Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 36

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
periodically and somebody bites. For whatever reason, I went another way.
I believe that every individual client is a universe. When you represent
somebody, you realize that it's not just another housing problem or custody
case. It's their universe, and you need to treat it that way.
Did everyone in your law firm participate in pro bono, or was it just a
limited few?
Pro bono was a younger lawyer thing rather than an every lawyer thing for
a while. There was never a right time for pro bono for some attorneys. I always
try to get associates involved in pro bono as early as possible, so that way it's
always on their plate. They don't have to make room for it in their busy schedules. We didn't have a pro bono requirement, but it got to the point where I was
able to say that we have an expectation that everybody will do pro bono. I did
get a reputation - sort of a "be careful if you run into Barbara!" It was a running
joke. I was respectful when I did it. I didn't want to be a zealot.
There wasn't a moment when it changed in terms of getting more partners
[involved]. It was really an evolution. It became an issue in the industry and at our
firm. The firm would accommodate partners' involvement in pro bono, and the
goal has been to get to 100 percent participation. There was a big push at some
point to have pro bono incorporated into law firm evaluations. A lot of firms have
done that to different degrees and in different ways. If you're performing well
versus performing well and doing pro bono, that's an extra feather in your cap.

attorneys trained. I get nervous about that. These are not lab animals we're
working on. Training is a byproduct of what we're doing, obviously, but it's not
the main purpose. That would be like having the tail wagging the dog. I know
for a lot of firms it's a distinction without a difference, but I don't think so. When
an institution approaches it the other way around, it can bring elements into
the program and a mentality that aren't effective.
There are a lot of pressures on firms today, but they're not turning their backs
on pro bono. There are higher demands on associates; pro bono has to fit in
around their work. It is tight. Associates are having to adjust their pro bono
hours, but the ethic of pro bono is there with both attorneys and firms.
What is it like living a life in pro bono?
People think that because you do good things in your job that makes you a
good person. I feel a little bit like a fraud when people think that because I do a
job that's great, and I get paid to do it. It never occurred to me that I would work
in the private sector at a big firm. It's not what I went to law school for. I envisioned a different kind of career. But once you realize what your work could
mean to a person or a family, then you realize you have to do something, and
you end up making a difference in someone's life. That's the nature of pro bono.

Where do you see pro bono work in law firms heading in the future?
Over the last several years, a potential risk I see coming is [this] natural push
toward attorney development and training in law firms using pro bono to get

Sarah Kellogg is a regular contributor to Washington Lawyer.

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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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