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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Donating to VLSP Energizes Vid Prabhakaran


Vidhya Prabhakaran is a sixth year associate at Davis Wright Tremaine focusing on energy industry matters. He manages client interests in climate change, renewable energy, ratemaking, and procurement dockets. He also assists clients with acquisitions and power purchase and sale agreements. He has substantial experience before the California Public Utilities Commission and other regulatory agencies working for clients in the energy industry as well as those in the telecommunications, water, and transportation industries. Prabhakaran is a 2006 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a 2003 graduate of Yale University.

Vid PrabhakaranBASF: Why do you donate to VLSP’s free legal services and diversity programs?

Vid Prabhakaran (VP): There’s so much bang for your buck and, frankly, instant gratification. Each dollar you give to VLSP’s free legal services has such an obvious and immediate impact on the local community. Donating to the diversity programs often feels like more of a long-term investment, but even there – seeing a student have immediate access to something as a result of the dollars you spend is very gratifying.

BASF: What program(s) are you most interested in supporting and why?

VP: The Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC) and the (STC) School-To-College program. LARC because it provides a one-stop shop for legal services and community needs; STC because it provides opportunities for students in high school that every student should have, but too often only the privileged few of us receive.

BASF: Do you have a personal story to share about your own involvement with these programs?

VP: Doing intake at LARC, I was at once saddened and impressed. Saddened by the breadth and complexity of legal issues that faced those who came to seek help. Impressed by the willingness and capability of the attorneys who staff LARC to cut through those issues and find a path forward. Many of those attorneys volunteer month after month and give so much—truly awe-inspiring and motivating—the least I can do is give a few dollars in support.

BASF: What would you be if you weren’t a lawyer?

VP: Wouldn’t want to be something other than a lawyer! I don’t know… probably an entrepreneur. My wife recently left the law to found her own startup company making personalized children’s books—I like what I do, but I do find the startup world exciting.

BASF: What is your proudest accomplishment (professionally or personally)?

VP: Personally, finding a wife who will put up with me and shares my values. Professionally, finding a niche that allows me to work on varied and important policy issues (renewables, climate change, etc.) that get me, and pardon the energy lawyer pun, energized.

BASF: Do you have a favorite quotation?

VP: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Sir Winston Churchill

BASF: You signed up on our website to make a monthly gift. What appealed to you about that option and way of giving?

VP: The beauty of layaway! I can make a significant contribution over the course of a year to support programs I believe in, but not have it be a lump sum payment that shocks my financial senses. What’s not to like?

If you would like to join Vid in his support of VLSP, send your check to Troy Arnold, Director of Development, 301 Battery Street, Third Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111. You can also donate online at

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