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Volunteer at the DC Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advice and Referral Clinic (May 2024)

Trying to find a way to fit pro bono service into your schedule? Join us for a rewarding day of service, where your skills can make a significant difference in the lives of those seeking legal guidance and support! Volunteer on Saturday, May 18th 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 DC Bar Office, 901 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20001. Street 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, May 8 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. We are currently looking for volunteers in private practice, including solo practitioners and those at firms. If you are currently in a government position and would like to volunteer please contact Lara Eilhardt at Lara.Eilhardt@usdoj.gov. If you are currently a law student and would like to volunteer please contact Rachel Lawrence at lawrencera@cua.edu. Thank you!

Graphic: Fellowships 101 An Introduction To Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowships

Fellowships 101 (2024)

Post-graduate fellowships are a unique way to realize your ideal public interest job. Fellowships allow new lawyers to gain hands-on experience, develop project management skills, and pursue their passions for promoting justice. But the application process is complicated and the programs are competitive. We're here to help you make sense of the process. Our expert panel will walk you through all the steps of the application procedures for the various programs and give you concrete tips for maximizing your chances of landing the fellowship of your dreams. Then, we will discuss PSJD and other online resources for finding fellowships. Finally, there will be plenty of time for individualized questions. Fellowships 101 is free for Washington Council of Lawyers members (join) and law students of Public Interest Jobs Clearinghouse (PIJC) subscriber law schools; the cost is just $10 for non-members. Not sure if you attend a law school that subscribes to the PIJC? Contact your law school career development office to find out. Join the conversation on social media #Fellowships101.

Litigation Skills Series: Trial Advocacy

Join us for two jam-packed days of Trial Advocacy on Thursday, May 2 and Friday, May 3. The training will take place from 9:00 -5:00 pm ET both days! View the  2024 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. We are so excited to bring this training back in person! Our in person sessions offer the incredible individualized practice and feedback. You will be able to practice every part of litigation with experienced attorneys. Our fact pattern features a Domestic Violence CPO case, but you need not know anything about substantive law in this area to benefit from the training. For Washington Council of Lawyers members, this comprehensive Trial Advocacy training costs just $135. For non-members, the cost is $235. (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 pending for this training for CA, NY, NJ. This session always sells out. Save your seat today! Registration closes Monday, April 29 at 5:00 pm ET.

Best Practices in Pro Bono: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Pro Bono and Access to Justice

This Best Practices conversation will define and explain what we mean by Artificial Intelligence or “AI.” Building on that shared understanding, we will discuss how AI has been, is being, and will be used in legal services generally, and to facilitate access to justice and pro bono in particular. We will explore the benefits, use cases, and opportunities for innovation, and the potential risks of this emerging technology. The panel will touch on practical considerations, ethical implications, equity, access, and opportunities for collaboration among large law firms, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and courts as using AI rapidly shifts from optional to obligatory. Our discussion will be led by: Panelists Lisa Dewey, Pro Bono Partner, DLA Piper Michael Lukens, Executive Director, CAIR Coalition  Adrián Palma, Pro Bono Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation Jim Sandman, Vice-Chair of the ABA Task Force on Law and Artificial Intelligence, Law Professor, President Emeritus of the Legal Services Corporation, Past President of the D.C. Bar (and so, so much more!) Bring your lunch and your questions. We'll provide the cookies and the answers. Pro bono coordinators from law firms, corporations, legal services providers, nonprofits, and government agencies are welcome to join the conversation!

Graphic: Pathways To The District Of Columbia Bench

Pathways to the District of Columbia Bench

The District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission (JNC) screens, selects, and recommends to the President of the United States candidates for appointment to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and appoints the chief judges for both courts. Join members of the JNC for a unique opportunity to learn about the JNC and our local judicial selection process, obtain advice on applying to become a judge in the District of Columbia, and the pitfalls to avoid during the application process. Panelists include: Honorable Marie C. Johns, CEO, PPC-Leftwich; Chair, JNC Benjamin F. Wilson, Retired Chairman, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.; Vice-Chair, JNC Tracy B. Nutall, Executive Director, JNC Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right-hand corner of the registration page.

Graphic: 2024 Summer Forum Keynote With Picture Of Fatima Goss Graves

2024 Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum

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 Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO of the National Women's Law Center. on Thursday, June 20 from 5:30-7:30 pm ET. Following the keynote, we will dive deeper into six substantive practice areas through virtual panel discussions 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. All discussions will take place from 12:00-1:30 pm ET. The panel topics will include: June 26 – Non-Litigation Pro Bono June 26 – Environmental Justice June 26 – Criminal Law & Death Penalty June 27 – Poverty Law June 27 – Civil Rights & Civil Liberties June 27 – Immigration & Human Rights 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 three 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 keynote and reception or participate in the live stream. All the panels are virtual. Early Bird Pricing is available until May 15! The cost for the in-person keynote'/virtual panel option is $65 for WCL Members; $75 for Government & Public-Interest Lawyers, Interns, and Individual Law Students; and $105 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 $85 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). Bulk registrations are available. Please email Christina Jackson (at cjackson@wclawyers.org) if you need any assistance. Look for updates and join the conversation about the Summer Forum using #SumFo24 on Instagram, Facebook, X, and LinkedIn!

Members Only Series: Client Storytelling

Conquering client interviewing is only half the battle. The other half comes when its time to share their story with the world. The second part in our Members-Only series will give you insights and advice you need to share their story at the stage of advocacy you're in. Learn how to synthesize your client's story and effectively communicate it to fact-finders or in policy advocacy and organizational reporting. Effectively sharing your client's story is important to both seeking justice in individual cases and advocating for justice on a systemic level. We will explore how to communicate your client's position in a way that helps the factfinder understand the facts and be persuaded to act in your client's favor. You will walk away with tips for using emotional, metaphorical language to turn the events of your case into a meaningful narrative. Client Storytelling takes place on Wednesday, May 8 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm via Zoom. If you haven't registered for Client Interviewing yet, there's still time! Check it out here.

Members-Only Series: Client Interviewing

We want to help you maximize your client interactions and your ability to communicate their story. Join us for this Members-Only series to gain the insights you need to be an empathetic and effective advocate at every stage. Refine your client interviewing skills in the first part of this Members-Only series - Client Interviewing! Hear from seasoned experts about effective communication techniques, rapport-building strategies, and advice that will help you understand clients' needs. Join us to ensure you are gathering the information you need for a successful representation while centering your client. We'll discuss initial intakes and first attorney interviews, trauma-informed practices, and effectively putting your client in control of their case among other topics. Client Interviewing takes place on Wednesday, April 17 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm via Zoom. Then mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 8th for the second part - Client Storytelling! Learn how to synthesize your client's story and effectively communicate it to fact-finders or in policy advocacy and organizational reporting. Effectively sharing your client's story is important to both seeking justice in individual cases and advocating for justice on a systemic level. We will explore how to communicate your client's position in a way that helps the factfinder understand the facts and be persuaded to act in your client's favor. You will walk away with tips for using emotional, metaphorical language to turn the events of your case into a meaningful narrative. If you'd like to register for this event, but are not yet a member, join now!  

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 approved for this course 1.75 CA general, 2.0 NJ general, and 2.0 NY skills (newly admitted and experienced). Credit may be available in other jurisdictions. Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right hand corner of the registration page.

Graphic: Leadership Institute - 4 Sessions Dates

Leadership Institute: Personnel Actions

Personnel actions can be some of the hardest situations to navigate for any leader. In the public sector, we often see less formal evaluation processes or evaluation processes that are supposed to be one-size-fits-all. There may not be clear guidance about what to do if a team member is underperforming. As a supervisor, there may be no mechanism for feedback on your performance. You may have no idea how to provide feedback or might not be sure how to solicit feedback. We will cover all these issues and more at the last session of our Leadership Institute. This session is from 12:00-1:30 pm ET. The cost is just $40 per session for members and $60 per session for non-members. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the DC Bar Foundation. Please fill out this online scholarship request form. These sessions are designed specifically for public interest lawyers. We will address the specific challenges and rewards that come with early career leadership responsibilities, offer concrete tips and strategies for supporting your team, and explore how self-care must be a part of your professional competencies. Our Leadership Institute is appropriate for lawyers who are currently team leaders, first or second-line supervisors, those who hope to move into a leadership role in the next 12 months, and anyone who could use a primer on effective leadership. Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right hand corner of the registration page.

Graphic: Leadership Institute - 4 Sessions Dates

Leadership Institute: Wellness & Managing Secondary Trauma: Why It’s Important to Professional Competency

Leadership in the public interest presents unique challenges. You often find yourself being offered leadership roles very early in your career. It can be overwhelming to navigate all the obstacles. That is why wellness and self-care have to be part of your professional competencies. Additionally, public-sector lawyers face secondary trauma and other factors that affect their personal lives. This session of our Leadership Institute will help all of us navigate the landscape of leadership while supporting our teams and effectively caring for ourselves. This session will be led by Daniela de la Piedra, former lawyer, and Founder & Principal of Everyday Daniela Professional Coaching Services. Then, we will take a deeper dive into the core competencies of leadership in the last session.. Personnel Actions on Tuesday, June 25 All the sessions are from 12:00-1:30 pm ET. The cost is just $40 per session for members and $60 per session for non-members. There is also a discounted package rate for the 2 remaining sessions. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the DC Bar Foundation. Please fill out this online scholarship request form. These sessions are designed specifically for public interest lawyers. We will address the specific challenges and rewards that come with early career leadership responsibilities, offer concrete tips and strategies for supporting your team, and explore how self-care must be a part of your professional competencies. Our Leadership Institute is appropriate for lawyers who are currently team leaders, first or second-line supervisors, those who hope to move into a leadership role in the next 12 months, and anyone who could use a primer on effective leadership. Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right hand corner of the registration page.

Graphic: Leadership Institute Four-Part Series

Leadership Institute: Managing vs Supervising: How to Support Your Team While Moving Forward the Mission

The public sector presents many unique challenges as you progress through your career. Unlike the private sector, you will have sole client responsibility right away and you may find yourself moving into a leadership role 3-5 years into your first position. In session 2, we will discuss managing vs supervising. Our conversation will be led by Michael Lukens, Associate Director of the CAIR Coalition. Then, we will take a deeper dive into the core competencies of leadership in the following two sessions. Wellness & Managing Secondary Trauma: Why It's Important to Professional Competency on Tuesday, May 21 Personnel Actions on Tuesday, June 25 All the sessions are from 12:00-1:30 pm ET. The cost is just $40 per session for members and $60 per session for non-members. There is also a discounted package rate for the 3 remaining sessions. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the DC Bar Foundation. Please fill out this online scholarship request form. These sessions are designed specifically for public interest lawyers. We will address the specific challenges and rewards that come with early career leadership responsibilities, offer concrete tips and strategies for supporting your team, and explore how self-care must be a part of your professional competencies. Our Leadership Institute is appropriate for lawyers who are currently team leaders, first or second-line supervisors, those who hope to move into a leadership role in the next 12 months, and anyone who could use a primer on effective leadership. Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right hand corner of the registration page.

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. Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right hand corner of the registration page.

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. Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right hand corner of the registration page.

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. Don't forget to add this event to your calendar when you register! Click the "Add to My Calendar" button at the top right hand corner of the registration page.

Leadership Institute: Leadership Principles in the Public Sector

The public sector presents many unique challenges as you progress through your career. Unlike the private sector, you will have sole client responsibility right away and you may find yourself moving into a leadership role 3-5 years into your first position. With great power comes great responsibility. As a community, we are good at providing skills training that serves clients. We are less effective at providing skills-building to help you be successful supervisors and community leaders.  All that will now change with our newly launched Leadership Institute. Join us for our Leadership Institute, designed specifically for public interest lawyers. We will address the specific challenges and rewards that come with early career leadership responsibilities, offer concrete tips and strategies for supporting your team, and explore how self-care must be a part of your professional competencies. We kick off this 4-part series with Leadership Principles in the Public Sector. Long-time legal services and now government advocate Beth Mellen, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Public Advocacy Division, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, will explore the leadership principles vital to public-interest leaders and how to manage increasing responsibility early in your career. Then, we will take a deeper dive into the core competencies of leadership in the following three sessions. Managing vs Supervising: How to Support Your Team While Moving Forward the Mission on Tuesday, April 23 Wellness & Managing Secondary Trauma: Why It's Important to Professional Competency on Tuesday, May 21 Personnel Actions on Tuesday, June 25 All the sessions are from 12:00-1:30 pm ET. The cost is just $40 per session for members and $60 per session for non-members. There is also a discounted package rate for all 4 sessions, which is available until the date of the first session. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the DC Bar Foundation. Please fill out this online scholarship request form. Our Leadership Institute is appropriate for lawyers who are currently team leaders, first or second-line supervisors, those who hope to move into a leadership role in the next 12 months, and anyone who could use a primer on effective leadership.

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!

Graphic: Best Practices In Pro Bono Addressing Non-Legal Client Needs

Best Practices in Pro Bono: Addressing Non-Legal Client Needs: Interdisciplinary Services and Pro Bono

Ever worked with a client who couldn’t concentrate on their legal issue because they were worried about something else? This conversation will be about the role and experience of pro bono attorneys working with clients who have multiple, overlapping needs, including non-legal needs. We will hear from panelists who work at organizations with interdisciplinary services combining legal and non-legal services, such as medical-legal partnerships, to learn how those models impact their pro bono program. We will also hear from pro bono facilitators about challenges and opportunities when non-legal needs arise while representing clients. We’ll explore what is working well, the gaps, and ways that legal services staff and pro bono attorneys can maintain defined roles while working together to holistically support clients. Bring your lunch and your questions. We'll provide the cookies and the answers. Pro bono coordinators from law firms, corporations, legal services providers, nonprofits, and government agencies are welcome to join the conversation!

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.

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!

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

Black and brown students, particularly with disabilities, are still often more likely than their peers to be suspended or expelled and funneled out of public schools into the juvenile and criminal legal systems. Our panelists discuss how their organizations are promoting systemic reforms to end disparate discipline practices and policies and foster success for students of color. We will also explore what public interest and pro bono lawyers with or without education law experience can do to sever the pipeline. Our discussion will be led by: Kaitlin Banner, Deputy Legal Director, Washington Council of Lawyers for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Akela Crawford, Director, Legal Services, Advocates for Justice and Education Seema Gajwani, Special Counsel for Juvenile Justice Reform; Founder & Chief, Restorative Justice Program, DC Office of the Attorney General Henry Floyd, General Counsel at the Daniel Initiative and Washington Council of Lawyers Board Vice-President will moderate the conversation. Thank you to the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (“GWAC”) and the Washington Bar Association for co-sponsoring this program. Spread the word on social media using #RacialJustice.

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

Graphic: DC Pro Bono Week 2023 With Dates

Burke Pro Bono Luncheon

Hosted by Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs Join the Washington Lawyers' Committee to meet their new Legal Director, Ryan Downer, hear about our work from our clients, co-counsel, and staff, and find out how to get involved in civil rights pro bono opportunities. Panel topics will include: The Fight for Decarceration and Bringing People Home Workers' Rights Victory for Virginia Tech Students Spread the word and join the conversation on social media using #DCPBW23.

Graphic: Co-Sponsored Event

Pathways to the Federal Bench: Judicial Nominations 101

Hosted by Alliance for Justice's Building the Bench Initiative As the Biden administration has committed to prioritizing experiential diversity on the bench, we want to ensure the broadest possible pool of attorneys has a comprehensive understanding of the federal nominations process and is as prepared as possible to position themselves as candidates for judgeships. As you know, judges with a background in criminal legal reform are quite underrepresented in our courts, which is why we are organizing this information session for criminal justice-focused attorneys who may be interested in pursuing a federal judgeship. This will be a confidential, off the record conversation to demystify the process, answer questions, and encourage folks to consider a future on the bench. Please join us on Wednesday, October 18 at 3:00 PM EDT over Zoom to hear from speakers Judge Richard F. Boulware, United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, and Judge Jamal Whitehead, United States district judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. Panelists will give their insights on how judges get nominated, including commissions, timelines, and the ABA process, as well as discuss how judicial candidates should work with the White House, Senate (or in some cases House) offices, Department of Justice, and outside organizations. We are excited to cohost this event along with the Washington Bar Association, the DC Bar, and the Hispanic Bar Association of DC. Please reach out to Mike Salamon at mike.salamon@afj.org if you have any questions.

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!

Advice & Referral Clinics for Veterans

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. Two clinics will be held via a virtual platform and one clinic is in-person. Clinics: Advice & Referral Clinic for Women Veterans Tuesday, October 24 10:00 am - 4:30 pm ET Virtual Clinic Legal Advice & Referral Clinic for All Veterans Tuesday, October 24 10:00 am - 2:30 pm Virtual Clinic Friday, October 27 10:00 am - 2:30 pm ET DC VA Medical Center (50 Irving St NW) Lawyer volunteers - email Chesley Roberts at chesley.roberts@vetsprobono.org. Only female attorneys are allowed to volunteer for the women’s clinic. Student volunteers sign up here - https://www5.apptoto.com/b/fridayvetsclinic/#form. There is only 1 student left for the Tuesday, October 24th clinic. Spread the word on Twitter (X), Instagram, and Facebook using #DCPBW23!

Small Business Brief Advice 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.

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