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Photo: Jo Bahn

2020 Government Pro Bono Award Recipient Josephine Bahn

By Etienne Toussaint

Josephine Bahn, known by many as Jo, is a Senior Attorney with the Enforcement Section of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Legal Division in Washington, D.C. At FDIC, Jo litigates consumer protection and bank fraud cases. She joined FDIC as a member of their Honors program and rotated through multiple sections of the FDIC Legal Division at the start of her government career. Prior to joining the FDIC, Jo clerked for the Honorable Joel H. Slomsky in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where she managed one-third of the docket covering both civil & criminal matters and focused on juvenile offender resentencing.

Alongside her role as a government attorney, Jo is an Adjunct Professor at the Catholic University of America Metropolitan School of Professional Studies Paralegal Program. At Catholic University, she has taught a variety of courses, including Torts, Civil Procedure, Family Law, and Administrative Law.

Although early in her career, Jo has already made a significant impact in the legal field and her community. Jo is very active in volunteer bar service. She has served in various leadership roles with the American Bar Association since 2014, including co-chairing various initiatives with the Young Lawyers Division (such as the Women in the Profession and No Limits Campaign) and serving as Committee Lead for the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Committee. Jo has also served in leadership capacities with the Young Lawyers Section of both the Maryland State Bar Association and the Bar Association for the District of Columbia. Jo maintains an active pro bono practice in addition to her leadership in the organized bar, committing to providing 1,000 hours of free legal services to her clients in 2020. 

In June 2020, Jo ended her term as Chair of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia Young Lawyers Section. She also serves as the D.C. Bar’s Under 36 Delegate to the ABA’s House of Delegates and on the ABA Young Lawyers Division senior leadership team. She will Chair the ABA Young Lawyers Division in 2022-23. Jo currently serves as the Commissioner-Public Member of the Montgomery Country Commission on Veteran’s Affairs and as the community impact vice president for the Junior League of Baltimore.

Jo takes her commitment to service very seriously. And as a new mom, it is very important for her to set an example for her daughter. We are thrilled to recognize her many contributions to her community with the 2020 Government Pro Bono Award.

Etienne Toussaint is an Associate Professor at UDC David A. Clarke School of Law and a member of Washington Council of Lawyers Board of Directors.