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Graphic: How-Tos For Developing A New Pro Bono Program

How-Tos for Developing a New Pro Bono Program

Looking to launch a new pro bono program or gain tips for improving your existing program? Learn best practices for creating new programs and collaborating with other in-house, law firm, government, and legal services lawyers to build community and serve pro bono clients. There is more to it than advertising pro bono opportunities! Join the Association for Corporate Counsel for the National Captial Region and the Washington Council of Lawyers for this program to hear from panelists with experience leading programs in their in-house legal departments. Presenters will provide practical advice on the decisions to be made and steps to take to build a strong foundation that will both encourage and support volunteers using their legal skills to help those unable to afford legal services. The panel presentation will take place from 12-1 pm ET and be followed by an online pro bono fair from 1-2 pm ET, during which attendees will be able to select up to four break-out sessions featuring legal services organizations discussing volunteer opportunities. Registrants may attend either or both the program and fair. Although the focus of this event is on in-house pro bono programs, all are welcome to attend!  There is plenty to learn about how to effectively develop a strong pro bono program no matter what sector of the legal community you are in!

Graphic: Co-Sponsored Event

What does “Defund the Police” mean here in D.C. and in 2021?

Join the DC Bar Public Interest and Courts Community on Tuesday, August 3, at 12:00 pm ET for an insightful conversation between civil rights lawyer Tahir Duckett and Georgetown Law Professor Christy Lopez on Defund the Police. The program features Christy Lopez, professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and Tahir Duckette, a civil rights lawyer at Relman Colfax PLLC -- experts on the current state of policing and some of the police reforms being considered by policymakers in the District. Professor Lopez and Mr. Duckett will seek to explain what advocates, including the Black Lives Matter movement, actually mean when they call for "defunding" the police. From there, they will discuss some of the major reforms being called for in the District, the practical steps to implementing those reforms, and how changes to our traditional concepts of policing might impact public safety and crisis outcomes in our communities. This program organized by the D.C. Bar Public Interest and Courts Community is open to everyone.  As a co-sponsoring organization, registration is free for Washington Council of Lawyers members (join). To register, simply email communitiesregistration@dcbar.org by Friday, July 30 with your name, address, that you are a member of a co-sponsoring organization (Washington Council of Lawyers), and the date, time, name of the event. If you are not a member of the D.C. Bar and don't already have a D.C. Bar nonmember account you will need to create one prior to emailing communitiesregistration@dcbar.org. This remote program will be hosted on the Zoom platform. You will receive access information from D.C. Bar Communities staff the afternoon prior to the program. Washington Council of Lawyers is pleased to co-sponsor this opportunity to learn more about the changes our local Defund the Police and Black Lives Matter movements are seeking and how policymakers are responding.

Graphic: Post-Pandemic Workplaces

Members-Only Discussion: Post-Pandemic Workplaces

Are you returning to work after a year and a half of teleworking? Are you planning on working a hybrid telework and in-office schedule? Are you teleworking while others are in the office full-time?  We know change like this can make all of us somewhat uneasy.  Join us for a Members-Only Discussion on Post-Pandemic Workplaces. Our esteemed panelists are: Rhonda Cunningham Holmes, Executive Director, Legal Counsel for the Elderly Hanan Idilbi, Federal Government Attorney Greg Lipper, Partner, Clinton & Peed Our moderator is Deborah Birnbaum, Assistant General Counsel at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Our panel will give you tips and advice so that, regardless of your work situation, you can feel equipped to navigate the changing working environment with ease. This free members-only program will take place on Thursday, July 22, from 3-4 pm ET via Zoom. If you are not already a member, join Washington Council of Lawyers here. Come prepared to ask questions, and meet and connect with other Washington Council of Lawyers members at this interactive coffee break. We can’t wait to hang out with you virtually!

Graphic: Litigation Skills Series Remote Hearings

Litigation Skills Series: Remote Hearings

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 alison.barberi@planetdepos.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.

Graphic: Best Practices In Pro Bono: Beyond Trump, What Now?

Best Practices in Pro Bono: Beyond Trump, What Now?

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!

Graphic: Walk & 5K To End HIV Team Meetup

Walk & 5K To End HIV Team Meetup

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!

Picture: Nana Osei Headshot

The Zoom University School of Law

When I first learned of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, the last thing I anticipated was how significantly the coronavirus would impact society, my legal education, and my personal life. Shortly after spring break, I received an email from Dean Renee Hutchins informing me that my law courses would be conducted remotely for the remainder of my spring semester at the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law. Although I was concerned, I knew I could rely upon “the process.”
Graphic: Virtual Tea Time And Tea Cup Filled With Tea, Tea Bag And Spoon And Saucer

Virtual Tea Time – April 30

Wind down with a cup of tea (or your drink of choice), good conversation, and merriment. Join other public-interest-minded lawyers and law students for a well-deserved opportunity to connect. We'll share tips for staying motivated and productive and maybe a few new ways to stay entertained.

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 $15 for others. Bring your lunch. We will provide drinks and desserts! Thank you to Mayer Brown for hosting this important topic!

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)

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

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.

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