Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 16

"It is a rewarding experience on many levels,"
says Josephine Bahn, a regulatory attorney at
the FDIC. "I feel like I have learned a lot about
being a litigator through my pro bono activities,
and I bring that back to my daily work."

as professional development," says Catalina
Martinez, attorney advisor at the SBA and the
agency's pro bono coordinator. "Attorneys
who participate bring those new and strengthened skills to their jobs."

counsel in most departments that this would not
interfere with their work but would strengthen
their attorneys. All they had to do was have
policies to encourage it. I think the record has
proved me right."

The benefits of pro bono service accrue not
only to the attorney, but also to the federal
agencies and departments. Federal attorneys
gain personal satisfaction from the volunteer
work, which often makes them happier in their
day jobs. In addition, pro bono service attracts
law students and young lawyers considering
government service.

Government agencies didn't always recognize
the benefits of pro bono work, so Federal
Government Pro Bono Program leaders frequently pressed the case. For example, John
C. Cruden, the Justice Department's assistant
attorney general for the Environment and
Natural Resources Division until 2011, campaigned during his D.C. Bar presidency
(2005-2006) to expand the program.

In the last 25 years, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center
has evolved into the largest provider of pro
bono legal services in the District, providing
information, training, brief services, and representation to more than 20,000 community
members, nonprofit organizations, and small
businesses annually.

"The leadership we've had in the U.S. Small
Business Administration (SBA) has been
supportive of our agency's Pro Bono
Committee's work, not only because they
believe in the common good of public
service but also because they see its value

"There is a value to the agency for participating," says Cruden, whose pro bono efforts
were so distinguished that the government's
award for pro bono leadership was named
for him. "I went out of my way to tell general

ONE PERSON AT A TIME
Andrew Doyle

F

or Andrew Doyle, being an attorney is
defined by service, whether as a lawyer
with the U.S. Department of Justice or
as a volunteer with the Pro Bono Center's
Advice & Referral Clinic.
"I like serving the public interest," says Doyle,
a regulatory attorney in the Environment
and Natural Resources Division. "That's generally my disposition. Pro bono adds the
individual component to that. I want to
support my community and connect by
helping one person at a time."
His one-on-one sessions at the clinic have
given him a chance to advise on a variety
of cases involving creditors, insurance
claims, landlord complaints, child custody,
and probate.

16

WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

"Every client situation is different," says
Doyle. "You're constantly learning new
things beyond what you do in your day
job, regardless of what you do. It's all about
issue spotting. The more exposure you
have to things that are unfamiliar to you,
the more you're able to react in the
moment."
Since 2010, Doyle has volunteered more
than 50 Saturdays with the Advice &
Referral Clinic. Although it can take some
time to adjust to the fast pace of the clinic,
Doyle says the experience is exhilarating.
"So many of my clients are just grateful to
have someone to speak with," says Doyle.
"I like being able to help them and solve
their problems face to face."

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

One of its key principles has been to leverage
the expertise and time of volunteer attorneys
to better serve the community. That's why
the recruitment of federal attorneys and their
involvement in Pro Bono Center clinics has been
such a priority. Today, federal government attorneys comprise the single largest group of Pro
Bono Center attorney volunteers.
"Government attorneys make up too much
of the legal profession in this area to ignore
the contributions they can make to our community," says Vanessa Batters-Thompson,
managing attorney for the Pro Bono Center's
twice-a-month Advocacy & Justice Clinic.
"Many of the government attorneys we work
with graduated from top law schools, and it's
wonderful to be able to leverage their skills."
The Advocacy & Justice Clinic's prime mission
is to place cases with volunteer lawyers. It works
in partnership with law firms and government
agency lawyers to offer full representation in
civil matters, including housing, family, and
consumer law. Federal attorneys take on more
than 50 cases of the approximately 300 that the
clinic places annually.
Federal attorneys also play an active role in the
Pro Bono Center's Advice & Referral Clinic, where
they often are the largest source of volunteers for
its monthly intake sessions. The Advice & Referral
Clinic, open to the general public, is held at Bread
for the City's two locations in Northwest and
Southeast D.C. on the second Saturday of every
month. Legal issues that frequently arise at the
clinic involve employment law, family law,
personal injury, public benefits, and consumer
matters. Many issues frequently can be resolved
with a telephone call or a letter from an attorney,
but individuals who need further help can be
referred to one of the Pro Bono Center's fullrepresentation clinics (like the Advocacy & Justice
Clinic) or to another legal services provider.



Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Going Above and Beyond feature
On Safer Ground feature
Casa Ruby Profile
Pro Bono Effect
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask the Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Going Above and Beyond feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - On Safer Ground feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 20
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 24
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Casa Ruby Profile
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 28
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 30
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 34
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 36
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 38
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Cover3
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