Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 16

FEATURE
Attorney Yaida O. Ford lives in Ward 8 and works near the Marine
Barracks in Eastern Market, where her firm, Ford Law Pros, P.C., is located
and specializes in civil rights, employment law, estate planning, real
estate, and community associations. For Ford, legal deserts can also be
defined by the scarcity of lawyers handling certain matters.
" The issues that are legal deserts in Ward 8 include expunging [records]
when it comes to ex-offenders, " Ford says. She acknowledges the work
of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia in helping
some ex-offenders seal misdemeanor arrest records or convictions that
have otherwise prevented them from obtaining meaningful employment
and housing, but the need remains high.
FIRST, BUILD COMMUNITY TRUST
Before Ford opened her own practice in 2012, she was a staff attorney at
the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, part of the inaugural
staff when Legal Aid opened its satellite offices in Ward 8 in 2006. One of
Legal Aid's first challenges was informing the community of its presence,
says Ford, who was among the few Black staff attorneys working with
the organization at the time. The racial dynamics between the mostly
white attorneys and Black clients stifled a lot of the process, she says,
with the attorneys being perceived as " missionaries " coming into the
community.
Ford worked on building trust with clients by going to their houses if
they didn't return phone calls or failed to show up for important court
dates. " I was one of the handful of lawyers who would do that, " she
says. " I would say, 'Why aren't you coming in when we're this close to
winning a case?' That nudge made them realize that I really cared about
them. "
Today the majority of Legal Aid's attorneys are people of color, says its
executive director, Eric Angel, " but it's still an important issue. " To
connect more with Ward 8 residents, Angel says Legal Aid now has a
Community Advisory Council made up of prior Legal Aid clients.
" Anything we can do to have our client community understand that we
stand with them is really important. . . . Building trust in our client community
is extremely important, " he says.
Before the pandemic, Legal Aid was trying to obtain additional office
space in Southeast. " It is very important for lawyers to be where the
clients need them, " says Angel.
May wants to see more lawyers practice in Ward 8 to help neighbors
with various legal issues before they reach crisis level. " There are so many
needs people have before the emergency occurs, " she says. " I'm not
knocking legal aid services. I'm grateful for them, " May adds. " But I think
the provision of legal aid services in our community has not caught up
with where our community is. They are still so focused on triage
Hoffman
McPherson County, South Dakota, state's attorney Austin Hoffman chose to stay close to his roots after law school.
16 WASHINGTON LAWYER * NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021
Courtesy of Austin Hoffman

Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Letter to Members
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Taking the Stand
ABA Delegate’s Corner
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Speaking of Ethics
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 4
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Letter to Members
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 18
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 26
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 30
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - ABA Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 43
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 52
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 53
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 55
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover4
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