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“Esther is a born leader. She exemplifies the very best of our bar’s membership and will be a superb D.C. Bar President-Elect and President. She is an outstanding practitioner who embraces technology, a devoted pro bono volunteer and community servant, and a gifted teacher and mentor. She is an entrepreneur and an experienced manager who opened and led an office in Shanghai for her law firm. She has a long and distinguished record of leadership and accomplishment in the D.C. Bar and in voluntary bar associations. I know Esther to be a person of great personal character and integrity. I give her my strongest endorsement.”

James J. Sandman, President, Legal Services Corporation
(D.C. Bar President, 2006-07)

Esther has been a member of the D.C. Bar for over twenty years.  She is a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP specializing in intellectual property.  She served as the founding managing partner of the firm’s Shanghai office.


Service to the D.C. Bar and Record of Leadership. Esther has served on the Board of Governors and the Nominations Committee for the D.C. Bar, and currently serves as the Outbound Lawyers Subgroup Lead on the Global Legal Practice Task Force. She has held leadership positions in many other associations, including the American Bar Association, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area (APABA-DC), and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).


Commitment to Pro Bono and Access to Justice. Esther has handled a variety of pro bono matters, including landlord/tenant, veteran’s appeal, and special education matters.  She has volunteered at client intakes at community clinics through the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Clinic and the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center.  She has spoken on issues relating to access to justice and the American judicial system.


Community Outreach and Promoting Diversity. Esther is very active in community outreach and efforts to increase diversity in the legal profession. Esther has taught as an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law since 2003. She chairs the school’s Annual Conference on Intellectual Property and Social Justice.  Esther worked with D.C. area judges, local law schools, and voluntary bar associations to create a minority judicial clerkship program to educate and encourage law students to seek clerkships.  As President of APABA-DC, she established the Women’s Forum to address issues facing women in the legal profession as well as the Practicing Attorneys Resource Committee to focus on mentoring and career development.  She also worked on issues relating to the advancement and promotion of women lawyers as a Co-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee of NAPABA.


Vision Statement. The Bar has a rich history of serving its members and the community at large. As President, Esther would strive to continue the Bar’s legacy and impact by ensuring that the Bar (1) stays relevant in a modern legal environment through physical and technology infrastructure that would enhance membership value, (2) stays connected to the community through volunteerism and pro bono representation of those in need, and (3) stays committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession through outreach and mentoring.


“Esther Lim personifies the principles of public service which are the bedrock of our profession, and manifests the kind of leadership critical to the 21st century stewardship of the legal bar.  Over the years, Esther has complemented this work with hundreds of pro bono hours in adjunct teaching and mentoring, serving as a vital role model for dozens of women and minority law students. Her efforts and initiatives to promote diversity in the profession have been both dedicated and far-reaching in impact.”

Lateef Mtima, Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law