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Graphic: Best Practices In Pro Bono: Where Have All The Hours Gone?

Best Practices in Pro Bono: Where Have All The Hours Gone? Reconnecting Volunteers & Legal Service Providers

The pandemic exacerbated the need for pro bono lawyers and many firms experienced banner years for pro bono hours. But, now many employers are moving away from all remote to hybrid work situations, and some legal services providers are struggling to secure volunteers. Is there a correlation between return to the office and a real or perceived decline in volunteers? Are volunteers still providing pro bono hours at the high rates we saw in 2020 and 2021?  If so, where is the time going? The question on everyone's mind is where is the disconnect? And how do we respond to ensure pro bono projects are fully staffed while providing volunteers with meaningful experiences? We'll discuss these questions and more with: Blair Decker, Pro Bono Counsel, Hogan Lovells US LLP Jodi Feldman, Managing Attorney, Legal Operations, Legal Aid of the District of Columbia Danielle Moise, Pro Bono Attorney, Covington & Burling LLP Nirupa L. Narayan, Senior Director for Pro Bono Partnerships, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Join this candid panel discussion as we pause to reflect upon how pro bono recruitment and retention have changed since 2020 and brainstorm strategies for moving forward together.

Government Pro Bono Roundtable 2023

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 include: Tracy Suhr, U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration Elaine Block, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia Laura Klein, Pro Bono Program Manager, U.S. Department of Justice Christopher Jennison, Employment and Labor Law Division, Federal Aviation Administration The panel will be moderated by Jennifer Miller, Director of Staff, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, and Washington Council of Lawyers board member. 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!

Graphic: In-House Pro Bono Program & Fair

In-House Pro Bono Program and Fair: Making Pro Bono Work in a Virtual World

Hosted by ACC NCR & Washington Council of Lawyers Remote representation is here to stay and can feel even more intimidating and unique in the pro bono setting. Join the Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region and Washington Council of Lawyers as we invite an experienced panel of in-house volunteers and legal service coordinators who will share best practices, lessons learned, and tools for success that enable pro bono volunteers to navigate all aspects of virtual client representation, including clinics, limited scope representations, and even remote court proceedings. The presentation will take place 12 - 1 pm ET and will be followed by an online pro bono fair 1 - 2 pm ET, during which attendees will be able to select up to four break-out sessions featuring legal services organizations and in-house volunteers discussing volunteer opportunities.  Registrants may attend either or both the program and fair. Thank you to the following organizations that have signed on to participate. More to be added! Ayuda Children's Law Center Corporate Pro Bono DC Bar Pro Bono Center DC Volunteer Lawyers Project Kids in Need of Legal Defense (KIND) Legal Counsel for the Elderly National Veterans Legal Services Program Whitman Walker Health Legal Services

Award Recipient Collage From Top Left Kristian Eliason, Karen Newton Cole, Latham & Watkins, Tracy Suhr

2022 Awards Ceremony – Inspiring & Uplifting

We were back! It felt so good to be in the same room again to celebrate the dedication of pro bono volunteers and public-interest lawyers in DC. We came away energized and inspired and ready to face whatever challenges 2023 brings. Read on to share in the celebration.
Graphic: Co-Sponsored Event

Pathways to Leadership: Inspiration from Women in Power – A Co-Sponsored Event

Hosted by the Women's Bar Association of DC Interested in learning from a dynamic panel of women at the top of their careers? Leaders from the private sector, government, and the judiciary will provide insight from their experiences climbing the corporate and legal ladders, including how their leadership styles differ from their male counterparts. This delightful evening is sure to inspire, empower, and provide guidance to all generations of women leaders and to those looking to boost their pathway to leadership! Speakers: Hon. Tanya Jones Bosier, Magistrate Judge, D.C. Superior Court Lisa Fowlkes, Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Comcast NBC Universal Khalilah Harris, Chief of Staff, Office of Personnel Management Vicki Warker, Vice President, Product Management, Mercury Gate International The discussion will be moderated by Kandis Gibson, WBA President-Elect We are pleased to be a co-sponsor of this event.

Graphic: Liam Montgomery Headshot

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Passionate Advocacy for Survivors

Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) is proud to celebrate the dedication and commitment of our Board Chair, Liam Montgomery. Liam, an eleven-year veteran of United States Naval Aviation and a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP, has been a passionate advocate for survivors of crime, veterans, and numerous other pro bono causes. His leadership in pro bono work is an inspiration to others at his firm and throughout our DC community.
Photo: Group Of Georgetown University Law Center Students

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Law Students Can Do Pro Bono Too!

Following the end of D.C.’s eviction moratorium, many residents were worried about falling behind on their rent and the looming threat of losing their homes. When the DC Office of the Attorney General planned pop-up clinics to help residents access emergency federal funding for housing and utility expenses, dozens of Georgetown students – including a Black Law Students Association contingent that made this a group pro bono project – joined the efforts.
Photo: Mary Gately Headshot

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Pro Bono Work Comes in Many Forms

Maya Angelou profoundly said, “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy.  Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”  I am reminded of this quote when I reflect on Mary Gately’s profound service and deep commitment to the pro bono work she performs as DC Affordable Law Firm’s Litigation Director, a role she performs entirely on a pro bono basis.  Across the past three years, Mary’s work with and on behalf of DC Affordable Law Firm’s clients soared to unprecedented levels, leading to exceptional legal outcomes for dozens of DC Affordable Law Firm’s low- and modest-income clients while synchronously shaping and inspiring the careers of the next generation of public interest attorneys. 
Graphic: 2022 Awards Ceremony Award Recipient

2022 Awards Ceremony

Our annual awards ceremony gives us a chance to recognize lawyers and organizations who make exceptional contributions to the pro bono and public-interest community. At this year’s ceremony, we will recognize the recipients of these awards: Presidents Award for Public Service Karen Newton Cole Neighborhood Legal Services Program Government Pro Bono Award Tracy Suhr U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Law Firm Award Latham & Watkins LLP Legal Services Award Kristin Eliason Network for Victim Recovery DC Join us for a celebratory evening of delicious food & drink, inspiring community connections, and the chance to celebrate our local pro bono and public-interest advocates who work tirelessly to increase access to justice! SILENT AUCTION! You can also support our mission of ensuring our justice system treats everyone fairly, regardless of money, position, or power through our silent auction. Bidding is open now and closes on Friday, December 2nd. Treat your loved ones (or yourself) with fabulous items sure to bring holiday cheer! We hope you will Bid Early and Often! Tickets are now on sale. You can also honor this year's award recipients by sponsoring the Awards Ceremony. For more information, please contact our Executive Director, Christina Jackson, at cjackson@wclawyers.org or 202-451-8129. THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS! We are grateful for the support of these generous sponsors who make possible all we do. Champion Arnold & Porter Compass Lexecon Kirkland & Ellis Trailblazer Latham & Watkins Benefactor Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman Defender Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Buckley Covington & Burling DLA Piper Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson Hogan Lovells Morgan Lewis & Bockius Sidley Austin Steptoe Foundation TM Financial Forensics Zuckerman Spaeder Pioneer Alix Partners ArentFox Schiff Cleary Gottlieb Cooley Crowell & Moring Dechert Relman Colfax Wiley If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact our Executive Director, Christina Jackson, at cjackson@wclawyers.org or 202-451-8129.

Photo: Mariah Hines Headshot

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profiles: Helping Vulnerable Individuals in Our Community Across Practice Areas

It is inspiring to speak with Mariah Hines, an associate in Sidley Austin’s Healthcare group, about the quantity, variety, and impact of her many pro bono engagements. Her pro bono matters span across practice areas including disability benefits, immigration, housing discrimination, and more. Even more impressive is that Mariah has done so much to help others so early in her legal career, having graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2020.
Graphic: Best Practices In Pro Bono: Clinics, Workshops & Limited Pro Bono Engagements

Best Practices in Pro Bono: Clinics, Workshops, and Limited Pro Bono Engagements

How has the pandemic changed clinics, workshops, and other one-time service opportunities for legal services providers and volunteers? Join us for a candid discussion of the costs and benefits of these limited-scope pro bono opportunities. We'll hear from organizers and participants about what worked remotely, what did not, and where we go from here post-pandemic. Our discussion will be led by: Erin M. Mee, Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, National Veterans Legal Services Program Lance Conklin, Chair, AILA DC Chapter Pro Bono Committee Catalina Martinez, Attorney Advisor, U.S. Small Business Administration Paul Lee, Pro Bono Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson And our discussion will be moderated by Andrea Mangones, Director, Legal Training & Technical Assistance, KIND. We're so excited to be back in person we've set aside some additional time to get reacquainted and meet all the new members of our pro bono community. Bring your ideas and your lunch. Cookies and drinks will be provided thanks to the generosity of our host Fried Frank.

Graphic: PBW 2022 Superior Court Tour

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: D.C. Superior Court Open House

Hosted by the D.C. Superior Court Pro Bono and Affordable Counsel Committee, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, and NVRDC Have you ever been to the D.C. Superior Court?  Have you met a D.C. Superior Court Judge?  Do you want to help litigants of limited means in cases involving eviction, domestic violence, or domestic relations? Join us for the D.C. Superior Court Open House where representatives from legal services organizations will lead tours in some of the Court’s high-volume branches.  You will have an opportunity to observe court proceedings, speak with Superior Court Judges, and learn how you can help expand access to justice and improve the everyday lives of individuals and families in our community. You can choose to tour the Domestic Violence Division, Domestic Relations Branch, or Landlord and Tenant Branch at registration. Please note masks are required at all times inside the courthouse. You will need to bring a government-issued ID to enter the building. We look forward to welcoming you! And join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using #DCPBW22!

Photo: Collage Top Right Clockwise, Justice Glazebook, Judge Whalen, Annie Helms, Karen Grisez, Justice Lynch, Judge Ruiz

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Firms Come Together to Rescue Women Judges from the Taliban

On an early morning in January 2021, two women judges in Afghanistan were assassinated in their car on their way to court.  The other women judges, many of whom had tried or sentenced Taliban members, soon realized they were in serious danger and sought help from the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).  That May, the IAWJ formed an Afghan Women Judges Support Committee which included leaders from New Zealand, the US, Australia, Canada, Spain, and the UK.  The Support Committee began exploring ways to support its sister judges in peril.   As Taliban control expanded and the Afghan government began to collapse, not only were the women judges stripped of their ability to practice their profession, but they began receiving threats, warning letters, and visits to their homes demonstrating that their lives were at risk.  Family members were abducted and beaten. By late summer, as the fall of Kabul approached and danger to the women judges escalated, the IAWJ asked two major law firms to join in the effort to assist them on a pro bono basis. 
Graphic: Litigation Skills Series: Depositions

Litigation Skills Series: Depositions

Depositions can be useful tools in all kinds of cases. A deposition can be an effective and affordable tool for pro bono and public-interest lawyers and their clients. Our Depositions training is taught by Phil Horton and Stanton Jones from Arnold & Porter. The course will feature a mix of lecture and demonstration with plenty of time for Q&A. We will cover the basics of both taking and defending depositions. We'll discuss such topics as how to frame effective questions, proper use of direct vs. leading questions, personal style, use of outlines, and deposition strategy.  And then we'll turn to defending depositions and discuss how to prepare a witness (both on the facts of the case and on how to be an effective witness) and how to defend the actual deposition.  There will also be a demonstration on taking and defending a deposition in a housing case. Bring your lunch, and join us in learning the basics of how to prepare yourself and your witness for a deposition, what techniques are most effective, and what traps to avoid. This training is approved for CA 2.0 (general), NY 2.0 (skills), and NJ 2.2 (general) CLE credits. CLE approval is pending but not guaranteed in VA. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. Please complete this form to apply for a scholarship.

Photo: Jeremy Calsyn Headshot

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Crucial Pro Bono Leadership

Jeremy Calsyn has been a pro bono champion at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton since he joined the firm in 1999, and especially since he became a partner in 2008. In his regular work in the antitrust space, Jeremy handles a broad range of matters, including merger reviews, criminal and civil government investigations, and complex class action litigations. However, in addition to his many professional accomplishments in the legal field, it’s Jeremy’s pro bono leadership and commitment to pro bono services that truly stands out. Not only does he regularly provide hands-on supervision of pro bono cases, but Jeremy also serves as Pro Bono Committee Chair in the D.C. office, supporting the work of the D.C. Pro Bono Attorney and offering guidance to the firm’s pro program as a whole.
Photo: Johanna Hickman & Christine Webber Headshots Collage

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Profile: Helping Unaccompanied Minors Find Safety in the U.S.

The recent influx of migrants to the District has shined a renewed spotlight on the difficult immigration landscape of the past decade and beyond. (UCs) are expected to navigate the incredibly complex U.S. immigration legal system alone, placed in removal proceedings in immigration court without the right to counsel, and often forced to defend themselves against highly skilled attorneys representing the government. Central to their success is the need for zealous, high-quality legal representation, which could not be achieved without the involvement of pro bono attorneys. Christine Webber and Johanna Hickman of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers, and Toll, PLLC are two such stellar attorneys who have served as counsel for a KIND client since 2014.
Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Rights In Retreat

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: Rights in Retreat – From the Clinics to the Polls: Reproductive Rights, Voting Rights, Civil Rights

Over the past two years, civil rights in the United States have been under attack.  The Dobbs decision marks the first time in its history that the Supreme Court has revoked a previously recognized constitutional right.  After the 2020 elections, many state lawmakers have focused their efforts on passing laws erecting unnecessary barriers for people to vote which disproportionately impact people of color, students, the elderly, and people with disabilities. And while many have invoked the name of George Floyd in calling for racial justice and equity in recent years, have we actually achieved any progress in securing those goals?  This panel will examine where we find ourselves now in a Post-Dobbs, Post-George Floyd, and Post-Big Lie World. Our esteemed panelists are: Sharon Brett, Legal Director, ACLU of Kansas Gilda Daniels, Professor of Law, University of Baltimore Marc Hearron, Senior Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights Naïké Savain, Director of Policy, DC Justice Lab Join the conversation on social media using #DCPBW22.

Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Small Business Clinic

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic

Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center The Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinic gives business and transactional attorneys the opportunity to donate their expertise to small businesses.  The Small Business Brief Advice Legal Clinics allow current and aspiring small business owners to speak with an attorney about their legal problems or questions that affect their businesses.  Small businesses serve as the cornerstone for economic development in disadvantaged areas, but many cannot afford legal fees for advice that may determine whether they sink or swim. While only brief advice is given, entrepreneurs are able to engage in one-on-one consultations with an attorney.  Matters that arise include business formation, real estate, employment, intellectual property and joint ventures, and partnership agreements. One to two trainings are held each year for interested volunteers, but it is not required to volunteer. New volunteers often shadow veteran volunteers during their first few consultations. For the volunteer manual, click here. Sign up to volunteer at the virtual clinic here. You must sign up before 8:00 am ET on Monday, October 24. And join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using#DCPBW22!

Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Serving Families East Of The River

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: Meeting Our Clients Where They Are: Serving Families East of the River

Co-Hosted by Bread for the City and Children's Law Center Bread for the City and Children’s Law Center will co-host this event to discuss their respective legal services work East of the Anacostia River and the importance of pro bono in serving D.C. neighbors. Join us to learn how lawyers can address non-medical barriers to health, the benefits of co-locating legal services with non-lawyer professionals, and how you can get involved with Bread for the City and Children’s Law Center. Registrants will receive a Zoom link in advance of the event. Join the conversation on social media using #DCPBW22.

Graphic: Veterans Clinics

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: Veterans Consortium Legal Muster Pop-Up Clinics

Hosted by the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program In celebration of Pro Bono Week, The Veterans Consortium (TVC) is partnering with local volunteers and DC area law students to hold two, one-day pop-up legal clinics to serve the needs of veterans. These clinics will be held via a virtual platform. Clinics: Advice & Referral Clinic for Women Veterans Tuesday, October 25 10:00 am - 4:30 pm ET Legal Advice & Referral Clinic Friday, October 28 10:00 am - 4:30 pm ET To volunteer, reach out to Chesley at chesley.roberts@vetsprobono.org. Only female attorneys are allowed to volunteer for the women’s clinic. And join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using #DCPBW22!

Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Access To Justice In Family Law

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: Access to Justice in Family Law: Everyone Deserves a Lawyer

Hosted by Children's Law Center, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, Mother's Outreach Network Please join us for a lively panel discussion on the need for pro bono representation in cases impacting families.  This panel will discuss the challenges our clients face in securing representation and dispelling myths about who our clients are.  Panelists will share their experiences representing parents, third-party caregivers, and the best interests of children.  Come learn why access to justice in family law means everyone has a lawyer.  Attendees will receive information about how they can get involved, ranging from limited scope to extended representation.  Registrants will receive a Zoom link in advance of the event. Our discussion will be led by: Jen Masi (Children’s Law Center) Jenadee Nanini (D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center) Keeshea Turner Roberts (Delaware Law School, Widener University) Melody Webb (Mother’s Outreach Network) In advance of this session, attendees are invited to complete a brief (approximately ten minutes) virtual exercise on poverty.  You can find the exercise here: SPENT: A Virtual Exercise on Poverty - H. E. Butt Foundation (hebfdn.org) Join the conversation on social media using #DCPBW22!

Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Pro Bono Goes Local

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: Pro Bono Goes Local

DC Pro Bono Week 2022 officially kicks off with Pro Bono Goes Local on Monday, October 24, from 9:30-10:30 am ET via Zoom. This launch event will feature a panel of inspiring legal services attorneys who will provide valuable updates on community legal needs and identify specific ways pro bono attorneys can get involved. Then, we will hear from Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby from the D.C. Court of Appeals, and Chief Judge Josey-Herring from the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Don't miss the chance to find out about the most pressing pro bono needs of the day. Our lightning round experts will give updates about these important pro bono practice areas: domestic violence, family law, immigration, consumer issues, public benefits, housing, and criminal record sealing. We'll hear from: Faiza Majeed, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia (Housing) Erin Scheick, Bread for the City (Domestic Violence) Tina Nelson, Legal Counsel for the Elderly (District Elders) Bradford Voegeli, Neighborhood Legal Services Program (Criminal Record Sealing) Crystal Fleming, Kids in Need of Defense (Immigration) Join us for the kickoff of our week-long celebration of pro bono! We'll share a wealth of information on the hot topics in pro bono and give you a chance to connect with great pro bono opportunities! Pro Bono Goes Local is free to attend, but advance registration is required. Spread the word! Invite a friend! #DCPBW22

Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2022 Parents' Tax Workshop And Clinic

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: Parents’ Tax Workshop and Clinic

Hosted by Mother's Outreach Network Mother's Outreach Network is hosting a community-based tax workshop followed by a brief advice clinic that will inform D.C. parents and caregivers about their eligibility for refundable tax credits. In partnership with pro bono attorneys, we will aid families in claiming their rightful tax credits to increase their family income and overall well-being. We are seeking attorneys, paralegals, and law students to provide advice and guidance to parents through one-on-one clinic appointments following the parents' tax workshop information session. A tax law background is not required to volunteer! Parents' Tax Workshop will take place on Tuesday, October 18 at 11:00 am ET at the Southwest Family Enhancement Center, 203 N Street, SW. Volunteers are required to attend a virtual training on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00 pm ET. Register for the training here.

Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2022 How To Find Pro Bono Work That Helps The Environment

DC Pro Bono Week 2022: How to Find Pro Bono Work That Helps the Environment!

Hosted by D.C. Environment and Energy Associations (DCEEA) Please join the Washington Council of Lawyers and members of the D.C. Environment and Energy Associations (DCEEA) for a pro bono week panel to discuss ways to get involved in environmental and climate change initiatives. With so much attention being given to climate change, you may be wondering how you can get involved in grass-roots and pro bono efforts. Our panel of experts will discuss ways to get involved in various aspects of pro bono work from litigation, to advocacy, to hands-on non-legal volunteer opportunities. Attendees will leave with tangible ideas and ways to get involved. Our discussion will be led by: Abbey Doyno, Executive Director, Green Pro Bono William Halnon, Staff Attorney, Outreach & Engagement Coordinator, Chesapeake Legal Alliance Christine Appah, Adjunct Professor of Law, Environmental Justice, Cardozo School of Law Ariel Solaski, Staff Litigation Attorney with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will moderate the discussion. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using #DCPBW22!

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