Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 11

FEATURE
The farm has provided her the
opportunity to more directly
serve the nutritional needs of
her local community and a
chance to explore food issues
more closely. Common Good
also offered a new kind of leadership
experience. Trumbull
had served as a manager and
team leader at her previous job,
but leading an organization
presented some novel challenges.
SAMANTHA
TRUMBULL
Common Good City Farm
Funded by a combination of
government and foundation
grants, individual donations,
corporate sponsorship, and
earned income, Common Good
supports several employees and
relies on volunteers. The organization
faces obligations and potential liabilities that extend beyond the
production and distribution of food to include concerns about insurance
coverage, employment law, and nonprofit governance.
Common Good had a clear mission, but it also needed a solid legal framework.
Trumbull turned to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, which, since 1999,
has been providing legal information, representation, and training to
community-based nonprofits and small businesses that contribute to
the economic health of D.C. neighborhoods.
The multiday course Trumbull attended revealed situations in which
Common Good was exposed to potential liability. " One of the places
where the Pro Bono Center has been a great benefit for me, personally,
has been helping me to figure out what I don't know . . . the questions
I don't even know to ask, " Trumbull says.
'PREVENTIVE MEDICINE'
Lauren Paley, associate manager for the Pro Bono Center's Nonprofit &
Small Business Legal Assistance Programs, calls these trainings " preventive
medicine. " " Just generally understanding how the board functions,
what bylaws are meant to do - these are things that will prevent organizations
from having issues arise later that could be bigger and, frankly,
much harder to deal with. Fixing things before they become a crisis is
something we want to encourage nonprofits to do, " she says.
The eight-part course " Understanding the Fundamentals of Nonprofit
Organizations " that Trumbull attended examines the most common
legal issues and concerns associated with nonprofit operations. Conducted
annually and offered at nominal expense, the course typically
draws nonattorney executive directors and board members, but the
material is valuable enough to benefit even legal professionals.
Erum Mirza, general counsel for the D.C. Bar, attended the most recent
course and found it to be a great primer on nonprofit management
covering a range of topics, legal and otherwise. " Like many lawyers, and
as a fairly new GC, I found the 'Financial Basics' session to be particularly
helpful in being better able to understand and give meaning to concepts
I didn't focus on in my previous roles, " Mirza says.
In addition to trainings, the Pro Bono Center holds rolling office hours
where nonprofit leaders can get brief advice on topics such as entity
formation, governance, and intellectual property. Jason Qu, managing
attorney with the Pro Bono Center's Nonprofit & Small Business Legal
Assistance Programs, conducts the weekly, 20-minute consultations with
nonprofits.
The Pro Bono Center also offers brief advice through its legal clinics
staffed by volunteer attorneys. " These are 45-minute to hour-long
meetings with attorneys who specialize in small business law or nonprofit
law matters, " Qu says. " It's super easy to sign up. It's free, and for
folks with the germ of an idea, it's a great way to talk about legal issues
faced by businesses and nonprofits. "
THE VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
For the past two years, ArentFox Schiff LLP associate Megan Daily has
taught the contracts law portion of the " Understanding the Fundamentals
of Nonprofit Organizations " training course. Also a longtime
volunteer with the Pro Bono Center's brief advice clinics, Daily says the
experience not only keeps her connected to her work's impact, but also
helps her empower people in the community to achieve more for themselves
and their neighbors.
" It has been an opportunity to hear from people about what's going on
in the community at the grassroots level, " says Daily. " Helping people
start food trucks, therapy services, and educational programs, all of
which were vital at the height of the pandemic - being involved with
that has been really special. "
Volunteering also reminds her
of the importance of educating
clients. For example, Daily's
contracts law sessions illustrate
the potential pitfalls of nonprofits
using boilerplate contracts
available online. Often,
attendees are shocked by the
terms found in these documents.
" Access to information is
one of the greatest challenges
faced by our clients, " she says.
Other pro bono work frequently
involves litigation, but the Pro
Bono Center's nonprofit and
small business legal services
provide opportunities for transactional
attorneys like Daily to
contribute to their communities.
" We get so much back
from it. We do the work to give back, but also to get back, " she says.
Common Good is an example of this mutual reward. " Many of our
voluteer attorneys work by day with multinational or national corporations,
so working with an organization like Common Good lets them
interact and connect with their local community, " Qu says.
Such is the case for Jill Flack, general counsel for Pepco Holdings for three
decades. When Pepco merged with Exelon in 2016, Flack was asked to
serve as pro bono lead, putting her in contact with Rebecca Troth, who
JILL FLACK
Exelon (Retired)
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2022
* WASHINGTON LAWYER 11
Rick Giamaria
Common Good City Farm

Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022

Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Planting the Seeds: Pro Bono Helps Nonprofits Flourish
A Primer on D.C.’s New Debt Collection Law
Eviction Writ Quashing: Last Line of Defense for Tenants
Employment Law Implications of Dobbs
How Immigration Can Help Solve the U.S. Pilot Shortage
Ten Things You Might Have Forgotten Since the Pandemic
SPECIAL SECTION Young Lawyers Bring Passion to Public Interest Work
Attorney Briefs
Taking the Stand
Disciplinary Summaries
On Further Review
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Speaking of Ethics
The Learning Curve
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 4
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 6
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Planting the Seeds: Pro Bono Helps Nonprofits Flourish
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - A Primer on D.C.’s New Debt Collection Law
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Eviction Writ Quashing: Last Line of Defense for Tenants
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Employment Law Implications of Dobbs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - How Immigration Can Help Solve the U.S. Pilot Shortage
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 24
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Ten Things You Might Have Forgotten Since the Pandemic
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 28
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - SPECIAL SECTION Young Lawyers Bring Passion to Public Interest Work
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 32
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 35
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 43
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 45
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 48
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - 51
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2022 - Cover4
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