Jonathan Smith, '84: Non-Profit Superhero!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
Non-Profit Superheroes Celebrated!
Congratulations to Jonathan Smith, '84, one of five "non-profit superheroes" celebrated at the Meyer Foundation's annual Exponent Awards at Woolly Mammoth Theatre!
According to Biznow:
"Over the past five years, executive director Jonathan Smith has doubled the budget of the Legal Aid Society of DC to more than $3 million. The non-profit provides civil legal services to low income individuals in cases of domestic violence, eviction prevention, and more. Most of the budget has gone to growing the Legal Aid Society's programs and bringing in more lawyers and paralegals, while little was left to build the non-profit's infrastructure. Jonathan says the award money will allow him to hire a CFO and finally bring the infrastructure up to speed with the organization's growth."
Jonathan has directed the Legal Aid Society of DC since May 2002 where he is responsible for program management and also participates in litigation. Before obtaining his JD from Antioch School of Law in 1984, he graduated in 1980 with a BA in philosophy from the University of Maine at Orono. From 1984 to 1989, Jonathan was an associate at the Alexandria Virginia civil rights firm of Victor Glasberg & Associates. During his tenure at the law firm, he litigated cases a broad range of issues including, police brutality and misconduct, employment discrimination, discrimination in public accommodation, voting rights and free speech.
In 1989, Jonathan joined D.C. Prisoners' Legal Services Project as its first staff attorney and helped open the office. In 1991, he became the Project's executive director. While at the Project he served as counsel in individual and class action litigation. From 1998 until 2002, Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where he worked on a range of issues including juvenile justice reform, workers' rights, the rights of language minorities and housing. During his tenure, he helped grow the Public Justice Center's docket and helped establish the Appellate Advocacy Project and the Latino Legal Assistance Project. Jonathan has received recognition for his work, including the Justice Potter Stewart Award from the Council for Court Excellence (2006); the Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership (EXCEL) Award from the Center for Non-Profit Advancement (2006);and the President’s Award from the Washington Council of Lawyers (2006). He is also a founding member of the DC Access to Justice Comission.