receipt of the 2019 Jerrold Scoutt Prize at the DC Bar Foundation’s 2019 Fall Reception, generously hosted each year by Alston & Bird LLC.