Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 45


How did you become involved with the D.C. Bar Pro
Bono Center?
Back in 1987, my firm, at the time, hired a summer
clerk, Darrell Clark, who wound up coming back to
work for us as a full-time associate. Darrell became
involved with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center doing the
bankruptcy training for pro bono attorneys. So Darrell
enlisted me to be a speaker, and I was more than
happy to participate. I was also teaching a few CLE
courses for the D.C. Bar and Georgetown University.
So the opportunity to do something with Darrell and
the Pro Bono Center seemed like a logical fit. For
several years I spoke on bankruptcy and
non-bankruptcy remedies. Eventually, Darrell needed
to step down as the principal trainer and mentor for
the bankruptcy clinic. I was asked if I had any interest
in stepping in and running it, and I said, sure. That was
about 10 years ago.
When I took over, the course was one day with
multiple speakers and we had a nice manual, but it
needed to be overhauled. Over the years I have
experimented with the speakers. I dwindled the
number down to one: me. I have a real mental block
about delegating. Working with the Pro Bono Center, I
expanded the course from one day to two days and
the Pro Bono Center enlisted Dickstein Shapiro LLP to
rewrite the training manual. They did a phenomenal
job, though it probably needs another update.
Pro bono attorneys have praised your bankruptcy
training. Tell us more about teaching.
It is very fulfilling to me to teach. I remember when I
was at Shaw Pittman we put on a real estate seminar
in 1990, which was during one of the real estate
depressions in the area. We had hundreds of real
estate professionals come in and I got up there to do
a presentation on bankruptcy, and then we broke up
in side sessions to talk some more. I think I walked
away from that experience with as much of an
adrenaline rush as I would get arguing a motion in
front of the bankruptcy court. There is something
inherently enjoyable about being able to convey in a
consumable way material in which you have some
expertise, not in the sense of showing off - because
that is easy - but for being a resource and being of
service to others. So to me it is very fulfilling in all the
different ways I manifest teaching, whether it is
mentoring through the Bankruptcy Assistance Center
or the Pro Bono Center's Bankruptcy Clinic, doing the
bankruptcy training, or a CLE for the D.C. Bar. All those
things are fulfilling to me. It gives me an opportunity
to really think analytically and academically about
how to present the materials.

You also serve as a mentor for the Pro Bono
Center's Bankruptcy Clinic. How did that start?
It was a natural consequence. Two days of training on
bankruptcy is really not enough to cover every
contingency, and while we can hit the highlights,
invariably when a real case comes up there is some
wrinkle or issue that requires far more in-depth
treatment than we can provide in training. For
example, very recently one of the attorneys who went
through the pro bono training had a client with
student loan issues. We spoke at length about the fact
that it is incredibly difficult to discharge a student loan
in bankruptcy. So with some mentoring - not a lot, it
was more brainstorming - the attorney took the
lead and went back to the lenders directly and
negotiated forgiveness of each of the student loans.
That was really an extraordinary thing for her to do,
but in the context of the financial assistance that we
provide, learning that there is a way to do this,
because she did it, was very eye-opening to us. We
now integrate the fact that although student loans
aren't dischargeable because the threshold for
dischargeability is so high in bankruptcy that it is a
virtual impossibility, the lenders themselves have
forgiveness programs. So that was something
remarkable that the bankruptcy training provided the
fulcrum for us to do that.

INVESTED IN THE
COMMUNITY
●

Investors Saving for
Retirement

●

Retirees

●

College Savers

●

●

Individuals with
Insurance Needs
Individuals with
Estate Needs

How did you find time to give almost 200 pro bono
hours last year in addition to a busy practice?
Being a solo practitioner allows me the flexibility to
pursue some of my other passions, including writing,
teaching, and pro bono service. Billing time, being a
professional, and giving back to the community that
has supported me - there is no differentiation - is
not a zero-sum game.
Is there anything you would say to someone who is not
currently doing pro bono work in the District of Columbia?
Absolutely. First and foremost, never mind the
professional obligation. I don't think people can be
enticed into volunteering their time, effort, and
expertise by mandate. They must be pulled into it by
making it attractive. What attracts people to taking
pro bono is the opportunity, particularly for young
people who don't get many chances to be first chair
in the handling of a matter. This is a wonderful
opportunity to step in and be the responsible
person in dealing with another person's problem. You
are not just doing it because you should be doing it,
and you are not just doing it because it is a good
thing to do. You are doing it because on top of all
those things there is a reward for you in it as a person
and as a professional.
Read more about Charles Horsky and The
Horsky Report at dcbar.org, keywords:
Charles Horsky.

Sheila Cheek
Financial Advisor
1667 K Street NW
Suite 260
Washington, DC 20006
Bus. 202-223-2902
Fax 855-849-8107
sheila.cheek@edwardjones.com
www.edwardjones.com

* WASHINGTON LAWYER * JANUARY 2017 45


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January 2017

Washington Lawyer - January 2017
Contents
Your Voice
From Our President
Our Membership
Career & Professional Development
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Government & Gavel
Feature: An Inside Job
Feature: Investment Planning for Lawyers
Feature: Making the Virtual Leap
Feature: Lawyers Have Heart
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Partners' Perspective
Ask the Ethics Experts
Attorney Briefs
Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Washington Lawyer - January 2017
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Contents
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 4
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Our Membership
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Career & Professional Development
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Government & Gavel
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: An Inside Job
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 20
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Investment Planning for Lawyers
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Making the Virtual Leap
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Lawyers Have Heart
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 32
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Partners' Perspective
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 45
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 47
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover4
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