By Pratibha Agarwal, Managing Attorney


We’re here; half the year has passed. I am using it as an opportunity to reflect on the firm’s successes, the people we have touched, and the lives we have changed. I am focusing on the small part we have in making the world a place full of opportunity where differences are celebrated. Of course, there have been more trying moments, as with any organization. We’ve celebrated successes and reshuffled our work as one of our key employees left for law school. We have had to manage client expectations at times and continuously work on fostering transparency, trust, and effective communication with our team. 


During moments of difficulty, the only thing that pulls me through is reflecting on the “why.” Why do we all do what we do? Why do I do what I do? What exactly is it that I’m doing? When I think about this, a vivid memory comes to mind. I’m in 8th grade, in Mr. Vincenzo’s history class in Newington, CT. I was the only person of color in my classroom. My teacher asked me to give a speech to all the classes that day about what it was like to live in another country. What are the schools like? What are the teachers like? Tell us all about it and tell us how great America is in comparison (or at least that’s how I perceived it).


Since my family immigrated from India when I was 8 years old, I worked hard to blend in and prayed, almost daily, that my classmates wouldn’t notice that I looked different from them. I would even lay awake at night and hope I would wake up with lighter skin. My palms were sweating as I stood in front of the classroom to broadcast that I was different. 


two kids watching sunset


I had practiced my speech several times. I was only a few words in when, there it was… my classmate yelled out loud, “Are there 7-11s in India?” This was followed by a roar of laughter, and I was mortified. I wished I was accepted; I wished that I could just learn without being embarrassed about who I was and where I came from. Like my mere presence was somehow wrong.  I wished my classmates were more exposed. Why couldn’t my classmates be curious about what another country was like? I think this was maybe the moment. The moment when I became committed to doing my part to make the world and the environment around me more inclusive. I wanted to celebrate differences and create opportunities for others like me, and that is exactly what we’ve been given the chance to do.

Our team is quite racially and culturally diverse—6 of our 7 employees are people of color. We speak 7 languages between us, and our clients span the globe. We work on all types of cases, from representing the most vulnerable individuals in our community to investors establishing new businesses in the U.S. We take the time to pronounce names correctly, understand cultural differences, and appreciate that our work will have a ripple effect in creating a more diverse community filled with opportunity. Ultimately, I’m grateful for our team and for our clients. It has been an incredible journey—we look forward to more adventures in the second half of the year.  


10.0Pratibha Kanive Agarwal
top attorney 2022

Agarwal Law Group

1100 H Street NW,

Suite 1220

Washington DC 20005