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2021 Summer Forum Preview: Transactional Pro Bono

By Heather Krick

While litigation is likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of practicing law, some practice areas involve advising clients on actions to take to avoid disputes or matters that bring parties together rather than break them up. Often these proceedings can be less time-consuming than a litigation matter. Some transactional attorneys may never see the inside of the courtroom. This can be attractive for pro bono lawyers seeking a short time commitment with a big impact.

Transactional work may also be more attractive since it may be less adversarial than litigation. Transactional attorneys use their analytical and research skills to draft contracts, file taxes, ensure compliance with federal, state, and local statutes, create internal policies, or help individuals with real estate or estate planning. Practice settings include various levels of government, law firms, corporations, or non-profits.

During our 2021 Summer Forum, our Transactional Pro Bono panel will feature law firm and public-interest lawyers who work with clients on a variety of transactional matters ranging from contracts and compliance to business incorporation and helping startups and small businesses grow. The panel will also discuss how pro bono attorneys can help to make a difference by advocating for policies to promote good government and help in making the legal system just and accessible to all.

The panel will take place on June 3, 2021, from 1:15-2:30 pm ET, and will be moderated by Susie Hoffman, a Washington Council of Lawyers board member, Public Service Partner at Crowell & Moring, and immediate Past-President of the D.C. Bar. Susie’s wide-ranging experience with advocacy and nonprofit work will help set the stage for a rich discussion about how lawyers can make a difference outside the courtroom.

This year’s panelists will include:

Nicole Austin-Hillery, Human Rights Watch

Nicole Austin-Hillery is Human Rights Watch’s inaugural U.S. Program Executive Director, and former Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office.

Darryl Maxwell, DC Bar Pro Bono Program’s Community Economic Development Project

Darryl Maxwell is the Assistant Director for the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Nonprofit Legal Assistance and Small Business Programs and manages the Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic.

Jim Joseph, Arnold & Porter

Jim Joseph is the co-chair of Arnold & Porter’s Tax practice and Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Walter Smith, DC Appleseed

Walter Smith is the executive director of DC Appleseed and former Special Deputy Corporation Counsel at the D.C. Office of the Corporation Counsel (now the Office of the Attorney General).

As we’ve seen recently, lawyers are needed more than ever to advocate for policies that will tackle issues of systemic injustice in our country and in our legal system. We hope you will join us for this timely and important discussion as part of our virtual 2021 Summer Forum. The Summer Forum will kick off on Thursday, June 3 at 12:00 pm ET with a keynote address from Eric Holder, former United States Attorney. Subsequent panels will take place on June 10 & 17. Registered attendees are able to participate in all of the programming!

Click here for more information and to register.

Look for updates and join the conversation about the Summer Forum using #SumFo21 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

Heather Krick is a member of the Washington Council of Lawyers Communications Committee.

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