Biography of Interviewer Barbara Kagan
Barbara Kagan, now retired, practiced law in the District of Columbia upon receiving her law
degree from Cornell University. After serving in a number of federal government agencies, she
established her own lawpractice, representing individuals and companies in both civil and criminal
matters. ln 1992, she accepted the newly created position of Public Service Counsel at Steptoe &
Johnson, becoming one of the very first attorneys in the country, and only the second in D.C., to
lead a law firm pro bono program on a full-time basis. She was tasked with building a robust and
effective firmwide pro bono program that would advance the public interest, while also matching
the varying skills and interests ofthe firm’s attorneys both in the U.S. and abroad. As Public Service
Counsel, Ms. Kagan identified, assessed, and accepted pro bono cases, ranging from
representations of individual clients in an array of substantive areas to large matters with
significant local, national, and international import, and created several signature projects.
Additionally, she regularly supervised and co-counseled with Steptoe associates and partners and
served as lead attorney in a variety of cases. Ms. Kagan also served as the firm’s liaison with
numerous public interest organizations and served on many of their boards. She has authored
articles and papers addressing issues related to pro bono practice.