What Will I Do? 

From the moment I was nominated, I identified three key areas that will be my top priorities if I am elected.  But regardless of the focus, the first thing I will do in addressing any issue is to spend a lot of time and energy meeting the people who are currently working in these areas, listening carefully to them, learning what they are doing and what they hope to do, and finding out what resources they need to maximize the beneficial impact of their work.  We’ve all been in organizations that were “led” in reverse because the leader started making assignments and setting priorities without first taking the time to listen and learn what the group already had and where it needed help.  I will not make that mistake here.  I learned from experience to address a problem by identifying the organizations and people already doing good work, visiting and working with them to find out what they do and what they need to succeed, and then investing money, time, and resources in them to help them grow. 

Candidate for DC Bar President-Elect

Endorsements

  • DC Consortium of Legal Service Providers

  • Washington Council of Lawyers

  • Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (GWAC)

  • Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC)

  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area, Inc. (APABA-DC)

  • South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C. (SABA-DC)

  • Washington Bar Association (WBA)

Charlie with his dog Maddy. 

Within that framework, and without carving anything in stone until I have spent more time with the various stakeholders, I have identified three key areas that will be at the top of my priority list:

  • Diversity, inclusion, and advancement: the most important order of business for me if elected will be to work with the voluntary bars to understand their current initiatives, goals, and challenges, and then to use the knowledge and tools I have learned to help them  obtain the resources they need to succeed.  One area I intend to focus on in that context is taking a systematic, organized approach to developing best practices in early pipeline development initiatives.  The goal would be to develop an effective, adaptable, ongoing pipeline program that would last at least six weeks and give children a favorable view of the law as a profession while helping them gain life skills that will help them regardless what profession they choose.  I hope to be able to leverage existing partnerships between law firms or offices and elementary schools to implement the initiatives and at the same time enrich the existing partnerships.

  • Legal services for individuals of limited or no means: As with the previous focus area, I intend to spend considerable time and energy working with the dedicated people already doing great work in this area; the legal services providers for people who cannot afford to pay any legal fees, and providers like the DC Affordable Law Firm that are trying to serve those in the community who cannot afford traditional legal representation but who make too much money to qualify for free legal services.  I intend to work with them to help them find the resources they need to succeed and to support sustainable “low bono” efforts that would complement, and not undermine, the efforts of the legal services providers.

  • Small firms and solo practitioners: One of the best parts of my job is working with solo practitioners and small firms to help them take on challenging, rewardable work within ethical bounds.  I have learned through that experience that the D.C. Bar is eager to help, and it offers some highly-beneficial resources in areas like practice management assistance.  But I also have seen clients who encountered difficulties that could have been avoided with Bar help, but they were not fully aware of the extent and quality of resources the Bar offers.  I want to spend as much time as possible beginning during the campaign and extending through my term as President-Elect to make sure the Bar is offering the services they need and effectively communicating with them about the services available. 

 

These are the primary focus areas I have identified, but I will always be open to hearing from members about other concerns.  I’ve been talking to as many people as I can during the campaign, and I would be happy to receive emails from other members who have helpful ideas for improving the Bar. I urge you to vote for me and then to join me in making the Bar and the profession stronger, more diverse and inclusive, and more capable of fulfilling its obligation to serve those who cannot afford to pay. 

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