The Legal Clinic mourns the recent passing of two champions of justice. Lois G. Williams Our first introduction to Lois was in the late 1980′s when, as the pro bono partner at then Howrey & Simon, she worked with Mitch Snyder and others at the Community for Creative Non-Violence, challenging conditions in DC’s singles shelter system at a time when the District of Columbia had a year-round right to shelter but operated facilities that were in deplorable condition. The case, Atchison vs. Barry, effected improvements in the shelters and also led to the development of permanent affordable housing through the Affordable Housing Trust, using $4 million in contempt fines the District government was ordered to pay for its failure to comply with the Consent Decree in that case. Lois did many other wonderful things when she was at Howrey, all aimed at making DC a more inclusive community. She played an instrumental role in the crafting of theCommunity Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place, forging a positive outcome from significant neighborhood conflict over the proposed siting of a shelter at the Guy Mason Rec Center near Wisconsin Avenue north of Georgetown. From that experience, Lois helped to launch an effort that we called the Campaign for New Community (CNC). CNC took a multi-faceted approach to addressing conflict over the siting of housing and services for residents who were low income or homeless, had a disability or were otherwise vulnerable or marginalized. Her work led to positive reform of zoning laws in DC, which broke down some of the structural barriers to these important programs. Through CNC, Lois helped to unite faith leaders, community activists, lawyers, service providers, journalists and advocates toward a common goal of extending greater community hospitality to our neighbors in need. It was a great privilege to work with Lois on this effort. Lois served on the Legal Clinic’s board of directors for about ten years beginning in the mid-1990′s. She left private practice to work full time in the public interest at the Washington Lawyers Committee. From there, she joined the Peace Corps and spent several years in Lesotho. In retirement, Lois relocated to San Francisco to be close to her son Patrick. She was a great inspiration and role model to many of us. Beyond being a brilliant lawyer, Lois was a joyful spirit. She clearly loved her work, her clients, her colleagues…and her family and friends most of all. She enjoyed a good fight with the forces of injustice, too! After a struggle with cancer and a recent heart attack, Lois Williams passed on October 13. Thomas J. Mikula We first met Tom when Shea & Gardner, the firm at which he practiced (since merged with...
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