Becoming A Judge

Becoming a Judge

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 it appoints the chief judges for both courts. On Monday, March 2, 2020 join members of the JNC and judges from the District of Columbia courts for a unique opportunity to learn about the judicial selection process in the District of Columbia, obtain advice on applying to become a judge for the District of Columbia courts, and hear firsthand from judges from the District of Columbia courts about various facets of serving on the bench. This event is free and open to all. We are pleased to cosponsor this event along with the District of Columbia Association of Administrative Law Judges, Greater Washington Area Chapter of the Women Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association, Washington Bar Association, and the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia/ WBA Foundation.

Best Practices In Pro Bono: From The Bench! Judicial Wisdom For Pro Bono Advocates

Best Practices in Pro Bono: From the Bench! Judicial Wisdom for Pro Bono Advocates

Best Practices in Pro Bono is a chance to share advice and tips for improving your pro bono program—together with pro bono coordinators from legal services organizations, government agencies, in-house legal departments, and law-firms from DC, Maryland, and Virginia. At Best Practices in Pro Bono: From the Bench! Judicial Wisdom for Pro Bono Advocates, we'll get the inside track straight from our local judges about what is effective pro bono advocacy. Our panelists for this conversation include: The Honorable Julie Becker, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia The Honorable Jennifer Di Toro, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia The Honorable Maribeth Raffinan, Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia Our moderator is Lise Adams, Assistant Director, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. Lunch will be provided. Join us at 12:30 pm to get a good seat and enjoy some casual conversation. The facilitated discussion will take place from 12:45 - 2:00 pm. Thank you to Fried Frank for hosting our Best Practices in Pro Bono series!

Litigation Skills Series: Impeachment

Litigation Skills Series: Impeachment

Impeachment is a critical - but difficult - skill for trial lawyers to master. An effective impeachment can make your case. A botched impeachment can destroy it. Learn both the mechanics and strategies for impeaching witnesses from expert trial lawyers Mary Kennedy and Katherine Oler at this popular Litigation Skills Series CLE training. The course will begin with a lively presentation and top-notch demonstration and end with the opportunity to get on your feet and practice what you have learned. Mary Kennedy is the Training Counsel at Arnold & Porter. She brings decades of experience litigating trials in D.C. Superior Court and numerous hours of teaching Litigation Skills trainings. She was named a Top Lawyer in criminal defense by Washingtonian in 2018. Katherine Oler works at the United States Court of Federal Claims. Prior to her appointment to the Court, she served as an Air Force Judge Advocate where she primarily worked in the criminal litigation area. She has held positions as first-chair felon prosecutor, a defense attorney, and a trial judge. She also brings many years of trial advocacy teaching experience. Lunch will be provided thanks to the generosity of Planet Depos. CLE credit is pending in CA, NY, and VA. Reciprocal credit may be available in other jurisdictions. Scholarships are available due to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. To apply for a scholarship, please complete this online scholarship form. Space is limited, so register today!

Litigation Skills Series: Trauma-Informed Interviewing

Litigation Skills Series: Trauma-Informed Interviewing

Public-interest and pro bono lawyers often interact with clients and witnesses who have experienced trauma. Better understanding the science of trauma can help you be a more effective advocate. Understanding what your client may be feeling makes you a more compassionate lawyer. Learning skills for interviewing people who have experienced trauma in an appropriate way can help you get the information you need to build a strong case while also minimizing the risk of re-traumatizing your client. Join us on Thursday, March 5, from 12:00-2:00 pm at Mayer Brown (1999 K Street) to learn more about trauma-informed interviewing. Our panelists will be: Tara Graham (Senior Program Manager, Just Detention International) Priya Konings (Deputy Director of Legal Services, Kids in Need of Defense) Bridgette Stumpf (Executive Director, Network for Victim Recovery of DC) The panel will be moderated by Jennifer Grishkin (Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, CAIR Coalition). This training is free for Washington Council of Lawyers members (join) and members of co-sponsoring organizations, and $15 for others. Bring your lunch.   We will provide drinks and desserts! Thank you to Mayer Brown for hosting this important topic!

21st Annual D.C. Bar Youth Law Fair – Volunteer

21st Annual D.C. Bar Youth Law Fair – Volunteer

Attorney and non-attorney volunteers are needed for the D.C. Bar 21st Annual Youth Law Fair. Attorneys will assist in the courtrooms during the mock trial exercises. Non-attorney volunteers are needed to help with other event-related tasks. Beyond their assigned tasks, all Youth Law Fair volunteers serve as role models to the student participants. The Youth Law Fair was established in 2000 to provide an opportunity for youth in DC to have a positive "hands on" experience with the law while encouraging a greater appreciation for the judicial system, local community resources and the pursuit of higher education. The event includes mock trials; speak out sessions; tours of courtrooms, judge's chambers and holding cells; exhibits; catered lunch; and door prizes. This year will focus on theft, shoplifting, and unlawful entry issues in juvenile court, with a discussion about food security. Attorney volunteers will be asked to attend a one-hour preparation meeting at the courthouse on Friday, March 20 at 6:00 pm. RSVP at the link below so that we can identify and welcome our Washington Council of Lawyers volunteers. Then fill out the Youth Fair Volunteer Form here. Deadline for volunteer registration is COB Friday, March 13, 2020. If you need additional information, please visit the D.C. Bar website or feel free to contact the Communities Office of the D.C. Bar at

Best Practices In Pro Bono: Road Trip! Ideas From Other Cities

Best Practices in Pro Bono: Road Trip! Ideas From Other Cities

Our Best Practices in Pro Bono series always brings fresh ideas for fostering successful pro bono initiatives. At our next Best Practices in Pro Bono breakfast, we will explore what pro bono coordinators in other cities are doing to engage volunteers and increase overall participation. We'll discuss the outreach tools, systems administration, and volunteer cultivation tips that pro bono programs in other cities are using with success. And we'll help you expand your pro bono toolkit with some new approaches and different perspectives. Our panelists include: Larry McDonough, Dorsey & Whitney, Minneapolis Chip Nunley, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Richmond Joe Sullivan, Pepper Hamilton, Philadelphia The panel will be moderated by Paul Lee, Pro Bono Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Best Practices in Pro Bono brings together pro bono directors at law firms, legal services organizations, corporations, and government agencies to share tips for improving their pro bono programs. Breakfast is served at 8:45 am; the facilitated discussion will take place from 9–10:15 am. There is no cost to attend. Sign up today!

Managing Student Loan Debt

Managing Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt is a reality for most lawyers. Lawyers at law firms, non-profits, and the government all juggle student loans, so lawyers employed (or aspiring to be employed!) in all legal sectors need a smart and thorough plan for managing their student loan debt. Take control of your student debt obligations. Join our panel of experts from Equal Justice Works, the D.C. Bar Foundation, and private practice for a comprehensive review of debt management strategies and options for loan repayment assistance programs. We will discuss repayment program terms and conditions, provide tips on consolidation where required, and fully explore Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Find out the latest developments in student loan management techniques and how to maximize your repayment options. Our panel includes: Brooke Meckler, Law School Engagement & Advocacy Program Manager, Equal Justice Works Imoni Washington, Director of Programs, D.C. Bar Foundation Courtney L. Weiner, Law Office of Courtney Weiner PLLC The panel will be moderated by Jen Tschirch, Assistant Director, Office of Public Interest and Community Service at Georgetown University Law Center and Washington Council of Lawyers Board Member. This program is ideal for lawyers in private and public practice and those thinking of making a transition from the private to the public sector. Law students are also welcome. Bring your lunch and all your questions. We'll provide drinks, cookies, and answers to all your debt management, repayment option, and loan forgiveness quandaries. Thanks to the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association for co-sponsoring!

Volunteer For Gifts For The Homeless

Volunteer for Gifts for the Homeless

We often roll up our sleeves to help our neighbors in need around the holidays. This year, we will volunteer to sort and bag clothing donations with Gifts for the Homeless on Saturday, December 7, from 11 am until 4 pm. The clothing sorting takes place at 2300 N Street, NW, conveniently located north of Washington Circle and within walking distance of the Foggy Bottom/GW and Dupont Circle Metro stops. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes and bring a water bottle. We will be volunteering with many other groups and individuals to help bring warm clothes to people in need. Learn more here. Last year, Gifts for the Homeless was able to receive, sort, bag and deliver nearly 3,200 bags of clothing and other items to more than 55 homeless service organizations. Join us for a hands-on, worthwhile, and fun volunteer activity that is appropriate for individuals and families. All are welcome!

Volunteer At The D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advice & Referral Clinic (November 2019)

Volunteer at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Advice & Referral Clinic (November 2019)

DC Pro Bono Week may have ended, but the need for volunteers to provide legal help to those in our community is non-stop!  Volunteer with us on Saturday, November 9, at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center's Advice & Referral Clinic. 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 (1640 Good Hope Road SE). Parking is available. A brief orientation (with bagels and coffee) takes place at 9:30 am, and volunteers are asked to stay until the last client is seen, usually at around 2:30 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. Once you register to attend, our volunteer coordinator, Sébastien Monzón Rueda, will be in touch with additional details.

Best Practices In Pro Bono: Civil Legal Need In The District

Best Practices in Pro Bono: Civil Legal Need in the District

Our November Best Practices in Pro Bono features a conversation with Nancy Drane, Executive Director of the DC Access to Justice Commission, previewing some highlights of the Commission’s forthcoming report, Delivering Justice: Addressing Civil Legal Needs in the District of Columbia. Nancy will focus on some of what the Commission learned about civil legal needs in our community, the progress we've made, and what the future may hold. How has the civil legal services community innovated, adapted, and changed since the last Legal Needs Report was issued in 2008?  What new areas of need have emerged? What are some of the barriers that low- and moderate-income District residents still face? What is the role of pro bono in moving the needle on our local legal needs? What might be some of the next frontiers in access to justice in the District? Breakfast and networking take place from 8:45-9:00 am. The conversation, facilitated by Lise Adams of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, takes place from 9:00-10:15 am. Thank you to Fried Frank for hosting! Best Practices in Pro Bono is open to pro bono coordinators at law firms, legal services organizations, government agencies, and in-house legal departments. We hope you will join us on Thursday, November 7 – first, to get your morning caffeine buzz, and then, to hear all the buzz about the Commission’s report.