Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 6

FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Reflections on

America the Beautiful

E

veryone should be so lucky as to witness
America the Beautiful. I've been so lucky.

From the blue ridges of the Shenandoah in
the East to the majestic peaks of Yosemite in
the West, from the rolling hills of Acadia in the
North to the luscious greens of the Everglades in
the South, and all across America's Heartland, spectacular landscapes inspire awe. Words fail to capture
the grandeur of natural wonders like the Grand
Canyon stretching 277 river miles long, 18 miles
wide, and a mile deep.
The beauty and the diversity of America's landscape
fittingly mirrors that of its people - a colorful
mosaic of race, gender, culture, and religion. But just
as storms of snow, fire, and raging water endanger
the American landscape, storms of poverty,
inequality, and angry politics also threaten the
American people.

Connect
with Esther:
elim@dcbar.org

In our country, 86 percent of civil legal needs of
low-income people are left to random chance.
There is less than one legal services attorney for
every 10,000 indigent people. Nationals Park filled
to capacity with indigent people would have only
four lawyers to serve them.

"During my
presidential year,
I've been inspired
and humbled by
many celebrated
and unsung
heroes doing
great work in
our community."

In the Landlord-Tenant Branch of the D.C. Superior
Court, over 90 percent of tenants are unrepresented, while over 90 percent of landlords are represented. It's an iceberg problem. Only 10 percent is
above water; the remaining 90 percent is drowning
in legal complexities. It is terribly ironic to be
without a lawyer in a city full of lawyers.
From the prime vantage of the presidential perch,
I've been privileged to witness women and men of
this great Bar answering the call for justice. Lawyers
stand on the front lines and at the final lines to chip
away at the access-to-justice iceberg.
No bar epitomizes the power of lawyers better than
the D.C. Bar, unified across all 50 states, in over 80
countries, and over 108,000 voices strong. Brave and
courageous lawyers fight to keep a family housed, a
child safe, and the poor fed. They fight for basic
human dignity.
A spouse and child, battered and abused in body
and in spirit, are protected from violence and liberated from fear. A veteran who, after serving his
country, lost everything - including his will to live
- is served at a weekend legal clinic and leaves
saying, "You have restored my faith in humanity."

Photo: Patrice Gilbert Photography

6

WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JUNE 2019

*

There could be no higher compliment and no
greater calling.
There are 20,000 such stories every year in cases
touched by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. The
Center is one of over 30 direct legal services providers that assist low-income D.C. residents. They
move the needle of justice, one case at a time.
America the Beautiful has withstood the test of
time. Through it all, the country has endured,
strengthened, and beautified.
The redwoods stand tall and pierce the clear blue
skies, as if to pin the great American dream of
opportunity. The canyons carved for generations
reach deep down and claim the rich red earth, as if
to declare the self-evident truth that this land
belongs to everyone.
The true beauty of this great nation lies in the
Heartlands and in the heartbeats. The lawyers of
this exceptional Bar continue to weave the tapestry
of justice that tells the story of protecting the tired,
the poor, and "the huddled masses yearning to
breathe free."
The poor and frightened immigrant girl who spoke
no English still lives inside me and reminds me
every day that her Angels in America - in the form
of teachers, mentors, and random strangers - gave
her a chance. They made it possible for her to reach
for the impossible dream.
Each of us shares a common bond and the undeniable privilege of being an American lawyer. No
profession has the authority and audacity to protect
all Americans like the legal profession.
Like a little girl walking along the beach picking up
one starfish at a time after a storm, lawyers have the
power and responsibility to pick up one person at a
time. Justice doesn't live in courtrooms; it lives in
each of us.
As president of the D.C. Bar, it has been an absolute
privilege to witness America the Beautiful.

WORDS OF GRATITUDE
If I had to capture the past year in a word, it would
be gratitude - gratitude for the generosity, the
kindness, and the beauty shown by those I know
personally and those I've never met who belong to
our Bar.
In my final "From Our President" column, I'd first like
to express utmost gratitude to the VVIPs of my life:


https://www.dcbar.org/

Washington Lawyer - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - June 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Meet Susan M. Hoffman: 48th President of the D.c. Bar
Regulation Counsel: Ensuring the Highest Ethical Standards
Disciplinary Counsel: Acting on Misconduct Charges
Life After Disciplinary Action
Bar Business: Budget Report
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask the Ethics Experts
Rule Updates: Rule 49 on Pro Bono Attorneys
Disciplinary Summaries
Special Coverage: 2019 Judicial & Bar Conference
Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Meet Susan M. Hoffman: 48th President of the D.c. Bar
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Regulation Counsel: Ensuring the Highest Ethical Standards
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 18
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Disciplinary Counsel: Acting on Misconduct Charges
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Life After Disciplinary Action
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-1
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-2
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-3
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-4
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-5
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - S-6
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Bar Business: Budget Report
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Rule Updates: Rule 49 on Pro Bono Attorneys
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Special Coverage: 2019 Judicial & Bar Conference
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 45
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - 48
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - June 2019 - Cover4
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