2020 was a year that none of us could have predicted. It showed us the best and the worst that society has to offer. Our community was deeply shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased attention to long-standing racial inequities, and the need for our services reached tragic levels.
We experienced a 300% increase to our Call-in Legal Clinic and our caseload quadrupled. In response to this need, the support from you, our community of friends and volunteers, was inspiring. With the help of hundreds of well trained and supported volunteer lawyers, we provided critical free legal and support services to over 2,100 victims and children right here in the District of Columbia. In 2020, our volunteers donated over 27,000 hours of pro bono legal services. This means our annual budget of just over 1.8 million dollars translated into over 10 million dollars in free legal services.
We recognize that DC Volunteer Lawyers Project existed in one form prior to March 13, 2020. We evolved and adjusted our services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure our services remained accessible and impactful. The needs of our clients along with external factors dictated changes to the way we deliver our services. As we look towards the second half of 2021, with courts and clinics re-opening their in-person operations, we continue to assess what adjusted services should continue, even when the pandemic no longer dictates them out of necessity.
The need remains significant. With your support, DCVLP stands ready and able to ensure that each person in the District of Columbia is entitled to a life free from violence and abuse. We are deeply grateful to each and every one of you – our longtime supporters and our new friends.