Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 12

With more than 104,000 members,
the Bar has been and continues to
be a force for change in the District,
nationwide, and globally.
Today the Bar is a staunch and effective advocate
for its members. It educates and trains novice and
veteran lawyers alike, preserves the integrity of the
profession, presents a cohesive voice on legal
issues, and responds to the concerns of its
members as the profession regularly evolves.
"I think there are a lot of things that make the D.C.
Bar stand out as an excellent bar association," says
Brigida Benitez, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson
LLP and past president of the Bar. "But first and
foremost, it is our membership. We've got an amazingly diverse membership in every respect. Not only
do we have people in Washington, D.C., we have
members all around the country and all over the
world. Having that kind of membership where
you've got people involved in cutting-edge legal
issues requires the Bar to match that level of expertise and commitment, and it does."
With more than 104,000 members, the Bar has
been and continues to be a force for change in the
District, nationwide, and globally. The proof is in the
variety of its programs and breadth of its membership. The D.C. Bar is the second largest unified bar
in the country, with members from all 50 states
and 83 different countries.
The story of the Bar is, in many respects, the story
of the shifting landscape of the legal profession.
Created in the wake of the 1960s civil unrest, the
Bar's diversity reflects the evolution of D.C.'s legal
community. As the profession has thrived, even
when it faced setbacks, the Bar has prioritized
growth and service. As it matured in response to
business and technology changes, the Bar has
fine-tuned its services to address the new priorities
of its membership - often moving far beyond the
organization its founders envisioned.
"We are in new territory here from where we
started," says Annamaria Steward, immediate past
president of the Bar and associate dean of students
at the University of the District of Columbia David
A. Clarke School of Law.
The present-day Bar is an organization that appreciates tradition without clinging to the past, executives say. Its programs and initiatives are rooted in
D.C. Bar 2020, a set of strategic priorities and objectives that demonstrate the Bar's enduring commitment to enhancing member value, providing public
service, and fostering community and connections.

12

WASHINGTON LAWYER

* JULY 2017 *

DELIVERING
DYNAMIC VALUE
One of the Bar's core functions, reinforced by
member dues, voluntary contributions, and user
fees, is providing important educational and
professional development programs.
A key value for members comes from the Bar's
Practice Management Advisory Service (PMAS),
a go-to resource for lawyers looking to start their
own firms, seeking complex practice and marketing
advice, or growing their firms at mid-career. Free
and confidential, the PMAS has worked with
thousands of attorneys over the years. Its catalog
of programs offers Bar members detailed training in
practice management, including financial management, client relations and communication, business
planning, office technology, and office systems
and procedures such as calendar and docketing
systems.
By cultivating better management practices, the
PMAS has improved the practice of law and the
delivery of legal services to the community.
Overseen by the Practice Management Service
Committee, a Bar standing committee, the PMAS
has a unique slate of programs, ranging from its
popular Practice 360ยบ | A Day for Lawyers & Law
Firms and Lunch and Learn series to newer offerings
such as "Build Your EQ 2017 Series: Emotional
Intelligence for Lawyers."
Sogand Zamani, founder of Zamani & Associates
PLLC, attended the PMAS's Basic Training & Beyond
program for solo and small firm practitioners in
2010 when she formed her first law firm with
a colleague, and counts it as a major benefit of Bar
membership. "The workshop had the answers to
every question we had about what we needed to
do to start a firm," says Zamani, who is now in solo
practice. "We had a useful baseline to gauge our
choices. We knew we wanted to start out financially
lean, and we weren't sure what the possibilities
were. On a basic level, we walked away with a clear
understanding of what we needed to do to start
a law firm."
Another avenue for Bar members to grow professionally and acquire new skills and knowledge is the
D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program.
Created more than 25 years ago, the CLE Program
has since grown in scope and esteem.

For Thomas B. Mason, chair at Harris, Wiltshire &
Grannis LLP whose practice focuses on professional
responsibility and legal ethics, the Bar's CLE
Program stands out because of the quality of both
its faculty and course attendees.
"The breadth and the quality of the D.C. Bar's CLE
programs are a tremendous service to the Bar and
in helping lawyers prosper and . . . better serve their
clients," says Mason. "I think it's an opportunity for
attorneys who are not regularly practicing in a particular area to keep current, whether it's real estate
law or how to do a deposition. They can stay
familiar enough with recent developments to
practice in a broader area and in different
situations."
Despite not having continuing mandatory CLE
requirements as most other bars do, the Bar has a
vibrant program that offers more than 200 courses
annually to some 7,000 attorneys. With limited
exceptions, the D.C. Bar CLE classes qualify for MCLE
credit in all jurisdictions that have mandatory continuing legal education requirements (46
jurisdictions).
"I'm at a smaller firm and I am pretty much responsible for my own professional development," says
Christopher A. Hatfield, associate attorney at Trout
Cacheris & Janis PLLC in Washington, D.C. "I need to
go outside because we don't have an enormous
training staff like a big firm. Being able to look
through the Bar's CLE offerings and choose one for
myself allows me to direct my own professional
development."
What appeals to Hatfield is the CLE Program's push
to increase the accessibility of its courses by offering
them in person, by webinar, and on demand. The
Bar offered more than 100 CLE webinars in fiscal
year 2016-17 and currently has 76 classes in its ondemand CLE library.
"I took an e-discovery course online," says Hatfield.
"It was much more convenient doing it from home
than having to go downtown, especially because
it took place over a longer period of time."
The Bar's emphasis on professional development
isn't focused solely on legal training. Being a good
lawyer doesn't always translate into being a good
leader, and the Bar's John Payton Leadership
Academy has looked to build the leadership
quotient in the Bar and the community since it
launched in 2013. The Leadership Academy is
designed to identify potential candidates for Bar
leadership positions while developing the skills
and strategies that are commonly associated with
effective leaders.
Brenda C. Zwack, a partner at Murphy Anderson
PLLC who attended the Leadership Academy in


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July 2017

Your Voice
From Our President
Calendar of Events
The Bar at 45
Annual Report 2016-17
1970s: Bar Beginnings
1980s: Reagan Reigns, Women Rise
1990s: Re-Envisioning & Expanding
2000s: Strength in the Face of Adversity
2010s: Solidifying the Bar's Future
The Founding of the D.C. Bar
A Conversation with Robert J. Spagnoletti
Attorney Briefs
Ask the Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 4
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 7
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 9
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 10
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 12
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - The Bar at 45
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Annual Report 2016-17
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 16
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 18
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 20
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 1970s: Bar Beginnings
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 24
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 1980s: Reagan Reigns, Women Rise
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 28
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 29
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 1990s: Re-Envisioning & Expanding
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 32
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 2000s: Strength in the Face of Adversity
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 37
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 2010s: Solidifying the Bar's Future
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 40
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 41
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - The Founding of the D.C. Bar
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 43
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 44
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 45
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - A Conversation with Robert J. Spagnoletti
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 48
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 51
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 53
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 55
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - Cover4
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