March 21, 2022
Get to Know – Alison Benge
This week in Pacifica’s “Get to Know” series, we are highlighting Alison Benge. Alison is a partner whose practice focuses on tax advice relating to public finance transactions.
Why did you choose your area of practice and what do you like most about it?
I didn’t really choose this practice area; it was total serendipity. When I came out of law school, I knew I wanted to practice transactional law, but I didn’t really have a plan beyond that. My law firm needed help with the public finance practice, so that’s where I landed. I had terrific mentors and quickly came to love the work. I have been practicing public finance for 20 years now and have never looked back. I love the clients, the transactions are challenging and interesting, and there is a wonderful national community of public finance attorneys that I feel privileged to be a part of.
Why did you choose to practice law at Pacifica Law Group?
The people. Although I didn’t previously practice in Washington, I was aware of Pacifica from some industry conferences and events. I had met a few of the public finance attorneys and was impressed with their expertise and their shared vision of Pacifica. I was not actively looking for a new position, but when I heard that Pacifica’s public finance team was looking for someone with my expertise, I immediately gave them a call. I am so grateful to be a part of this truly fabulous team of attorneys.
What kinds of volunteer, philanthropic, or community events are important to you?
In terms of industry organizations, I am very involved in the National Association of Bond Lawyers and Women in Public Finance. I have benefitted from the expertise and mentoring of terrific attorneys over the years, and now I am trying to give back by sharing what expertise I have and being a mentor to newer attorneys.
In my personal life, I have been a supporter of the Save the Children organization for over 15 years. In that time, I have probably sponsored a dozen children all over the globe. It is a treat to write to them and to receive their responses and drawings. Unfortunately, the pandemic has basically shut down our ability to exchange letters, but I continue to support the cause. More recently I have become very interested in the Effective Altruism movement and in donating to organizations that have been shown to be extremely effective in saving (or substantially improving) lives at a low cost. I’m pretty passionate about it!
What hobbies and activities do you participate in outside of work?
Most of my free time is spent with my family. I have to admit that we watch a lot of television together, but we also play cards and board games. We walk our dogs and like to try new restaurants and activities around town. We also like to travel when we can. I’ve been trying to learn Italian just in case we ever actually make it to Italy!