For our 2017 Summer Forum, we are delighted to welcome as our keynote speaker The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Before she became a judge, Justice Ginsburg was a pioneering civil-rights lawyer and won several landmark Supreme Court cases affecting women's rights. At the Summer Forum, Justice Ginsburg will discuss her public-interest career and the importance of lawyers who serve the poor and work toward a legal system that provides justice for all. After lunch and Justice Ginsburg's remarks, we'll offer five different breakout sessions where you can learn more about pro bono and public-interest work in DC. We'll cover the following practice areas: civil rights & civil liberties, criminal law & death penalty, human rights & immigration law, poverty law, and non-litigation practice. The Summer Forum is open to Washington Council of Lawyers members (join) and to participants in summer-associate and summer-intern programs. This event is an annual tradition for many summer programs because it highlights the value of incorporating pro bono or public-interest work into future legal careers. And it routinely sells out, and we expect a larger-than-ever crowd this year—so save your spot today! (Summer programs: You may purchase tickets to the Summer Forum even before you know the names of the people who will attend. Input "Guest 1" as the first name, and the name of the employer as the last name.)
Spend a Saturday volunteering with us at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center's Advice & Referral Clinic. The clinic provides free advice (and referrals) for people with questions about a variety of subjects, including bankruptcy and debt collection, consumer law, employment law, family law, health law, housing law, personal injury, probate, public benefits, and tax law. Most people have fairly basic questions, and you need not be familiar with the substantive areas of law; program staff and expert mentors will be on hand to offer guidance and supervision. For lawyers, the morning begins with a short orientation over bagels and coffee at 9:30 am. (Non-lawyer volunteers are asked to arrive at 9:15 am to get ready to greet early-arriving individuals.) All volunteers are asked to stay until the last individual has been seen, sometimes as late as 3 or 4 pm. There is no ongoing time commitment beyond the day of the clinic. Once you register our volunteer coordinator, Linda Popejoy, will be in touch with additional information and to answer any questions.
Our Intensive Litigation Skills training uses lecture, demonstration, and small-group sessions to teach the basics of opening statements, closing arguments, direct and cross examinations, using documents—and more. It’s two days full of training, provided by top-notch trial lawyers, featuring lots of individual attention and feedback. For Washington Council of Lawyers members, the cost is just $80. For non-members, the cost is $120 for public interest and government lawyers and $160 for those in the private sector. (Join Washington Council of Lawyers to take advantage of the membership rates.) The cost includes lunch on both days. This year, we are thrilled to feature two great lunchtime speakers. On Thursday we will be joined by Christine Clapp from Spoken with Authority, who will talk about public speaking. On Friday, Judge Christopher Cooper (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia) will discuss access to justice. Scholarships are available due to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation; please email our Executive Director, Nancy Lopez, for information on how to apply. In past years, this program has been accredited in California, New York, and Virginia. Our application for MCLE approval in those states for this year's program is pending and not guaranteed.