Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 25

FEATURE

The academy, which opened in March, consists of onsite classes, distance
learning sessions, relationship-building opportunities, and community
service. The goal is to equip attorneys with both hard and soft skills that
encourage resilience not only in their professional lives but also in their
service to their communities.

Resilience is another key trait the academy seeks to develop among
its participants. "We are hoping to train lawyers who can be resilient
leaders in [tough] times and can adapt to circumstances as they go
through different stages in their careers," explains Brigida Benitez,
former president of the D.C. Bar and current chair of its Leadership
Development Committee.

One of the participants this year is Farhad Fatakia, a trial attorney in the
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia who focuses
on public safety offenses. "I want to make a contribution to the D.C. Bar,
but first I want to ensure that I can bring my best self, and that includes
making an investment in my education as a leader," Fatakia says. "I can't
think of a better resource or forum within the profession to achieve that
goal than the John Payton Leadership Academy."

The academy recognizes that soft skills, such as effective communication,
are becoming increasingly important for attorneys to succeed and lead in
the legal field. "Surviving in the legal profession today is much more than
being a smart and talented lawyer," Benitez says. "Knowing how to communicate with your colleagues, your internal clients and partners of
the firm, your external clients, or with the court if you're presenting
- just knowing how to have difficult conversations about deadlines
and juggling priorities - is just as important as having the traditional
harder skills of being a lawyer."

D.C. Bar President Susan M. Hoffman says the Leadership Academy does
just that - it provides participants with the tools they need to bring their
"best selves." "Sometimes until you're asked to rise to the occasion, you
don't really discover the [leadership] skills that you have," Hoffman says.
"Programs like the Leadership Academy really help us in realizing that
we do have leadership capabilities."

ENHANCEMENTS FOR 2020
Leading this year's faculty are Laurie Lyte, principal at Lytehouse Solutions
LLC; David Maas, deputy director of the Wisconsin Department of
Justice's Criminal Litigation Unit; and Diane Rosen, principal at Compass
Consultants LLC and of counsel at Ortoli Rosenstadt LLP. This lineup
reflects the Bar's decision to tap lawyers to teach lawyers, recognizing the
importance of having trainers who understand the nuanced challenges
that attorneys face in their practice.

Hoffman says the academy helps build three important skills: courage,
strength, and the ability to inspire others. "The class of 2020 actually
inspires me. When I looked over the credentials and the variety of practices and organizations that these individuals come from, I was very
enthused because it's a very diverse class," says Hoffman.
Indeed, the class of 2020 brings years of experience in family law, international arbitration, intellectual property, human rights law, entertainment
law, civic litigation, and employment law, among other practice areas. The
class is also racially and ethnically diverse, Hoffman says.

One of the biggest changes for the 2020 Leadership Academy is that
instead of holding the training over three consecutive days, it is now
spread out over a few months, allowing participants to better absorb
the information and apply it to their professional lives. "Sometimes when
you attend these intense conferences that are two or three days long, it
becomes information overload," Hoffman says. "[Spreading it over three
months] makes the academy more accessible to attorneys who have a full
caseload because it's easier for them to take off a single day in a week
rather than a block of time."

STRENGTHENING KEY TRAITS
Whitman-Walker Health staff attorney Krisztina Szabo is looking forward
to the academy helping her to enhance her ability to empower others.
At Whitman-Walker, which provides community-based health and
wellness services and specializes in HIV and LGBTQ care, Szabo focuses
on public and disability benefits, gender identity discrimination, health
insurance, and immigration.

The Leadership Academy also emphasizes relationship building, which,
according to Hoffman, is more important than ever in the legal field.
"Speaking from my law firm experience, more and more lawyers operate
in teams," she says. "If you're on a piece of litigation, you're on a team. If
you're closing a deal, you're on a team. So, it's really important to be able
to work as a productive team member and as a leader on that team."
"I think interpersonal skills are very important in consensus building and
in leading, whether you're at a law firm or work in government. I think
now you rarely solo-practice on your own," Hoffman adds.

iStock

D.C. Office of the Attorney General

"We try to empower our clients and patients on a daily basis," Szabo
says. "We want to see them thrive and lead full, healthy, and affirmed
lives. I find providing empowerment very rewarding. But I want to transfer
this sense of empowerment in a way to lift up my team members and
colleagues."

''

I want to make a contribution to
the D.C. Bar, but first I want to
ensure that I can bring my best
self, and that includes making
an investment in my education
as a leader.

FARHAD FATAKIA
D.C. Office of the Attorney General

JUNE 2020

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER 25



Washington Lawyer - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - June 2020

YOUR VOICE
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
ON FURTHER REVIEW
THE LEARNING CURVE
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
WORTH READING
ATTORNEY BRIEFS
DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
THE PRO BONO EFFECT
SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 4
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - YOUR VOICE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ON FURTHER REVIEW
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE LEARNING CURVE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - WORTH READING
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ATTORNEY BRIEFS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE PRO BONO EFFECT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 48
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover4
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