Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 20

FEATURE
Many of the collaborations have risen out of a history of mutual support.
For example, groups such as the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, Legal Aid
Society of the District of Columbia, Neighborhood Legal Services
Program, Rising for Justice, Bread for the City, and Legal Counsel for the
Elderly have long exchanged referrals, shared office space, and supported
one another's efforts to improve access to counsel in housing matters.
Prior to the pandemic, the six organizations had jointly formed a coalition - the Landlord Tenant Legal Assistance Network (LTLAN) - to
establish a single point of entry for those seeking legal services in
housing matters. Supported by the DC Bar Foundation, the coalition
was set to launch its centralized intake on March 16, the same day the
D.C. Courts closed their doors in response to the outbreak.
LTLAN quickly adapted to meet the new challenges brought about by
the pandemic. In the week after D.C. residents were asked to stay home,
the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center established a dedicated phone line to

replace the in-court services it normally offered at the Landlord Tenant
Resource Center at D.C. Superior Court. Between March 24 and June 1,
attorneys staffing the help line received 400 calls from people with
housing issues.
During this period, the coalition worked quickly to establish a data
management system to accommodate the intake and referral of phone
requests for legal assistance. The member organizations also agreed on
how they would share the responsibility of staffing LTLAN.
"One of the strengths of the provider community is that we can be very
nimble," says Grace Lopes, executive director of Rising for Justice. "We
can move rapidly to respond to the need."
The increased coordination has been a powerful experience. "To have
colleagues who are rolling up their sleeves to help figure out a solution
... you're not in it alone, and that's important," Lopes says.

BRINGING THE COMMUNITY BACK TO LIFE

"

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community. They serve
as centers of innovation and provide jobs; plus so much of what
we think of as D.C. culture is really driven by new businesses
growing within the District," says Veronica Nunn, special counsel for
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where she focuses on corporate
law. When the COVID-19 outbreak hit, Nunn learned about the D.C.
Bar Pro Bono Center Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance
Programs' efforts to provide services to struggling District businesses.
Over the past several months, Nunn has volunteered to advise small
businesses on issues with their leases.
Darren Skinner, a partner at Arnold & Porter, has provided transactional
advice remotely to clients, including a kids' soccer coaching business,
a media and marketing company focused on event concepts, and an
educational consultancy that develops curricula for primary and secondary schools, among others.
He has covered a wide range of topics. "I've given advice on entity formation and dissolution, consulting agreements, technology assignment
issues, venture capital investment arrangements, Paycheck Protection
Program application and loan forgiveness issues, and a variety of entity
governance and licensing compliance issues," Skinner says.
Brad Guest, whose practice is often focused on complex mergers and
acquisitions, has been volunteering with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center
since he started with Latham & Watkins LLP about five years ago.
"There aren't that many opportunities to do pro bono work in the corporate sector," he says. Volunteering with the Pro Bono Center offers
him opportunities to address a variety of entity formation and contracts issues. He says the work has been valuable to his practice and
personally gratifying. "To be able to sit down with clients and make a
huge difference for them and their business right on the spot is incredibly fulfilling."
Guest also speaks highly of the Pro Bono Center's resources. Within
weeks of the announcement of the CARES Act and the Paycheck
Protection Program, the Center held sessions that specifically

20 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

addressed these bene-
fits. Guest volunteered
to answer questions
about how businesses
could access the pro-
grams that would help
them stay in business
and avoid laying off
employees. "These
were life-or-death questions for these businesses; they wouldn't
be able to survive
without the relief," he
says.
The pandemic has
also raised the question
of liability related to its
spread in workplaces.
This issue, as well as
others that concern
employers, will be
addressed in an
employment advice program the Pro Bono Center is developing.
Guest intends to participate.
"I'm accustomed to reading dense legal documents; even for me,
trying to navigate the different rules and criteria needed to qualify
for and access funds can be head-spinning," Guest says.
Nunn says her interactions with District businesses have given her a
much-needed cause for optimism. "The people of D.C. are so resilient
and so smart and so clever. I think that we'll get through this together,
and there's so much passion in terms of making it work for everyone
that I'm really hopeful."



Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Family Law Assistance Network feature
An Avalanche of Evictions feature
Pro Bono Partnerships Forged in Crisis feature
Help for Pro Se Litigants Feature
Qualified Immunity feature
Taking Legal Support to the Streets feature
Taking the Stand Turning off the White Noise of Systemic Racism
Taking the Stand Situational Principles Aren't Really Principles
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight - A. Benjamin Spencer
Member Spotlight - Amber Harding
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Family Law Assistance Network feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - An Avalanche of Evictions feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Pro Bono Partnerships Forged in Crisis feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Help for Pro Se Litigants Feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Qualified Immunity feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 32
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking Legal Support to the Streets feature
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking the Stand Turning off the White Noise of Systemic Racism
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Taking the Stand Situational Principles Aren't Really Principles
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Member Spotlight - A. Benjamin Spencer
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Member Spotlight - Amber Harding
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 54
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 57
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 58
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 59
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 60
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 61
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 62
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 63
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 64
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 65
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 66
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - 67
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2020 - Cover4
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