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Litigation Skills Series: Impeachment

Join us for an intensive and comprehensive training designed to equip you with the essential skills and strategies for effectively impeaching witnesses during trial proceedings. Impeaching a witness can be a critical element in shaping the outcome of a case, and mastery of this art is essential for any trial advocate. Through a combination of expert-led seminars, practical demonstrations, and interactive workshops, participants will delve into the nuances of witness impeachment techniques. Seasoned trial lawyers will provide insights, best practices, and real-world examples, offering invaluable guidance on: Identifying opportunities for impeachment Utilizing prior inconsistent statements, bias, and credibility challenges Cross-examination tactics to discredit witnesses Admissibility of impeachment evidence Effective use of exhibits and demonstrative aids This training takes place on Friday, April 5 from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm at Arnold & Porter (601 Massachusetts Ave NW). We will provide the drinks, cookies, and answers! You come with your lunch and questions! Scholarships are available due to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this online scholarship form. CLE credit is pending for this course.

In-House Pro Bono Program & Fair

Hosted by ACC NCR & Washington Council of Lawyers Please join the Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region and Washington Council of Lawyers for our 5th Virtual Pro Bono Fair. Attendees will be introduced to a variety of legal service organizations discussing ongoing needs and volunteer opportunities. The Pro Bono Fair will be held virtually again in 2024, and participants will have the opportunity to select breakout rooms to learn more, ask questions, and better understand the mission of the organizations. Thank you to the following organizations that have signed on to participate. More to be added! Ayuda CAIR Coalition Children's Law Center DC Bar Pro Bono Center DC Volunteer Lawyers Project Legal Services of Northern Virginia Maryland Legal Aid National Veterans Legal Services Program Neighborhood Legal Services Program Tzedek DC Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Whitman Walker Health Legal Services

Litigation Skills Series: Case Theory

The theory of a case is the story of what occurred in your case and includes the legal theory (circumstances/causes of action or affirmative defenses) and the factual theory (the explanation of how the particular course of events happened). It puts the law of your case in a narrative rather than an analytical posture and helps the factfinder understand what outcome your client seeks. Case theory is the blueprint from which you draft your opening and closing statements, determine direct and cross-examination, plan a settlement agreement, or construct your mediation statement. It is the first step in any case. While that sounds great in "theory" it can be difficult to construct in practice. That's why we're starting at the beginning with this vital litigation skill. At Litigation Skills Series: Case Theory we will dive into gathering information about your case, building an outline that works for you, and how to best follow up for information you may have missed! A robust case theory can help ensure you've got everything you need well before mediation or trial. Diandra Bosch, current Trial Attorney in the DC Office of the Attorney General and former legal services supervisory attorney will break down the steps, give you concrete tips, and help you see the big picture even before you have all the pieces. And we've left plenty of time to answer all your questions. This training is a great way to get prepared for the Litigation Skills Series: Trial Advocacy training in May! Although not required, if you want a refresher on building a cohesive case theory before practicing opening, direct, cross, and closing, you'll want to attend this training! This training is appropriate for lawyers in all sectors (public-interest, law firm, government, and corporate legal departments) and law students, especially those taking a clinic or participating in an externship or mock trial. The cost is only $45 for Washington Council of Lawyers members and $80 for non-members. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this online scholarship form.

DC Superior Court Open House: Domestic Relations Branch

This event is  co-sponsored by: D.C. Superior Court, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, Children’s Law Center, and Washington Council of Lawyers. Join us for a D.C. Superior Court Open House where representatives from legal services organizations and experienced pro bono counsel will introduce you to the Domestic Relations Branch – one of the Court’s highest-volume branches where pro bono representation in child custody cases is greatly needed. You’ll observe court proceedings, meet with Superior Court Judges, and learn how you can help expand access to justice in our community. Pro bono counsel may represent custodial parents, non-custodial parents, or third-party caregivers in child custody matters. They also serve as guardians ad litem (GALs), representing the “best interests” of the children involved. Whether representing a party or serving as a GAL in a custody case, you’ll be helping to secure stability for a family with limited means, as well as enhancing your professional skills. Please note this event involves a moderate amount of standing and walking. If attendees have accommodation needs or questions, please contact Jodi Feldman at Jodi.Feldman@DCCSystem.gov.

D.C. Superior Court Open House: Domestic Violence Division

This event is co-sponsored by: D.C Superior Court, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC), and Washington Council of Lawyers. Join us for a D.C. Superior Court Open House where representatives from legal services organizations and experienced pro bono counsel will introduce you to the Domestic Violence Division – one of the Court’s highest-volume branches where pro bono representation is greatly needed. You’ll observe court proceedings, meet with Superior Court Judges, and learn how you can help expand access to justice in our community by providing representation to persons with limited means. The Open House will focus on pro bono opportunities to represent petitioners seeking Civil Protection Orders (CPOs). A person can file for a CPO against someone who has committed or threatened to commit an intrafamily offense, sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sex or labor trafficking against them. By providing pro bono representation, you can help protect a petitioner from harm, as well as enhance your professional skills. Please note this event involves a moderate amount of standing and walking. If attendees have accommodation needs or questions, please contact Jodi Feldman at Jodi.Feldman@DCCSystem.gov.

2023 Justice Impact Awards: Photo Album

Thank you so much to everyone that came to the 2023 Justice Impact Awards Ceremony! We enjoyed a beautiful evening with everyone and are glad to share these memories! A special thanks to our award winners and all they do for our community

Litigation Skills Series: Advanced Hearsay

Hearsay may be common, but that doesn't make it any less complicated. There are so many obstacles to navigate and challenges that may arise in the courtroom but with a strong understanding of the rules you can navigate it all like a pro. Build your courtroom confidence with some practice! Join us for Litigation Skills Series:  Advanced Hearsay for a practical review of the hearsay rules, common examples, and how to navigate applying all the nuances. This training will be run by experienced faculty, Barbara Butterworth, Counsel, Litigation Mentor Program at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP and Jessica Kurtz Zagoren, Senior Supervising Attorney at Children's Law Center. The program is geared to go beyond the basics by allowing more space for practice and practical questions. This training is appropriate for public-interest, law firm, in-house, and government lawyers. 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 credit is available  as follows: 2.0 CA general, 2.3 NJ general, and 2.0 NY skills (newly admitted and experienced).  Reciprocal credit may be available in other jurisdictions. There will be cookies and light refreshments provided, but please feel free to bring your lunch!

Members-Only: Public Interest 101

Join us where career and community development collide! This members-only event is an incredible opportunity to learn more about how to find your niche in the public interest legal community, either in your career or volunteer work! Our panelists will discuss the intersectionality of the public interest legal community and ways you can tap into the robust community that wants to support you. Creating community is helpful for both your career and your clients. With a supportive community you can get connected to resources that can help you accomplish everything from building a more robust case for your client to reaching your career goals. Our panel will be moderated by Jodi Feldman, Pro Bono Manager, District of Columbia Courts. Our panel includes: Kelli Neptune, Executive Director, DC Bar Pro Bono Center Stephanie Johnson, Director of Externships and Public Interest Programming, Howard University School of Law Kathleen Wach, Pro Bono Counsel, Miller & Chevalier Dana Busgang,  Civil Rights & Employment Associate, Cohen Milstein There is space for everyone in the fight for access to justice, we love helping you find yours! Not a member yet, but want to join the conversation? Become a member today for this and other incredible member benefits!

Government Pro Bono Roundtable 2024

Our Government Pro Bono Roundtable is the perfect opportunity to learn about doing pro bono work as a government lawyer. Pro bono work can be a rewarding part of a government career; you just need to be familiar with the resources, policies, and strategies that allow you to do the work effectively. At this lively discussion, you'll learn about established pro bono programs for government lawyers. Our pro bono experts will share why pro bono work is meaningful to them, tips for managing your schedule and finding the support you need, and info about the many different types of pro bono work available to government lawyers. Our panel will be moderated by Jen Miller, Government Attorney. Our panel includes: Chris Jennison, Federal Government Attorney Juan Romero-Sanchez, Federal Government Attorney Elaine Block, DC Government Attorney The government lawyer panelists will share their experiences from their personal perspectives in their individual capacities, and will not be speaking on behalf of their agencies. Join us to find out how you can dive into pro bono work as a government lawyer!

Volunteer at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advice & Referral Clinic (February 2024)

In the new year, discover new ways to do pro bono service in your community! Not sure where to start? The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center's Advice & Referral Clinic is perfect for those looking to dip their toes in pro bono! Volunteer on Saturday, February 24th to gain experience in serving the D.C. community in a variety of matters! 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 Marion Barry Ave SE. Parking is available. Please arrive at 9:00 am, a brief orientation takes place at 9:15 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 Wednesday, February 7 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.

Graphic: Racial Justice Series Ending The School To Prison Pipeline

Racial Justice Series: Ending the School to Prison Pipeline: Changing Outcomes and Creating Paths for Success Recap

On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, panelists discussed the ongoing consequences of the "School to Prison Pipeline." We broke down the narrative, highlighted the ongoing and significant effects on students of color, particularly those with disabilities, and laid out action steps for students, educators, and legal professionals to promote systemic change and end disparate discipline practices.

Litigation Skills Series: Legal Writing

Every lawyer needs to write well. And, every lawyer can improve their writing skills. Don't miss this opportunity to set yourself up for writing success. Unleash your writing power! Join Litigation Skills Series: Legal Writing with Andrew George, Partner at Baker Botts, and master the art of concise, clear, and powerful communication! Andrew is a highly acclaimed, first-chair trial attorney equally known for his zealous advocacy in the courtroom and for his strategic, quiet advocacy outside of court to resolve his clients’ most sensitive legal problems. An investigator at heart, Andrew painstakingly analyzes every detail of a case and develops intricate legal defenses that are compelling and authentic. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. This training is $35 for Washington Council  of Lawyers members and $50 for non-members. Join today for the discounted rate! There are also scholarships available thanks to the generosity of the DC Bar Foundation. Please fill out this scholarship request form. This training is so popular, it's sold out twice. Save your spot today!

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Sam Sergent

Since 2015, Legal Aid’s Reentry Justice Project has been helping clients who face barriers in accessing housing, employment, and other opportunities due to a criminal record. Individuals who have interacted with police and the criminal legal system — disproportionately people of color and people who live in areas of concentrated poverty — find themselves facing a multitude of collateral civil consequences that act in real and concrete ways to perpetuate generational cycles of poverty. The Project seeks to eliminate those barriers through direct representation and systemic advocacy.

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Ken Knight and David Horniak

DC Affordable Law Firm – DCALF, as we are more commonly known – delivers accessible justice to modest-income DC residents who do not qualify for traditional sources of free civil legal services and cannot afford standard representation, empowering community members with unmet legal needs while also launching the careers of public interest lawyers committed to accessible justice.
Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2023 With Dates

We the Action Summit 2023

We The Action is excited to host their first Summit for lawyers who want to make a difference! Plan to join them at the Eaton Hotel in Washington, DC, for a day of interactive sessions with your fellow pro bono lawyers from across the country, inspiring fireside chats from legal leaders, live pro bono opportunities, and panels about the most pressing issues facing the nation. They are so excited to bring this community together in person for the first time in October. Check out more about their event below! Three Impactful, In-Person Pro Bono Opportunities! We’re excited to announce that the We The Action Summit will feature three opportunities to collaborate with your peers and make a difference: Volunteer with the Nobel Prize-nominated Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help people with previous felony convictions restore their right to vote Help the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights assess barriers to voting and the effects of voting rights laws to ensure everyone can cast their ballot in November and beyond Support VECINA as they provide hands on assistance to immigrants seeking protection in the United States Join Us for a Democracy & Voting Rights Panel! The We The Action Summit 2023 will feature a timely panel with leading voting rights organizations! Learn more about the ongoing fight for voting rights, the state of current voting rights litigation, and how lawyers can help defend the right to vote. The panel will feature representatives from: Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Black Voters Matter Hear from Leading Voices in Reproductive Justice! We’ve heard from lawyers like you that you’re concerned about the ongoing attacks on reproductive freedom nationwide. That’s why we’re excited to announce that the We The Action Summit will feature a panel from organizations on the front lines of the fight for reproductive justice about how lawyers can make a difference! The panel will feature representatives from: If/When/How Baltimore Abortion Fund Partners in Abortion Care

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Shirin Zamani

Shirin Zamani has been a staff attorney with Hogan Lovells for more than 8 years and was promoted to Staff Attorney Manager in 2022. She has been a longtime advocate of non-partner track attorneys receiving billable credit for pro bono work. As one of the firm’s Pro Bono Champions, she shares weekly opportunities with her colleagues to get them plugged into pro bono matters that interest them, from disability rights to domestic violence and everything in between.

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Latham & Watkins Pro Bono Team

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is thrilled to celebrate the achievement of the DC-based, Latham & Watkins pro bono team comprised of associate Michael Clemente and partners Adam Greenfield and Eugene Elrod. The Latham team secured a systemic victory for veterans in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on behalf of Vietnam War combat veteran Robert Doyon. The Federal Circuit adopted a broad rule that will significantly help veterans seeking medical retirements related to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Federal Circuit held that every Board for Correction of Military Records decision must apply liberal consideration to applications, like Mr. Doyon’s, that seek a medical retirement for PTSD.

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Megan Daily

An associate at ArentFox Schiff LLP, Megan Daily’s practice concentrates on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, entity formation and structuring, commercial contract drafting, and general corporate law. Her everyday clients tend to be large, sophisticated entities with the ability to afford expert legal counsel. The transactional experience advising these sizeable clients allows her to provide valuable pro bono support to DC’s newest, smallest nonprofits and small businesses who otherwise could not afford to pay hundreds of dollars an hour for legal help.

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Alfredo Vasquez

“My law school clinical and internship experiences taught me that simply having a lawyer advocating for their interests can make a life-changing difference in outcomes for clients,” Alfredo Vasquez says. Find out more about how his work with DC Refers is his way of working to improve the legal system and the lives of our moderate-income neighbors.

Building Up In-House Pro Bono Partnerships and Opportunities

Hosted by the Pro Bono Institute In-house pro bono continues to thrive and mature. Come learn how legal departments engage in pro bono, often in partnership with legal services organizations and law firms. You’ll hear perspectives from pro bono leaders at corporate legal departments, as well as pro bono leaders at law firms and legal services organizations that partner with legal departments. The panel will be moderated by: Nihad Mansour, Assistant Director, Law Firm Project, Pro Bono Institute Alyssa Saunders, Director, Corporate Pro Bono, Pro Bono Institute The panelists will include: Irfana Anwer, Managing Pro Bono Attorney, Ayuda Kelsey Bynum, Executive Administrative Coordinator, Pepco Holdings Lisa Dewey, Pro Bono Partner, DLA Piper LLP Autumn M. Hunter, Associate General Counsel & Managing Director, Bank of America Lisa B. Luftig, Assistant General Counsel, Exelon Business Service Company Jason Z. Qu, Sr. Managing Attorney for Nonprofit & Small Business Legal Assistance Programs, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center Join the conversation at #DCPBW23!

Superior Court Landlord and Tenant Branch

The Landlord and Tenant Branch of D.C. Superior Court adjudicates complaints for the possession of real property, commonly referred to as eviction cases. A landlord may file a complaint for possession against a tenant. Approximately 95% of the tenants sued for eviction in the Landlord and Tenant Branch are not represented by counsel. Only about 5% of landlords are unrepresented.

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Patrick Fuller

Nonprofits serve a critical role in our communities. They provide programming that lifts up underserved and vulnerable populations and empower individuals to take action to help their communities. In doing so, nonprofits regularly navigate tricky legal issues, and pro bono assistance can be essential. Patrick Fuller, Counsel at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, understands the challenges that nonprofits face. Over the course of his career, Patrick has dedicated his pro bono practice to strengthening the capacity and compliance of nonprofits primarily working in DC, advising on a range of structuring transactions and corporate governance matters.

DC Pro Bono Week Profiles: Helping Unrepresented Litigants Navigate Family Court

Over 85% of parties in child custody, divorce, and child support cases in D.C. Superior Court lack representation. The Family Court Self-Help Center, on site at the Moultrie Courthouse, is a free resource for unrepresented litigants who must navigate a complex legal system designed for lawyers. The Self-Help Center provides customers with information about family law, helps prepare pleadings, instructs litigants how to file and serve documents, clarifies court processes, and offers referrals to community resources.

Superior Court Housing Conditions Calendar

The Superior Court’s Housing Conditions Calendar within the Civil Division allows tenants to sue their landlords to obtain needed repairs and ensure that their landlords comply with the D.C. Housing Code.

Superior Court Domestic Violence Division

The Superior Court’s Domestic Violence Division adjudicates civil and criminal domestic violence matters, including Civil Protection Order (CPO) cases. A person can file a petition for a CPO against someone who has committed or threatened to commit an “intrafamily offense,” sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sex or labor trafficking against them.

Superior Court Domestic Relations Branch

The Domestic Relations Branch (DRB) is part of the Superior Court’s Family Court and hears custody, divorce, legal separation, annulment, and adoption cases, as well as child support requested in a custody or divorce case. Child custody cases make up the majority of DRB cases for which legal services organizations are seeking pro bono counsel.

Superior Court Debt Collection Calendar

The Superior Court maintains a “debt collection calendar” within the Civil Division that consists of two case types: (1) collection cases involving consumer debts like credit card debt, loans, condominium and homeowner’s association fees, and medical debt; and (2) insurance subrogation cases in which an auto insurer (such as GEICO) seeks to recover from the uninsured owner or driver after an automobile accident with an insured vehicle.

Algorithmic Justice Part 2: Legal Tools and Strategies to Navigating Automated Decision Making

Join us for our hot topics panel, Algorithmic Justice Part 2: Legal Tools and Strategies to Navigating Automated Decision Making . This panel is a continuation of a conversation that began as a part of our Racial Justice Series. The first part discussed how algorithms appear in the law and ways they have and may continue having a negative impact on the lives of those they affect. Part two will dive further into the tools and strategies that exist in the law and ways we may improve what's available to lawyers through legislation and advocacy. This panel consists of litigators, legislators, and analysts who have their finger on the pulse of this issue. Our panel is moderated by Bardia Bastin and Sébastien Monzón Rueda and includes: Grant Fergusson (EPIC), Kevin de Liban (Arkansas Legal Aid), Samantha Gerleman (AARP Foundation), and a representative from D.C.'s OAG's Office. Spread the word and join the conversation on social media using #DCPBW23.

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