Meet up with other public-interest-minded lawyers and law students to discuss Good Trouble a documentary about the life and legacy of Representative John Lewis. Ths movie discussion will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, September 22, from 8:30-9:00 am. Need a way to see Good Trouble? You can rent Good Trouble here. It costs $12, and you will have 30 days to watch the movie. Bonus! Your movie rental comes with access to two other videos: Film of an interview Congressman Lewis gave to Oprah Winfrey shortly before his death earlier this year, and a one-hour panel, recorded in July, between the film’s director, Dawn Porter, and two of the original Freedom Riders, Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton. If you wish you may also register here to attend a free live virtual panel discussion of Good Trouble on Monday, September 21 at 7 pm. The panel features opening remarks by Cory Booker, US Senator from New Jersey, and these panelists: Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Ras J. Baraka, Mayer of Newakr NJ Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project Treat yourself to a movie night, an informative panel discussion and then start your day with a cup of coffee and an eye-opening discussion of Good Trouble. on Tuesday, September 22. Feel free to invite friends and colleagues you haven't seen in a while to join you!
Depositions can be useful tools in all kinds of cases. A deposition can be an effective and affordable tool for pro bono and public-interest lawyers and their clients. In this Litigation Skills Training, Arnold & Porter litigation partners Phil Horton & Ian Hoffman will teach the basics of how to prepare yourself and your witness for a deposition, what techniques are most effective, and what traps to avoid. The course will feature a mix of lecture and demonstration with plenty of time for Q&A. We will discuss both taking and defending depositions. We will explore topics such as how to frame effective questions, the proper use of direct vs. leading questions, personal style, use of outlines, and deposition strategy. And then we'll turn to defending depositions and discuss how to prepare a witness (both on the facts of the case and on how to be an effective witness) and how to defend the actual deposition. There will also be a demonstration on taking and defending a deposition in a housing case. CLE approval is pending but not guaranteed in CA, NY, and VA. Scholarships are be available thanks to the generosity of the D.C. Bar Foundation. Please email Nancy Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on applying for a scholarship.
These unusual and challenging times of public health concerns, social distancing, economic uncertainty, and school closures have led to a tsunami of legal needs in our community. Join in-house counsel from around the region for a lunchtime Zoom webinar that highlights a wealth of manageable opportunities for in-house counsel to provide pro bono legal services during the Covid‑19 public health crisis. This jam-packed hour will introduce you to pro bono opportunities involving transactional work, litigation, wills, voting rights, immigration, and brief advice clinical opportunities. There is truly something for everyone! Our speakers include representatives from: D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center DC Volunteer Lawyers Project Legal Counsel for the Elderly Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Kids in Need of Defense Maryland Legal Aid Legal Services of Northern Virginia We are pleased to co-sponsor this event with the Association of Corporate Counsel for the National Capitol Region, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, and the Pro Bono Institute.
Every year we welcome new board members and anyone interested in building a stronger public-interest community to our Fall Kickoff. This year, you can attend from anywhere! Take your lunch hour to learn how to get involved in the work of Washington Council of Lawyers. Meet our new President, Mark Kovner, new officers, and new board members. You'll also get a chance to meet our standing committee co-chairs, ask questions, and join on the spot. Our mentoring program will let you know how you can become involved. And, of course, you'll get to meet and virtually mingle with current board members and fellow public-interest and pro bono lawyers. Get up to speed on all of the ways you can gain pro bono and public-interest advocacy skills, and build strong professional connections by being a part of our vibrant community. Mark your calendars, plan your lunch, and invite friends to join you! Join the excitement on social media using #FallKickoff20. We will send the Zoom meeting link the day before the program, so make sure you register soon.
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.