This year has been tougher than most, and more families than ever are in need of basic assistance. When temperatures drop, many families face the impossible choice of buying groceries or getting their kids coats that fit. That is why our Mentoring Program is partnering with Bread for the City to provide winter coats for the families they serve. You can help your neighbors stay warm this holiday season and beyond by donating a new or gently-used winter coat. We are accepting all sizes (adult and children) and styles. If you choose, you can complete the cold barrier by adding gloves and hats to your donation. All of the donated items will be provided to Bread for the City families at no cost to them. Click on the registration link below and fill out the form to let us know what winter coat donations you would like to make. We'll contact you to schedule your contactless coat pick-up on either Saturday, December 12 or Sunday, December 13. Check your closets, and help your neighbors stay warm this holiday season!
Our Government Pro Bono Roundtable is the perfect opportunity to learn about doing pro bono work as a government lawyer. Pro bono work can be a rewarding part of a government career; you just need to be familiar with the resources, policies, and strategies that allow you to do the work effectively. At this lively discussion, you'll learn about established pro bono programs for government lawyers. Our pro bono experts will share why pro bono work is meaningful to them, tips for managing your schedule and finding the support you need, and info about the many different types of pro bono work available to government lawyers. The panel will be moderated by our own Deborah Birnbaum, government attorney and Washington Council of Lawyers board member. The government lawyer panelists will share their experiences from their personal perspectives in their individual capacities, and will not be speaking on behalf of their agencies. Pro bono is possible, even during a pandemic! Join us to find out how you can dive into pro bono work as a government lawyer!
That key document furthers your case only if you can get it into evidence. We'll show you how to do so at Litigation Skills Series: Exhibits & Evidentiary Foundations. Through lecture and demonstration, litigation experts Greg Lipper and Kate Oler will teach the basics of admitting evidence—including business records, charts, photos, ledgers, drawings, letters, emails, social media posts, and other documents. Greg Lipper is a partner at Clinton and Peed. He has extensive experience in criminal defense, business litigation, and First Amendment and media law, among many other areas of practice. He has represented parties or amici in over two-dozen cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 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. This training is appropriate for public-interest, law firm, in-house, and government lawyers, as well as law students who have taken evidence and have trial-practice or mock-trial experience. CLE credit is pending but not guaranteed in CA, NY, and VA. Reciprocal credit in other jurisdictions may be available. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. Email Nancy Lopez to apply.
Trial advocacy is always an important skill, new for some and old hat for others. Trial advocacy over Zoom is a new skill for nearly everyone. Join us for four jam-packed mornings of Trial Advocacy from Monday, December 14 - Thursday, December 17, from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm ET each day. We will focus on a different trial skill each day: Openings, Direct Examinations, Cross-Examinations, and Closing Arguments. Each session will begin with a lecture on the day's topic, offered by an expert trainer. Next up, skilled litigators will offer a demonstration of the day's trial skill. Finally, we will move to small group breakout rooms where each attendee will get up and practice the skill of the day. Breakout room facilitators will offer constructive feedback to each participant. Scholarships are available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. Contact Nancy Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. CLE approval is pending and not guaranteed in CA, NY, and VA. The training costs just $90 for Washington Council of Lawyers members and members of co-sponsoring organizations, and $160 for all others. Space is limited! Save your seat today!
Our annual awards ceremony gives us a chance to recognize lawyers and organizations who make exceptional contributions to the pro bono and public-interest community. At this year’s ceremony, we will recognize the recipients of these awards: Presidents Award for Public Service Paul M. Smith Campaign Legal Center Government Pro Bono Award Josephine Bahn Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Law Firm Award Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP Legal Services Award Allison Miles-Lee Bread for the City Join us in celebrating these pro bono and public-interest advocates who work tirelessly to increase access to justice! Register now to reserve your spot! Free tickets are now available; donations are invited. Thank you to our 2020 Awards Ceremony Sponsors (as of 10/16) Champion Compass Lexecon Trailblazer Arnold & Porter Kirkland & Ellis Defender Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Consilio Covington & Burling Dentons Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson Hogan Lovells Jenner & Block Morgan Lewis & Bockius Seyfarth Steptoe Foundation System One Holdings LLC Zuckerman Spaeder Pioneer AlixPartners Arent Fox Buckley Bynum & Jenkins Capital One Cooley Crowell & Moring Dechert DLA Piper Finnegan Henderson Farrabow Garrett & Dunner Jim Sandman King & Spalding TM Financial Forensics US Legal Support Wiley If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact our Executive Director, Nancy Lopez, at email@example.com or 202-942-5063.
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!
UPDATE: We have had to postpone Spotlight on Evictions. New date is Wednesday, December 9! Join us for a Spotlight On program featuring Emily Benfer, a nationwide expert on eviction moratoriums and housing policies during COVID-19. Emily is a visiting professor of law who is leading the development of the Wake Forest Law Health Justice Clinic as its founding director. She has previously taught at Columbia Law School, where she founded and directed the Health Justice Advocacy Clinic, Yale Law School, and Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she founded and directed the Health Justice Project. Emily is the chair of the American Bar Association's (ABA) COVID-19 Task Force Committee on Eviction and is also the co-creator of the COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard with the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. She is the principal investigator in a study of nationwide COVID-19 eviction moratoriums and housing policies. Emily is a former Washington Council of Lawyers Board Member, legal and social justice rock star, as well as a fabulous person! Emily will offer an informal and wide-ranging discussion about the tsunami of legal needs facing the country at this time, the reasons that safe, affordable housing should be a priority at this difficult time, the policies that can protect those threatened with evictions, and the ways that pro bono and public-interest lawyers can help. The program is free for Washington Council of Lawyers members and Eviction Defense Cohort participants, and $10 for everyone else. Invite a friend to join you for what promises to be a fascinating and illuminating event.
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.