Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 47

THE PRO BONO EFFEC T
client's case to ensure your client gets what they paid for - full
coverage under the insurance policy. You have to win every fight to
keep your client's case alive. Being someone's advocate and amplifying
their cause as their champion in the courtroom is a privilege. Whether
it's a large corporate client or an individual with a small dispute, you feel
like you are helping right a wrong.

"Being someone's advocate and amplifying their cause
as their champion in the courtroom is a privilege."
What are some lessons learned from your pro bono practice?
JH: Kristin and I both got our initial first-chair litigation experiences
working on pro bono matters. As is typical of Big Law on-the-job
training, when we started at Dickstein, we slotted in as junior and midlevel associates in more back office roles - researching, writing, and
reviewing documents on cases ranging into the hundreds of millions of
dollars. There were fewer opportunities to interact with clients or
respond to issues. Representing clients in pro bono matters enabled us
to gain valuable experience meeting with clients, responding to their
concerns, and addressing their legal issues.
KD: In my first few years, I was able to work on a range of pro bono litigation, including representing a political asylum seeker through trial
and obtaining derivative asylum for his family whom he had not seen in
two years. Through the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, in particular, I was connected with other types of cases, including helping a client get her full
Social Security disability benefits after an administrative law hearing,
and litigating on behalf of a group of D.C. tenants to ensure they were
fully compensated by their landlord for terrible conditions at their apartment building. With every opportunity, I was able to give back to
someone else in the community while also gaining so much experience. We honed some of our most important litigation skills through
our pro bono work: taking and defending depositions, working with
experts, planning case trajectories from discovery through trial, developing winning litigation strategies, and speaking directly with clients.
JH: Early on, we volunteered on discrete projects like the Pro Bono
Center's Landlord Tenant Resource Center based at D.C. Superior Court
and the Advice & Referral Clinic, where you handle walk-ins - people
looking for quick legal advice. It provided an opportunity for us to find
our voices as legal counselors and to practice giving practical advice in
real time. The many different legal clinics in the city are a perfect
platform to explore what types of pro bono projects or areas of law may
interest you.
What is the most meaningful pro bono work you have done?
KD: It's impossible to select just one case, but one of the projects that binds
our firm is representing Guantanamo detainees. Almost immediately upon
joining Reed Smith, I worked with Gary and others representing the last
Russian Guantanamo detainee in his habeas litigation and Periodic Review
Board procedures. In January 2017, Gary and I secured his release after
nearly 15 years at Guantanamo. Three years later, we are still working to
reunite him with his family. We also represent current Guantanamo
detainee and long-time hunger striker and artist Ahmed Rabbani, who has

been in U.S. custody without charge for more than 17 years. The ability to
advocate in D.C. federal courts on behalf of Rabbani, while also partnering
with attorneys from all over the world, is emblematic of how vast the
opportunities are to do good in the world through the practice of law in
Washington, D.C.
JH: My pro bono work is a bit more local. Teaching at the D.C. Bar Pro
Bono Center's annual Free Insurance Legal Clinic for Nonprofits is so
special for me. It never gets old, and it always inspires me.
How did you first become involved with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono
Center, and what keeps you coming back?
JH: For the past several years, Kristin and I have been invited by the Pro
Bono Center's Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Programs to
teach a "Risk Management and Insurance" seminar at the beginning of
the center's Free Insurance Legal Clinic for Nonprofits. It is one of many
incredible business law programs the Pro Bono Center offers for nonprofits and small business owners. I love teaching these programs; there
are such interesting and vital organizations in attendance. I'm always so
proud of the D.C. Bar community; our collective local, national, and
international good works; and our entrepreneurial spirit. As a newly
minted small business owner myself, I have a newfound appreciation for
the challenge of balancing the need to limit or transfer risk with the
need to balance your budget. Also, the questions I receive during class
are always new and representative of real-world concerns that small
businesses, start-ups, and nonprofits experience daily. I love the challenge of thinking strategically, not just academically, about the best
insurance and risk-mitigation advice.
KD: I joke that my goal at these programs is to make everyone a little
nervous about their exposures. But my goal is also that by the end of
the program, everyone feels better prepared to handle the challenges
that may arise in their company's or organization's operations.
Do you have any advice for others looking to become more
involved in the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center or pro bono work
generally?
JH: There is a passion project out there for everyone. Even in highly specialized areas, like insurance recovery, there are opportunities to impart
your knowledge and expertise to others. Pro bono work does not have
to be a huge or lengthy commitment; you can make the world a better
place a few hours at a time.
KD: Start talking to others about your interests - at your firm, with your
friends at other firms, and with nonlawyers. There are opportunities all
around us to make our local community and the world a better place,
whether it's just for a few hours or for someone's lifetime. While I love
insurance recovery and hospitality litigation, my pro bono work is often
an opportunity for me to build my expertise in other areas of the law,
particularly in the international space. And I love that being in D.C.
means it is just as easy to work on an international issue as it is to work
on a local one.

If you're interested in volunteering with the Nonprofit & Small
Business Legal Assistance Programs, please send an email to
cedinfo@dcbar.org.

JUNE 2020

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WASHINGTON LAWYER 47



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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