Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 14

> LEADING THE BAR IN PURSUIT OF SERVICE

O

ne Saturday on the way home from volunteering at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono
Center's Advice & Referral Clinic in Anacostia, Esther H. Lim found herself
tearing up. She'd spent the morning with a veteran who, after serving his
country, felt as if he'd lost everything - his job, his family, and his will to live.

Dhaliwal served as the Bar's treasurer; in May he was elected to the Board of
Governors for a three-year term. He also volunteers with various clinics and
lends his time to the Pro Bono Center. Doing so, Dhaliwal says, has pushed
him out of his comfort zone and helped strengthen his leadership skills.

"After hours of consultation and counseling, with superb guidance from Pro
Bono Center staff, the veteran left the clinic with a concrete plan for that day
and the days after," says Lim, who finished her term as Bar president in June.
"Before we parted, he thanked me earnestly and said, 'You have restored my
faith in humanity.' It was the highest compliment I ever received as a lawyer
- and as a human being."

"I've learned that it's not what you say you'll do, but what you do. You want to
lead by example and bring people with you. You hope you've inspired them,
and they want to copy what you've done," says Dhaliwal, an attorney with
Weiner Brodsky Kider PC.

Volunteering - and leading - is gratifying work. Heartfelt stories like Lim's
are proof of that. But such experiences also highlight Bar members' undeniable
commitment to leadership and service.
"Although it took [me] a long time to commit to running for president, I haven't
looked back," says Lim, who served on various committees before being
elected as the Bar's 47th president in 2017. Prior to her election, Lim served
on the D.C. Bar's Board of Governors and its Development and Nominations
committees. "It's been an amazing journey that has allowed me to witness
the incredible work of the Bar and the Pro Bono Center, and has deepened
my appreciation for the caring community of lawyers, judges, and activists,"
she says.

PURSUING THE BAR'S VISION
Leadership roles come in different shapes and sizes. But members who delve
into the public service side have shared experiences. They agree that service
with the Bar has expanded their professional networks and enriched their
careers in ways they couldn't have imagined. They've met people whom they
might not otherwise meet, both inside and outside of the legal community.
They've gained a deeper understanding of the law, and they've experienced
the rewards of touching someone's life.
When A.J. Dhaliwal first connected with the D.C. Bar as a leader of the South
Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C., he saw the benefits of collaboration. In 2014 he graduated from the D.C. Bar John Payton Leadership
Academy, where he met members who would later become mentors and
inspire him to stretch his involvement with the D.C. Bar. From 2017 to 2018,

"

Past president Brigida Benitez echoes his sentiment and says leading well
means rolling up your sleeves, understanding the mission, and listening to
those who are doing the work to help guide the organization.
"When I was president, I chaired a terrific board of leaders in their own right
and we tackled significant issues, including making the decision to purchase
a building that would become the Bar's permanent headquarters," says Benitez,
a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and also past president of the Hispanic Bar
Association of the District of Columbia. "In leading this process, for example, it
was not only about having a vision and fulfilling the Bar's mission, but also it was
[about] listening, encouraging dialogue, and building consensus to get to a
decision that would be in the best interests of the Bar and its members."
Stephen J. Pollak, who sat on the Bar's very first Board of Governors in 1972 and
was elected president in 1980, was a chief player in shaping the organization's
mission, goals, and values. Over the years, he's chaired and given his time
to numerous D.C. Bar committees, including the Public Service Activities
Committee Review Committee, and the D.C. Bar Foundation. His message
to members is simple: Get involved.
"Your eyes are open if you're active. You learn about things that are going on.
Advancement as a lawyer requires more than sitting at your desk. You have to
be out in the community," says Pollak, of counsel at Goodwin Procter LLP.
Erica Dominitz, chair of the Pro Bono Committee, is thankful for a host of
influential people who brought her to the Bar in 2011. Today, she promotes
the work of the committee and oversees outreach to the community and to
fellow attorneys. "Find out what matters to you. Where do you feel at home?
What organizations have a mission that resonates with you? That for me was
the D.C. Bar."

The year I was president was most
challenging in terms of balance. It
was like having a second full-time
job. . . . But the Bar is set up so you
get to learn the flow.
BRIGIDA BENITEZ
Steptoe & Johnson LLP

14

WASHINGTON LAWYER

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JULY/AUGUST 2019

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Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Bar Business: Annual Report
Member Spotlight
Enforcing the Rules feature
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Enforcing the Rules feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 28
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Bar Business: Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 48
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 51
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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