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Meet the Candidate: Susan M. Hoffman 

April 5, 2018

The D.C. Bar will hold its General Elections online by default this spring. Active members who are eligible to vote will receive an email on April 23 with instructions on how to vote online. Members who wish to vote by paper ballot must request a written ballot by Friday, May 4. Members who do not receive an email, or wish to request a paper ballot, can contact [email protected]. Voting closes on May 18.

Results of the election will be announced on the Bar’s website and during the 2018 Celebration of Leadership, which includes the Bar’s Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting, on June 12 at the Mayflower Hotel.

Below, get to know Susan M. Hoffman, one of two candidates running for D.C. Bar president-elect for the 2018–2019 term. The president-elect serves for one year before becoming president and continues in office a third year as immediate past president.

Susan M. HoffmanSusan M. Hoffman is a public service partner at Crowell & Moring LLP where she promotes, supervises, and participates in the pro bono work of the firm’s 500-plus attorneys. Hoffman also serves as president of the Crowell & Moring Foundation, a separate nonprofit organization. At Crowell, Hoffman litigates family law, child abuse and neglect, landlord/tenant, and other poverty law cases in D.C. Superior Court and area federal district courts.

Previously, Hoffman practiced in the litigation group at Hogan & Hartson, working on cases at the trial court and appellate levels, including the U.S. Supreme Court. An important part of her career at the firm included work on a variety of pro bono matters, such as administrative litigation on behalf of a coalition of environmental groups, appellate litigation on behalf of public interest organizations, and trial-level litigation to obtain protection orders for domestic violence victims.

Hoffman was a two-term member of the D.C. Bar Board of Governors, was president of the D.C. Bar Foundation board of directors, and cochaired the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. Currently, she sits on the board of directors of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project (DV LEAP), and the Washington Council of Lawyers.

If elected, Hoffman says she would “work with the existing entities, such as the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center and the D.C. Access to Justice Commission, to expand pro bono representation and develop creative solutions to address the unmet legal needs of low-income individuals.” She also would reach out to other entities, including the communities and voluntary bar associations, to “explore strategies for increasing such representation.”

Hoffman will support the Bar membership in “building practices that serve clients effectively, which can be accomplished through thriving Communities (formerly Sections).” Strengthening the Bar’s Communities would be a focus for improvement, using, for example, “chat rooms to build stronger networks through social media.”

Hoffman points to her background as a public service partner as a strength for serving as president-elect. “Now more than ever, it is crucial for us to step forward to improve access to justice and to strengthen the civic institutions that can bring us together,” Hoffman says. “The importance of the Bar in supporting pro bono has never been higher, but maintaining a vibrant Bar requires leadership across a broad range of issues, including supporting our members, developing the next generation of leadership, and increasing the prominence and participation of voluntary bars.”

Hoffman has served on several community and public interest group boards, including the Legal Counsel for the Elderly, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the Foundation of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, and the Center for Dispute Settlement.

Hoffman is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and clerked for U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene.