Jack Keeney, former director of Legal Aid’s Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project, and Tom Papson, Volunteer Staff Attorney with Legal Aid’s Consumer Law Unit, are profiled in the cover story, “Senior Lawyers Taking on Pro Bono,” of this month’s Washington Lawyer, a District of Columbia Bar publication. The article focuses on the growing number of senior lawyers who are moving on from distinguished careers in private practice to pursue a new chapter in their professional lives working in both paid staff and volunteer positions in legal services organizations.
As the article notes, both Jack and Tom engaged in pro bono work and had deep ties to the legal services community before joining Legal Aid. Jack spent 32 years with the law firm of Hogan Lovells (formerly Hogan & Hartson) before taking on a full-time position at Legal Aid in 2011. He maintained a robust pro bono practice throughout his career and rotated through Hogan’s Community Services Department – where associates and partners are able to dedicate their full practice to pro bono work for fixed periods of time – as both a junior and senior associate, and eventually the partner-in-charge.
Tom began volunteering on a regular basis with Legal Aid in 2014, after 34 years in a commercial and government contracts practice with McKenna Long & Aldridge. He knew he wanted to remain professionally active post-retirement, and Legal Aid was a natural fit. Tom already had a significant relationship and familiarity with our work, having served on Legal Aid’s Board of Trustees for many years, including a term as board president.
Our staff and clients have benefitted greatly from working with our senior lawyers at Legal Aid. They bring a unique perspective to our work based on decades of practice experience, and, at the same time, inspire in us a renewed enthusiasm and energy as they learn new areas of the law and gain more in-depth knowledge of the challenges facing our client community. We congratulate both Jack and Tom for this recognition of their substantial contributions to our client community.