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2023 Summer Forum Preview: Non-Litigation Pro Bono Panel

Pro bono: it’s not just for litigators. There are a variety of pro bono matters that don’t require you to step foot in the courtroom. Opportunities include setting up businesses; drafting or revising employee handbooks; protecting intellectual property; and providing tax advice among many others. And there are opportunities for system change through legislative advocacy and policy work. Trained lawyers can help draft wills for vets, navigate uncontested divorce proceedings, research novel issues, and much more. If you want to help but don’t care to go to court, this panel is for you.

Learn more about the impactful opportunities to get involved at our first substantive panel discussion on Thursday, June 8 from 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm ET. Register here to join the virtual conversation.

Susie Hoffman will moderate the Non-Litigation Pro Bono panel. Susie is the Public Service Partner at Crowell & Moring, where she promotes, supervises, and participates in the pro bono work performed by the firm’s attorneys. Susie is also a past D.C. Bar President and has spent a lifetime building great familiarity with transactional pro bono opportunities and decades of experience in guiding partners and associates to connect with all kinds of meaningful pro bono work.

And here’s a little more about our panelists:

Darryl Maxwell,  D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center
Darryl, a Director at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, manages the Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic,  at which volunteer lawyers help small-business owners and, in turn, facilitate local economic development. Clinic volunteers offer brief advice and need not commit to ongoing representation. Darryl’s work is focused on providing pro bono legal support, education, and counsel to community-based nonprofits and disadvantaged small businesses. Darryl is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and The George Washington University Law School.

Vanessa Batters-Thompson, DC Appleseed
Vanessa is the Executive Director of DC Appleseed, where she brings together twenty years of litigation, policy, and advocacy experience and a passion for serving the District. Previously, she served as the Associate Director of Legal Services for Individuals and Families for the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. In that role, she spearheaded the launch and directed the Family Law Assistance Network (FLAN) as well as oversaw the intake and matching of up to 300 clients per year with pro bono attorneys. She has dedicated her career to uplifting her community through her work at Bread for the City, as a Friedman Fellow, and the Mental Health Division of the Public Defender Service for D.C.

Jim Joseph,  Arnold & Porter
Jim is the co-chair of the tax practice at Arnold & Porter. Much of his pro bono work involves advising legal nonprofits and charitable organizations on issues such as charitable giving and business ventures. Jim also advises tax-exempt clients on governance, executive compensation, employment tax, and other general tax matters. He assists tax-exempt organizations in structuring, funding, and implementing lobbying, advocacy, and political activities. Jim is a graduate of Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center.

Cassie Ehrenberg, The Lawyering Project
Cassie Ehrenberg (she/her/hers) is Senior Counsel for Pro Bono Initiatives at the Lawyering Project. Before joining the Lawyering Project, Cassie spent two decades fighting for working people at a union-side labor firm, spending the last eight years as a partner. While there, she advanced protections for all workers—including LGBTQ folks, pregnant and parenting people, women, and people of color—through litigation, alternative dispute resolution, collective bargaining, coalition building, and general policy and legal advice. Cassie has worked to protect free speech rights, fought against job discrimination of all types, and secured employee and retiree benefits. She began her legal career clerking for Chief Justice Deborah Poritz of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Cassie is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.

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