When D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer was working for a legal aid group, she remembers spending some long nights in her small office. Late one evening, a mouse scampered across her desk. Today she wishes she could say that she was brave, but in truth she fled downstairs.
A manager said the problem was fixable, not to worry, and Singer went back to her office. A few minutes later, a man came in with two cats. He told her she might want to go back downstairs for a while.
The moral: “Those of us in public service and government service have learned how to get by with two cats,” Singer said to a crowd of law professors and pro bono folk at a symposium this weekend at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.
Singer spoke on a panel with Chief Judge Eric Washington of the D.C. Court of Appeals and Jane Belford, the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, on how to engage the broader legal community on pro bono issues.
Chief Judge Washington gave the view from the bench, saying that everyone licensed to practice in D.C. should contribute time to pro bono work. He added that it’s “a privilege to practice law in the District of Columbia, not a right.”