The Barbara McDowell Foundation is pleased to share a recent tribute to the Foundation’s namesake, Barbara McDowell, by David Reiser, a colleague of Barbara's, in his speech accepting a lifetime achievement award from the DC Bar for his pro bono work:
The person I want to acknowledge is Barbara McDowell, who was the first director of the Legal Aid appellate project and who I had the privilege to work with for several years after she left the Solicitor General’s office. Barbara introduced me when Legal Aid gave me an award back then, and it is only fair for me, at the very least, to share this moment with her. Barbara was brilliant, utterly scrupulous about getting the law and facts right, and committed body, heart, and soul to achieving justice. I don’t have time here to offer the full measure of her virtues as a colleague in pursuit of an ideal. To join forces with Barbara was to believe that it was always possible to change minds with just a little more effort and hard thinking—to bend the curve towards justice in real time.