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Graphic: Litigation Skills Series Trial Advocacy

Litigation Skills Series: Trial Advocacy

Whether in person or virtually, trial advocacy skills are critical to a successful case. The good news is they can be learned. Join us for five jam-packed mornings of Trial Advocacy during the week of Monday, May 1 - Friday, May 5. The training will take place from 9:00 - 11:00 am ET on Monday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm ET on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and 9:00 - 10:30 am on Friday. View the 2023 Litigation Skills Series Trial Advocacy Full Schedule here. We will focus on the four fundamental trial skills: Opening Statements, Direct Examinations, Cross-Examinations, and Closing Arguments.  Each topic will begin with a lecture by an expert trainer and a demonstration by skilled litigators showing how to put the lesson into practice. Then, we will move to small group breakout rooms where each attendee will get up and practice the skill of the day. Breakout room facilitators will offer individualized, constructive feedback to each participant. Attendees should plan to spend some time between each session to prepare for the on-your-feet breakout sessions. Although this year's Trial Advocacy training will take place virtually, it offers the same individualized practice and feedback as our in-person training. It is not a passive Zoom webinar; it will be a cameras-on, interactive training experience. Our fact pattern features a Landlord Tenant case, but you need not know anything about substantive housing law to benefit from the training. For Washington Council of Lawyers members, this comprehensive Trial Advocacy training costs just $115. For non-members, the cost is $215. (Join Washington Council of Lawyers to take advantage of the discounted member rates.) Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this online scholarship form. CLE credits are available for 12.25 in CA (general), 13.5 in NJ (general), and 12.5 in NY skills (newly admitted and experienced), VA is pending. This session always sells out. Save your seat today! Registration closes Friday, April 28 at 5:00 pm ET.

Graphic: May 20 Volunteer At The DC Bar Pro Bono Center Advice And Referral Clinic

Volunteer at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center Advice & Referral Clinic (May 2023)

There is a tremendous need for volunteers to provide legal help to those in our community. And, we have a way you can serve on a Saturday! Volunteer with us at May's D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center's Advice & Referral Clinic. At the clinic, you'll provide brief advice (and referrals) to people who otherwise wouldn't have access to legal help. We meet at Bread for the City's Michelle Obama Southeast Center, at 1700 Good Hope Road SE. Parking is available. A brief orientation takes place at 8:30 am, and volunteers are asked to stay until the last client is seen, usually at least 3:00 pm. There's no time commitment beyond the clinic itself. As a volunteer attorney, you'll answer questions about consumer law, family law, housing law, public benefits, bankruptcy, and other topics. You don't need to be an expert in these areas of law: D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center staff and expert mentors will be on hand to help. You do need to be a member of the D.C. Bar, or a federal government attorney barred in another state to participate. The deadline to volunteer is Thursday, May 11 by 5:00 pm ET. Once you register to attend, our Program Director and volunteer coordinator, Chris Marin, will be in touch with additional details. 

2023 Summer Forum Keynote Nicole Austin-Hillery

2023 Summer Pro Bono and Public Interest Forum Keynote

IN-PERSON LUNCHEON IS SOLD OUT! The luncheon will be live-streamed and interactive. You can bring together your summer associates/summer interns and join us from anywhere. Our Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum is an annual tradition that brings together lawyers, summer associates, summer interns, and others interested in making pro bono or public-interest work a part of their legal careers and provides an introduction to several different types of public-interest practice. We’ll kick off the forum with an in-person and live-streamed keynote conversation with Nicole Austin-Hillery, President & CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. on Wednesday, June 7 from 12:00-2:00 pm ET. The first two virtual practice-area panel discussions will follow on Thursday, June 8 from 12:00 – 2:30 pm ET. There will be networking time after the panels. Then, over the following two weeks, you will have the opportunity to attend the remainder of the virtual panel presentations where you can learn more about pro bono and public-interest work in DC and across the country. Each panel will focus on a different practice area, featuring presentations by national and local experts in that legal specialty. The panel topics will include: June 8 – Non-Litigation Pro Bono – 12:00-1:15 pm ET June 8 – Environmental Justice – 1:15-2:30 pm ET June 15 – Poverty Law – 12:00-1:15 pm ET June 15 – Criminal Law & Death Penalty – 1:15-2:30 pm ET June 22 – Civil Rights & Civil Liberties – 12:00-1:15 pm ET June 22 – Immigration & Human Rights – 1:15-2:30 pm ET The Summer Forum is open to Washington Council of Lawyers members (join), participants in summer associate and summer intern programs, lawyers in law firms, government and public-interest organizations, law students, and others interested in learning more about incorporating public-interest law into their practice. You can attend from anywhere! A single registration provides access to all four days of Summer Forum sessions, and recordings of each session will be sent to all registered attendees. You can choose to attend the in-person luncheon or participate in the live stream. All the panels are virtual. The cost for the in-person luncheon'/virtual panel option is $65 for WCL Members; $75 for Government & Public-Interest Lawyers, Interns, and Individual Law Students; and $95 for Law Firm Lawyers, Summer Associates, Corporate Law Department Lawyers, Law Department Interns, and the General Public. The all-virtual option is just $45 for WCL Members; $55 for Government & Public-Interest Lawyers, Interns, and Individual Law Students; and $75 for Law Firm Lawyers, Summer Associates, Corporate Law Department Lawyers, Law Department Interns, and General Public. Summer Program Coordinators: If you’d like your summer associates or interns to attend, but don’t yet know their names, you can register them as guests (First Name: Guest 1, Last Name: Organization Name). Please email Christina Jackson (at if you need any assistance. Look for updates and join the conversation about the Summer Forum using #SumFo23 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

Graphic: Litigation Skills Series Impeachment

Litigation Skills Series: Impeachment

Impeachment is a critical - but difficult - skill for trial lawyers to master. An effective impeachment can make your case. A botched impeachment can destroy it. Learn both the mechanics and strategies for impeaching witnesses from expert trial lawyers at this popular Litigation Skills Series CLE training. The course will begin with a lively presentation and top-notch demonstration and end with the opportunity to get on your feet and practice what you have learned. Scholarships are available due to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this online scholarship form. The course has been approved for 2.0 credits in CA (General), NJ (General), and NY (Skills). CLE approval is pending but not guaranteed in VA. Reciprocal credit may be available in other jurisdictions.

Creating Opportunity for Legal Professionals with Past Convictions

Approximately 600,000 people return to their communities following incarceration each year, and it is estimated that more than 1 in 4 returning citizens is unemployed. This is indicative of the collateral consequences of incarceration and the many challenges of reentry – but also shows that there is a massive pool of skilled individuals that employers are missing out on. This is especially true in the legal field. Returning citizens have direct experience in the system, and many have also become practiced legal researchers while incarcerated – skills that would be an asset to any law firm. Five years ago, Georgetown University and the DC Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs (MORCA) came together to create a paralegal program with the goal of helping connect returning citizens to sustainable careers while also meeting a need in the industry for qualified and highly skilled paralegals.

Government Pro Bono Roundtable 2023 Recap

Lawyers who work for any government have a couple of extra considerations to make before doing pro bono work. But as our Government Pro Bono Roundtable moderator and panelists showed, doing pro bono as a government attorney is still accessible and rewarding. Read on to learn (or get a refresher on) some tips from the pros:
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