Performing more than 100 hours of pro bono work in 2012 has landed Catholic University law school Professor Mark Rienzi on the High Honor Roll List of the 2nd Annual Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll released by the chief judges of the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court.
With the support of the D.C. Access to Justice Commission and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, the Court’s Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll recognizes the contributions of D.C. Bar members authorized to perform pro bono work in D.C. who self-report that they completed 50 hours or more of pro bono service over the course of the last calendar year. Such service satisfies their obligation under Rule 6.1 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct.
Rienzi has donated his time and professional skills to a number of pro bono causes, many of them focused on the issue of religious freedom. In Montgomery County, Maryland, for example, Rienzi has spent several years assisting with the First Amendment litigation of Centro Tepeyac, a pregnancy resource center for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. The center provides information and material support to support women who want to have their babies instead of choosing abortion.
Almost 4100 attorneys reported performing 50 hours or more of pro bono work in 2012, the 2nd year for which data was gathered. More than half of them, including Rienzi, reported performing 100 hours or more of pro bono work, qualifying them for inclusion in the High Honor Roll.
Despite greater pressures to bill more hours and work more efficiently, the number of attorneys who made the Honor Roll represents an increase of almost 20% over previous year.
In a joint letter, D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Eric T. Washington and Superior Court Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield wrote “We are so pleased and proud to congratulate the more than 4000 members of the 2012 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll for their remarkable pro bono service to our neighbors in need, who make us all proud to be part of a profession that grasps that our neighbors matter… and then does something about it.”
Honor Roll members reflect the diversity of D.C. legal community, hailing from 133 law firms and scores of solo practices, federal government agencies, and public interest organizations, in addition to academia.