D.C. Bar Candidates Agree on Access to Justice Priorities

By Tracy Schorn

April 27, 2017

2017 President-Elect Candidates Esther Lim and Leah QuadrinoThe two candidates running for D.C. Bar President-elect, Esther Lim and Leah Quadrino, gave brief remarks addressing their platforms at the D.C. Bar Candidates’ Forum held Wednesday, April 26.

Quadrino, a commercial litigator at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and a current member of the D.C. Bar Board of Governors, said her time on the budget committee has given her “an education in how the Bar works.” Quadrino highlighted access to justice initiatives and Bar governance as two areas of focus. “[The D.C. Bar] needs to project the spirit of a voluntary bar” in terms of “meeting its members’ needs” for programming and sense of community.

Lim, a partner at Finnegan, highlighted the challenges of attracting new members during an age of declining law school attendance. Lim said the bar needs to “sustain, revitalize, and attract members.” One initiative would be to reach out to the international community in Washington, D.C. “How can we attract international talent to the D.C. Bar?”

During the question and answer period the candidates were asked, “If you could only accomplish one thing [during your term as president], what would it be?” Both Lim and Quadrino cited access to justice as a priority for the Bar. “The justice gap is growing,” said Lim. Quadrino added that access to justice services in the District “are hitting a crisis point” and suggested ways the Bar could build its pro bono volunteer base.

Voting for candidates ends Friday, May 19.

Learn more about the D.C. Bar candidates.