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“MORE IMPORTANTLY, NATALIE CONNECTED WITH THE WOMEN... FOR THE WOMEN, TESTIFYING BEFORE CONGRESS WAS HEALING.” - REGINALD BROWN


colleges and universities in the United States. “Ordinarily, Congress can’t or won’t agree


on anything, but that wasn’t the case here,” says Brown. “T e House of Representatives voted unanimously (406-0) in favor of the legislation, and the bill easily passed the Senate in September 2011. T e legislation was something both conserva- tives and liberals and everyone in between wanted to get behind.” Wilmer’s attorneys worked with the women


and the members of Congress to help write and revise the legislation. T e women, says Adams, had the experience and vision to know what changes needed to be made, and Congress understood that. Most of the new law comes from them. Adams recalls that “It took Reg [Brown] about


10 seconds to know he could do it, and about 20 seconds to know how he could do it. He really tapped into the spirit of the Peace Corps. It’s about giving back and making things better for other people.” Brown returns the compliment. “Last year,


Natalie was a fi rst-year associate. Had I known she was so green, I might have been a little leery. But she was amazing. It’s not like she had a background in lobbying, drafting legislation, and media rela- tions. She somehow just fi gured it all out.


“Most importantly, Natalie connected with the


women. For the victims there is, of course, trauma in the experience, and there’s trauma in recount- ing what happened. Gathering affi davits from women whose trust had already been betrayed took extraordinary sensitivity. Not only did Natalie give a voice to the women’s story but she won their trust. For the women, testifying before Congress was healing. Taking control of the story and turning a bad experience into something good is a very powerful act and Natalie made that pos- sible for them.” Assessing her pro bono experience, Adams says,


“T e work made me a better lawyer and a better person. I was impressed with the way Wilmer was willing to go no-holds-barred for the client no matter who’s paying. It’s been an incredibly chang- ing experience. Looking to the future, I want to do more.” Wilmer is known for litigation and corpora-


tion transactions, says Brown, but with the Peace Corps case, they put advocacy front and center in ways that were a little non-traditional but accom- plished the objective nonetheless. “We fought this one out in the court of public opinion and won there,” says Brown. “It was the right approach.”


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