50 years ago -- Washington Council of Lawyers was founded to reform the DC Bar and fight for social justice. Today -- Washington Council of Lawyers is a vibrant voice for the DC pro bono and public interest community, fighting for access to justice, with more than 70 programs during the past year. 50 years from 1971 to 2021 -- Washington Council of Lawyers has worked to ensure our legal systems treat everyone fairly regardless of money, position, or power; fought for access to justice for everyone; trained and mentored thousands of public-interest and pro bono lawyers; and helped build a community of fierce social justice warriors. So many individuals have been a part of our work. We're excited to invite all of you to join us for our virtual 50th Anniversary Reunion on Remo on Thursday, July 22, 2021, at 5:00 pm ET. We'll begin the evening with an opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones. Then we'll hear from past presidents from across the decades, describing: How Washington Council of Lawyers solidified its reputation as a strong leader in the public-interest community. Why Washington Council of Lawyers continues to bind our community together. What the key milestones, memories, and moments were that make Washington Council of Lawyers great. Our past president panelists across the decades will include: 1970s -- Marc Efron, Retired Partner at Crowell & Moring and president from 1972-1973 1980s -- Lawrence Schneider, Active Retired Partner at Arnold & Porter and president from 1984-1985 1990s -- Katia Garrett, COO of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs and president from 1995-1996 2000s -- Jessica Rosenbaum, Senior Advisor for the DC Access to Justice Commission and president from 2006-2007 2010s -- Moderator -- Paul Lee, Pro Bono Counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and president from 2014-2016. Our 50th Anniversary Reunion is free to attend, but we are encouraging donations to help us stay strong for the next 50 years! We hope you will join us to reminisce and celebrate! Save your spot today. Join our ongoing 50th Anniversary celebration on social media using #50YearsStrong!
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'll 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 $5 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.
Join us (virtually!) on Wednesday, July 7, from 3-4:30 pm ET for an insightful evaluation of the recently-concluded Supreme Court term with those who know it best - the press who cover the Court. Our panel of journalists will highlight significant cases, discuss the implications of those decisions, and make a few educated guesses about what lies ahead for the Court. Get a look behind the curtain about how the Court is changing with its newest appointments. Part news, part law, and part conjecture, this panel is sure to be intriguing! Our invited panelists include: Joan Biskupic (CNN) Ariane de Vogue (CNN) Amy Howe (SCOTUSblog) Adam Liptak (New York Times) Robert Barnes (Washington Post) David Savage (Los Angeles Times) The panel will be moderated by Art Spitzer, Senior Counsel, ACLU-DC. The cost of this program is $10 for Washington Council of Lawyers members and members of co-sponsoring organizations, $15 for public-interest and government lawyers, and $20 for the general public & law firm attendees. (Join here to receive the discounted member price.) Don't miss this discussion of the Supreme Court term! Finally, 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); email Christina Jackson at email@example.com if you need assistance. Join and follow the conversation on Twitter using #SCOTUSpress!
Looking for something new to do or to meet someone new in the public-interest community? Grab a friend and join Washington Council of Lawyers for an international wine tasting with local wine shop, Grand Cata. Travel Latin America’s vineyards without leaving home and experience the cultural diversity that these fine wines embody. The wine tasting will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, May 19, from 5:00-6:00 pm ET. Register by Friday, May 7 so that you can arrange for pickup or delivery of 4 half bottles of wine from Grand Cata. The class is free, and the cost of the wines is $45. Food pairings may be available for an extra charge. Upon registration, you will be directed to a link to complete payment and confirm wine delivery or pick-up with Grand Cata. We will learn, sip, and connect with other public-interest-minded lawyers and law students. This is the perfect way to get over hump day! Invite a friend or colleague to join you for an introduction to great wines and our vibrant public-interest community! Join the conversation on social media using #LawyerswithaFinePalate.
Our Summer Pro Bono & Public Interest Forum is an annual tradition that brings together lawyers, summer associates, summer interns, and others interested in using their law degrees to help those in need. It's also a great way to highlight the importance of pro bono and public-interest work throughout one's legal career. We'll kick off the virtual event with a keynote discussion with Eric Holder, former United States Attorney General, on Thursday, June 3 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET. Mr. Holder will engage in a wide-ranging conversation about championing change and advocating for justice, his impressive and varied career, and the importance of pro bono in promoting the rule of law and equal access to justice. A practice-area panel discussion will follow the keynote from 1:15 - 2:15 pm ET. There will be networking time before and after the panel. Then, over the following two weeks, you will have the opportunity to attend the remainder of five different virtual panel presentations where you can learn more about pro bono and public-interest work in DC and all across the country. Each panel will focus on a different practice area, featuring presentations by national and local experts in that legal specialty. The panel topics will include: June 3 - Non-Litigation Pro Bono June 10 - Poverty Law June 10 - Human Rights & Immigration June 17 - Civil Rights & Civil Liberties June 17 - Criminal Law & Death Penalty The Summer Forum sessions are from 12:00-2:30 pm ET. Each session will feature two practice area panels with networking opportunities after each session. 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. Early bird pricing is has been extended to May 7. 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). Please email Christina Jackson (at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need any assistance. Look for updates and join the conversation about the Summer Forum using #SumFo21 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn!
Traditional trial advocacy requires preparation, a mastery of the law and facts of a case, and the ability to persuasively communicate. Effective virtual trial advocacy requires these skills AND a mastery of technology and procedures that may be unfamiliar to even the most seasoned litigator. It's no wonder the continued use of remote hearings may be intimidating to many lawyers. How can you effectively build your case when you are not in the same room with your fact-finder and witnesses? With a mixture of lecture and demonstration, expert litigator Phil Andonian will reveal best practices and etiquette for remote hearings and discuss tips for effectively operating remotely. Phil Andonian is an experienced trial lawyer and Co-Founder of Caleb Andonian PLLC. He has nearly 20 years of litigation experience in criminal defense, labor and employment law, and personal injury law. Phil has tried more than two dozen cases to verdict and has helped many clients through the complexities of civil discovery and motions practice. He also regularly represents clients in administrative hearings and arbitrations. This training is appropriate for public-interest, law firm, in-house, and government lawyers of all experience levels who have or will have to appear virtually. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. Email Nancy Lopez to apply. Thank you to Planet Depos for sponsoring this training! Planet Depos is a worldwide court reporting and litigation technology firm with over a decade of experience handling remote proceedings. While remote depositions may be new to many attorneys, they aren’t to Planet Depos. They made remote the new in-person for the last 10 years. Whether your proceeding has participants down the street, or across the country. Planet Depos can make it happen. Their expertise in mobile video conferencing means you can expect a more efficient and streamlined litigation process. To learn more about remote depositions and scheduling contact Alison Barberi at 301-613-4665 or email email@example.com. Be a winner! As a way to bring an additional moment of joy to this training, Planet Depos invites all attendees to enter into a raffle for a drawing of a Yeti cooler. Register for the raffle here.
The past four years saw a sharp increase in pro bono energy. Volunteers responded passionately to Trump Administration policies that were seen as negatively impacting marginalized communities. As we approach the first days of the Biden Administration, pro bono coordinators are asking, what now? How will pro bono programs rebound from this ongoing period of issue whiplash and volunteer exhaustion? How can pro bono counsel redirect attention to the many local legal dilemmas affecting our neighbors? How will the legal community step up to meet the local legal needs that have been exacerbated during the pandemic? Will pro bono attorneys still feel motivated to rise to the occasion during this new, seemingly friendlier administration? Panelists: Daniel Cantor, Arnold & Porter, Partner & Pro Bono Committee Chair Laurie Ball Cooper, Ayuda, Legal Director Rebecca Troth, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, Executive Director Nancy Drane, D.C. Access to Justice Commission, Executive Director Moderator: Paul Lee, Pro Bono Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP Panelists will weigh in on what pro bono will look like in 2021 – a year of great uncertainty for low-income residents of DC. Dan Cantor will present on Arnold & Porter's impressive pandemic unemployment assistance project, launched in partnership with The Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia. Laurie Ball Cooper of Ayuda will give insight into immigration concerns that will continue under the new administration. Becky Troth will discuss how local civil legal needs will skyrocket, while pro bono recruitment lags behind. And Nancy Drane will unveil the new DC Represents campaign, a citywide effort to recruit pro bono attorneys for pandemic-related relief projects. 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. There is no cost to attend. Sign up today!
Washington Council of Lawyers is fielding a team for the Walk & 5K to End HIV! This virtual event is an "on your own" walk or run to support the work of Whitman-Walker Health. Held for the past 34 years, the Walk & 5K to End HIV is Whitman-Walker Health’s signature fundraiser that calls on thousands to strap up their shoes and walk or run to support WWH’s mission of providing dependable, high-quality, comprehensive and accessible health care to those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. In a city where three percent of adults are known to have HIV and an additional three percent are infected but don’t know their status, the Walk & 5K to End HIV plays a vital role in honoring our lost ones and raising funds and awareness to fight the epidemic. Register to join our team here. Then complete the walk or run at a time of your choosing. We will have a virtual team meetup on Friday, November 20 from 3:00-3:30 pm. Register below to receive the Zoom link to share your stories and gather together!
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 $15 for others. Bring your lunch. We will provide drinks and desserts! Thank you to Mayer Brown for hosting this important topic!
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!
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.
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.