(November 29, 2018, Washington, DC) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Paul Lee has joined the firm as pro bono counsel. Lee will succeed Barbara Kagan, who is retiring as head of Steptoe's pro bono program. Kagan joined the firm 25 years ago, making Steptoe one of the first law firms in Washington to hire a full-time dedicated pro bono lawyer to lead its pro bono program.
Lee brings a wealth of experience in the management of a multinational law firm pro bono program, having served the past seven years at a firm with approximately 1,000 lawyers. While there, he developed multi-office projects in the areas of immigration, assisting veterans, and meeting the needs of the homeless. Lee previously served as the pro bono coordinator for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a national organization providing pro bono representation to unaccompanied immigrant children. Lee launched the DC field office liaising with multiple law firms, border agencies, courts, child welfare organizations, schools and other community groups.
Lee, who has worked in the public interest his entire legal career, serves as secretary of the DC Bar board of governors, an elected position, as well as a board member of the DC Bar Pro Bono Center. Lee also serves on the board and as a past president of the Washington Council of Lawyers, the District's public interest bar association. He was an inaugural member of the DC Bar Foundation Young Lawyers' Network, where he currently chairs the citywide Go Casual for Justice fundraiser, and is a former board member of the LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia, where he chairs the scholarship program for law students with LGBT summer internships.
In welcoming Lee to the firm, Steptoe Chair Phil West commented: "For the past 12 years, Paul has worked tirelessly to expand the level of pro bono representation of low-income individuals in our city, across the country, and around the world. He is fully dedicated to pro bono service, and receives uniformly outstanding reviews from those in the DC Bar pro bono community. We are extremely fortunate to have Paul joining the firm as our new pro bono counsel to build upon the success Barbara has achieved over the years. We also want to give Barbara our tremendous and heartfelt thanks for her dedication, passion and leadership in making pro bono service part of the fabric of this firm."
Lee added: "Under Barbara's guidance, Steptoe has built a stellar pro bono program and I am honored to have been selected to follow in her footsteps. Engaging law firm attorneys to do more and better pro bono work is equal parts science and art, and I am excited to lead Steptoe’s program going forward."
Steptoe has a long and rich tradition of public service that is an integral part of the history, ethic, and operation of the institution. In 2017, the firm recorded more than 36,000 pro bono hours in a wide array of legal areas, including asylum and trafficking cases, landlord-tenant matters, death penalty, civil rights, family law, governmental benefits, and expungement, among others. Over the years, Steptoe and its attorneys have received numerous awards for its pro bono work, including the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project's Exceptional Service Award. The firm's lawyers take their professional obligation seriously, with the principle of increasing access to justice guiding their pro bono efforts.
Jim Rocap, chair of Steptoe's Public Service Committee, stated: "We look forward to Paul's leadership in expanding and modernizing our pro bono program to meet the new challenges faced daily by the unrepresented and underrepresented, in order to make a real difference in their lives."
Lee earned his J.D. from Georgetown University, where he was a McClellan Fellow. He received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is proficient in Korean and Spanish.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.