Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - 25

"Several times a year, I might go to a law firm and present a training
session there," Lewis-White says. "Those training sessions are recorded
so that if new volunteer attorneys at those firms want to participate at
the Landlord Tenant Resource Center, I can send them the PowerPoint
presentation as well as the video. And firms can invite outside lawyers
to attend the training sessions."
The law students who volunteer at the resource center also serve a critical
role. They research the customers' docket numbers to pinpoint exactly
where they are in their legal matters, then probe for additional information the customers may have in their defense. After the questionnaire
is completed and all supporting information gathered, the customer is
ready to meet with a volunteer attorney. Fiorenti says that on average
the Landlord Tenant Resource Center serves 20 customers a day.
After the customer intake, the managing attorney consults with the volunteer attorney to determine if the case can be referred to the attorney
of the day. It is important to note that resource center attorneys can give
only legal information, not legal advice, to customers.
"Because there is no attorney-client relationship between the customer
and the volunteer attorney, the attorney can't suggest what a customer
should do or what's in their best interest. They can't take a position on a
legal issue that's not clear or that would require research, and they can't
predict what a likely outcome would be," says the Pro Bono Center's
Brian Rohal, the other attorney of the day staffing the resource center.
"The attorney of the day, however, does not have that restraint. So,
I'm able to meet with clients, discuss their case, sort out what legal

situation they are facing, and give advice. And most importantly, I can
represent them in court."
For Morgan Lewis's Macchiaroli, who started volunteering at the Landlord
Tenant Resource Center in 2008, that restriction is indeed one of his
biggest challenges as a volunteer attorney. "As a lawyer, my instinct is to
provide advice. I want to have the laws at the tip of my tongue," he says.
"I want to know exactly what the customers' problems are, [and] then be
able to take them downstairs and go before judges and argue their cases.
It's tough not being able to do that. I have to rein in those instincts."
As an intellectual property attorney, Macchiaroli handles cases that often
have lengthy timelines - some lasting more than a decade - but his
pro bono work at the Landlord Tenant Resource Center provides him that
almost instant sense of fulfillment from being able to help transform
someone's future in such a short amount of time. "You need to be empathetic," he says. "You need to make sure that each person you meet with
feels like they are being heard and understood. The most rewarding thing
for me is being able to help somebody, or at the very least give them a
sense of hope that they may be able to stay in their home or have some
additional time to find another place to live."
The Landlord Tenant Resource Center and the Attorney of the Day
Program transform the lives of thousands of D.C. tenants and small landlords each year and make Landlord Tenant Court a less intimidating place.
For tenants like Johnson, these services are invaluable. His financial struggles and housing insecurities may not be entirely over, but the pro bono
legal assistance he received helped him land on safer ground.

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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
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2019 - Cover4
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