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Graphic: 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. Learning about 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. Gaining skills for appropriately interviewing people who have experienced trauma can help you get the information you need to build a strong case while also minimizing the risk of re-traumatizing your client or witness. The training will be conducted by Bridgette Stumpf, Executive Director, Network for Victim Recovery of DC. For over a decade, Bridgette has spent her legal career advocating to ensure those impacted by crime are afforded meaningful rights and access to supportive services to mitigate the negative effects of trauma post-victimization. As a certified Police Instructor, Bridgette has trained at several Maryland academy and Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia in-service trainings on topics such as Trauma Responses, Instructor Liability, Victims’ Rights, Elder Abuse, Sexual Assault on Campuses, and Domestic Violence Awareness. Bridgette is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland University College, where she teaches the Study of Victimology. Join us on Tuesday, December 7, at 12:00 pm ET via Zoom to learn more about trauma-informed interviewing and how to fine-tune your techniques. The training will take place from 12:00-1:00 pm, and will be followed by 15 minutes of small group breakout room discussions. Join us to learn, and stay to connect! We are grateful to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation for their support of this training.

Graphic: Best Practices In Pro Bono: The Sky Is Falling! Pro Bono In Crisis

Best Practices in Pro Bono: “The Sky Is Falling!” Pro Bono in Crisis

The Muslim Travel Ban. COVID-19. Immigrant children at the border. The impending tidal wave of evictions. Afghan Refugees. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires. Just when one crisis ends, it seems like another dominates the headlines. Pro bono volunteers are moved to take action. Pro bono coordinators are pressed to set up systems to bring legal help to people in need quickly. The next Best Practices in Pro Bono session focuses on how to best utilize pro bono in response to a crisis. What are the steps to take to mobilize volunteers quickly? How can you respond effectively without neglecting the rest of your pro bono program? What other community partners should we consider in our response? Is it sometimes better to just wait? Join our panelists from different sectors of the legal community for a deep dive into how pro bono coordinators can tap the power of volunteers to provide help in crisis situations. We will hear from: Jenna Gilbert, Director of Refugee Representation, Human Rights First Karen Grisez, Public Service Counsel, Fried, Frank, Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP Gabriella Lewis-White, Associate Director, Housing, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center The conversation will be moderated by Paul Lee, Pro Bono Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Our panel discussion will take place on Monday, November 15, from 12:00-1:15 pm ET. Following the panel, you are invited to join a small group breakout room for 15 minutes with one of our panelists for further discussion and networking. Join us to learn, and stay after the panel to continue the conversation! Best Practices is free to attend, but registration is required, and donations are encouraged to support our programs! RSVP today and invite a friend or colleague to join you!

Graphic: Racial Justice Series: Serving Clients In Crisis

Racial Justice Series: Serving Clients in Crisis

The effects of structural and institutional racism are pervasive in the lives of many low-income people of color and often manifest in the legal challenges they face. Working to understand ​the ways in which systemic racism shapes our clients' lives is critical to providing responsive and comprehensive legal services. Our next installment of the Racial Justice Series is designed to give perspective on how a person’s race and lived experience affect their legal case. We will explore ways in which attorneys and advocates can better assist their clients of color by understanding the full context in which their legal matter arises, approaching cases with cultural humility, and recognizing and working to overcome the power differential inherent in legal representation. Our esteemed panel includes: Aida Fitzgerald, Senior Staff Attorney in the Public Benefits Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia June Crenshaw, Executive Director of the Wanda Alston Foundation and member of the Diversity Committee for the DC Victim Assistance Network Ted Howard, Pro Bono Partner at Wiley Rein Our conversation will be moderated by Keeshea Turner Roberts, Adjunct Clinical Law Professor and Supervising Attorney at Howard University School of Law’s Fair Housing Clinic (FHC). Law Students: Contact your law school's Career Development Office to find out if your school subscribes to the PIJC and to get the registration code.

50th Anniversary Awards Ceremony

Our annual awards ceremony recognizes lawyers and organizations who make exceptional contributions to the pro bono and public-interest community. 2021 is a special year for us: we are celebrating 50 years of serving as the public-interest bar association for the District of Columbia. We invite you to celebrate with us! Our awards ceremony will be virtual, but lively, inspiring, and interactive. New this year: a silent auction where you can treat yourself to fantastic items while helping to advance our mission of ensuring our justice system treats everyone fairly, regardless of money, position, or power. Registration for the Awards Ceremony is free, but donations are encouraged. If you register by November 10 and donate $50 or more, we will send you a special gift. We hope you will join us in celebrating pro bono and public-interest advocates who work tirelessly to increase access to justice on December 2! Golden Giving Circle (as of 10/8) Washington Council of Lawyers is about community. These prior-year sponsors have increased their giving this year by 50% in honor of our 50th Anniversary. Thank you! Arnold & Porter Buckley Crowell & Moring Dechert Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson The Steptoe Foundation TM Financial Forensics Wiley LLP   Thank you to all of our 2021 Awards Ceremony Sponsors (as of 10/8) Champion Arnold & Porter Compass Lexecon Kirkland & Ellis Trailblazer Latham & Watkins Advocate Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP Defender Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Buckley Covington & Burling Hogan Lovells Morgan Lewis & Bockius Seyfarth Steptoe Foundation Zuckerman Spaeder Pioneer Crowell & Moring Dechert TM Financial Forensics Wiley If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact Christina Jackson at cjackson@wclawyers.org or 202.451.8129.

Graphic: Pro Bono Week 2021 Parents' Tax Workshop & Clinic

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Parents’ Tax Workshop and Clinic

Hosted by Mother's Outreach Network Mother's Outreach Network is hosting virtual community-based tax workshops with brief advice clinics that will inform D.C. parents and caregivers about their eligibility for refundable tax credits. In partnership with Elena Fowlkes, the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue Taxpayer Advocate, and David Fischer, partner at Crowell & Moring, LLP, we will aid families in claiming their rightful tax credits to increase their family income. We are seeking attorneys, paralegals, and law students to provide advice and guidance to parents through one-on-one clinic appointments following the parents' tax workshop information sessions. A tax law background is not required to volunteer! Parents' Tax Workshop 1 will take place on Tuesday, October 19 at 7:00 pm ET. Parents' Tax Workshop 2 will take place on Thursday, October 28 at 7:00 p ET. Volunteers are required to attend a virtual training on Tuesday, October 12 at 7:00 pm ET.

Graphic: Advancing Environmental Justice Through Pro Bono

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Advancing Environmental Justice and Climate Change Through Pro Bono Initiatives

Hosted by the Environmental Law Institute Join the D.C. Environment and Energy Associations (DCEEA), D.C. Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Community, and Women in Government Relations’ Task-Force on Energy, Environment, and Agriculture for a pro bono panel to discuss opportunities for involvement in environmental justice and climate change initiatives. With widespread attention increasingly focused on environmental justice and climate initiatives, many are interested in exploring opportunities to get involved in grass-roots and pro bono efforts. Leading experts in these areas explore the numerous aspects of and ways to become involved in a variety of types of pro bono work, including litigation, especially those in the form of citizen suits and petitions for rulemaking; advocacy, especially through testifying before government agencies, letter writing to agencies, lobbying, etc.; and hands-on non-legal volunteer opportunities. At the conclusion of their remarks, expert panelists field questions from participants during a Q&A session. Learn about tangible ideas and opportunities for involvement in pro bono opportunities for environmental justice, climate initiatives, and environmental issues more broadly. Please register at the link below by Monday, October 25. All registrants for ELI events need to have an ELI "account." When you click on the Register link, you will be asked to log in.

Graphic: Pro Bono Week 2021 Immigration Consultation Clinic

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Immigration Consultation Clinic

Sponsored by American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) DC Chapter, Catholic Charities, and Equal Justice Works As we do every year, the AILA DC Chapter Pro Bono committee is partnering with Equal Justice Works to take part in DC’s Pro Bono week and provide a Virtual Citizenship Workshop.  This year we are working with Catholic Charities of DC (CCDC).  We are seeking volunteer attorneys to assist with this year’s workshop.  As with every year, you will be partnered with a law student and together you will complete the N-400 for the client which is passed to CCDC to complete the filing.  The workshop with be held via Zoom and training will be provided by CCDC.  The workshop will be held Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 9:00 am- 12:00 pm. If interested, please send an email to Lance Conklin at lance@conklinimmigration.com.

Graphic: DCPBW21 Pro Bono Goes To School

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Pro Bono Goes to School: Closing the Gaps in Public Education

A high-quality public education is a fundamental civil right for all children. Yet today, public schools in DC continue to be segregated by race, income, and resources. The Education Justice Practice and the DC Public School Partnership Program at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs address these injustices in public education through litigation and policy advocacy, and by partnering schools, law firm volunteers, and organizations to close the opportunity and resource gap. This panel features four excellent curriculum partner organizations that work with law firm and law student volunteers at middle and high school schools throughout the District to teach law to students, develop their advocacy skills, promote democratic engagement, and grow future civic leaders: Charisma Howell, Georgetown University Law Center’s Street Law Program and Mock Trial Camille Thompson, Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project and Moot Court at American University’s Washington College of Law Robyn Lingo, Mikva Challenge: Participatory Civics Education – “Democracy is a Verb!” David Trigaux, Washington Urban Debate League, focusing on Title I School students Kent Withycombe, Director of the Washington Lawyers' Committee Public Education Project, will moderate the session and discuss how you and your law firm, law school, company, or government agency can get involved. Join the conversation on social media using #DCProBono21!

Graphic: DCPBW21 Pro Bono In A Virtual Age

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Pro Bono in a Virtual Age: A Conversation with KIND, Legal Aid Society, and Bread for the City

Join Superior Court Judge McLean and representatives from three different DC Pro Bono mentoring programs in a discussion covering the logistics of committing to doing pro bono in a virtual age.  The panel includes a conversation with a Superior Court Judge and experienced pro bono volunteers offering first-hand knowledge about doing pro bono virtually/socially distant in 2020/2021. We hope this will be an interactive dialogue, providing participants an opportunity to ask the questions that will help them better understand not only what pro bono looks likes now but also which pro bono program may be a good fit for their interests and capacity. Our conversation leaders include: Judge McLean, Associate Judge, Domestic Relations Calendar, District of Columbia Superior Court Rebecca Lindhurst – Managing Attorney, Bread for the City John W. Zipp – Associate, Covington & Burling Lauren Sullivan – Staff Attorney, Kids in Need of Defense, Inc. Joanne Hawana – Member, Mintz Sylvia Soltis - Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia Tiffany Cheung - Associate, Baker Botts, LLP  The discussion will be moderated by Sandra Zegarra, a Direct Representation Attorney with KIND.

Graphic: DCPBW 2021 Veterans Consortium Clinics

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Veterans Consortium Legal Muster Pop Up Clinics

Sponsored 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 three, one-day pop-up legal clinics to serve the needs of veterans. These clinics will be held simultaneously via a virtual platform. Locations: Legal Advice & Referral Clinic, By Appointment Only Advice & Referral Clinic for Women Veterans, By Appointment Only Discharge Upgrade Clinic, By Appointment Only Volunteers are needed for the Legal Advice & Referral Clinic and the Advice & Referral Clinic for Women Veterans. To volunteer, email clinics@vetsprobono.org. And join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using#DCProBono21!

Graphic: DCPBW 2021 Small Business Clinic

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Small Business Brief Advice Legal 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. Sign up to volunteer at the virtual clinic at the link below. If you have questions about volunteering, please email Christine Kulumani, Staff Attorney, at CKulumani@dcbar.org. And join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using#DCProBono21!

Graphic: DCPBW 2021 Meeting Our Clients Where They Are

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Meeting Our Clients Where They Are: Serving Families East of the River

Co-Hosted by Bread for the City and Children's Law Center Bread for the City and Children’s Law Center will co-host this event to discuss their respective legal services work East of the Anacostia River and the importance of pro bono in serving D.C. neighbors. Join us to learn how lawyers can address non-medical barriers to health, the benefits of co-locating legal services with non-lawyer professionals, and how you can get involved with Bread for the City and Children’s Law Center. Registrants will receive a Zoom link in advance of the event. Join the conversation on social media using #DCProBono21.

Graphic: DCPBW 2021 The Coming Crisis

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: The Coming Eviction Crisis and How You Can Help

As federal and local eviction moratoriums expire around the country, eviction filings are expected to spike to roughly double their pre-pandemic levels. DC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on October 12 and pro bono attorneys are needed to help those facing housing issues. Hear from a DC Superior Court Judge, and experienced eviction defense and pro bono attorneys about the coming eviction crisis, new legal protections and rental assistance programs, and how you can help.  While more than 90 percent of tenants will appear without counsel in D.C. Superior Court, 98 percent of landlords will have representation. Often having a lawyer is all that stands between tenants staying safe and housed and becoming homeless. The panel will discuss opportunities for pro bono attorneys to help prevent eviction and homelessness as a result of the economic fallout of the pandemic. Our expert panelists include: Judge Todd E. Edelman, Deputy Presiding Judge, Civil Division, Superior Court for the District of Columbia Gabriella Lewis-White, Associate Director, Housing, DC Bar Pro Bono Center Beth Mellen, Supervising Attorney, Housing Law Unit, Legal Aid Society for the District of Columbia John O’Connor, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, Pro Bono Volunteer And join the conversation on social media using #DCProBono21!

Graphic: DCPBW 2021 Expungement Clinic

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Expungement Clinic

Volunteers will conduct intake interviews with low-income DC residents seeking to seal or expunge their criminal records. Interviewees have been pre-screened by Rising for Justice (RFJ) and Christian Legal Aid of DC (CLA). We strongly encourage all volunteer attorneys to continue their relationships with interviewees by volunteering with RFJ and CLA and agreeing to represent interviewees in their expungement case. Volunteers will need to be available for a quick 20-minute training the week prior on Thursday, October 21st, at 2:00 pm. Information will be provided once you register. No prior expungement experience is necessary! Students and non-attorneys are welcome to volunteer and will be paired with attorneys!

Graphic: DCPBW 2021 Coding Justice

DC Pro Bono Week 2021: Coding Justice

The everyday lives of people in the United States and around the world are impacted and manipulated by the technology that surrounds us. That technology often is built on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The racial biases that are embedded in this technology lead to another, and rampant, level of systemic racism that is both insidious and hidden. Combatting this is the goal of algorithmic justice initiatives. Join us for a discussion on algorithmic justice and the discriminatory use and impact of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies on communities of color and low-income communities with the District of Columbia. Attendees will learn why algorithmic justice is so important, how systemic racism permeates technology and how this technology plays into people’s daily lives. Attendees will hear about the imperfection of regulations around algorithmic justice and about the surveillance campaign in DC and why the public and legislators need to step in and create appropriate forums to have these discussions and not just bring sunlight to the use of surveillance, but give the public real input on whether and how these technologies should be used. Panelists:   Alan de Levie, Leader of DC Legal Hackers and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at American University, Washington College of Law Clare Garvie, Senior Associate with the Center on Privacy & Technology and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Jason Tashea, Founder and director at Justice Codes and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Matthew Bruckner, Associate Professor at Howard University School of Law Nassim Moshiree, Policy Director, ACLU-DC Valerie Schneider, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Law Center at Howard University School of Law Our conversation will be moderated by Vienna Thompkins, Data Analyst in the Science Program of the Center for Policing Equity.

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 Capital 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: 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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