Washington Council of Lawyers Strategic Plan for 2018-2021
(Adopted September 25, 2018)
We are a voluntary bar association seeking to help our justice system serve everyone, including those who are poor or marginalized. Our members represent the legal community’s diversity: They come from law firms, law schools, private and nonprofit organizations, and the government. We promote pro bono and public-interest law—by building partnerships between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors; volunteering to provide legal services to those who need them; training and mentoring the next generation of public-interest advocates; and supporting policies that expand access to justice.
About This Plan
Washington Council of Lawyers adopts this three-year strategic plan to further our mission of promoting pro bono and public-interest law and expanding access to justice.
The pro bono and public-interest community continues to evolve in response to current events, the demands of legal practice, advances in technology, and the needs of our clients and their communities. We must nimbly respond to changes in the legal community and potential new needs of our members while also staying focused on the values and priorities that have guided our work for over 40 years.
In order to advance our mission and maintain our role as the public-interest bar association for lawyers from all sectors of the local legal community, we will focus on:
We will expand the number of high-quality, affordable skills trainings that we offer to equip and empower pro bono and public-interest lawyers to serve their clients well. Right now, there are not enough of such trainings available in our community. To fill this gap, we will increase the number of opportunities for pro bono and public-interest lawyers to gain professional skills and practical knowledge that will allow them to provide high-quality legal services to low-income clients, advance their careers, and adapt to changes in the legal profession.
2. Developing Leaders
We will recruit, mentor, and inspire new pro bono and public-interest advocates and support leadership development for mid-level advocates. To maintain the vibrant community of legal advocates in the local community, new leaders must continue to grow and develop. We aim to prepare and nurture the next generation of pro bono and public-interest lawyers through our work.
We will use our voice and status in the legal community to amplify and advocate for access to justice issues, particularly those in the District of Columbia. We should continue to develop and expand our unique voice for the District’s pro bono and public-interest legal community—to advocate for improved access to justice, support for pro bono and public-interest lawyers, and a fair justice system for everyone, including the poor and marginalized. We will focus our advocacy on issues where we think our voice lends a unique perspective, carries particular impact, or when the issue is central to our identity and focus.
4. Building Community
We will develop and support a strong and diverse network of public-interest-minded lawyers, law students, and legal professionals from all sectors of the legal community, through both social and substantive programming. We will cultivate relationships, collaborate, and co-sponsor programs with bar associations and other diverse groups. Our goal is to provide a forum and create a community where local pro bono and public-interest-minded lawyers, law students, and legal professionals can meet, learn from one another, and grow as professionals.