Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 25

possible. He saw that promoting neighborhood
stability was a value."

stature, Klein wrote she was not fit to "ride her
blouse-tails."

"It was a learning experience for me," Roisman adds.
"I was a young Turk and I came to the experience
not having any respect for people from big firms,
and I learned to respect them. They were openminded, had good values, and were attentive. They
changed their positions, and in response, I changed
my attitude."

Klein says she asked Prettyman to address a pattern
of interruptions and patronizing remarks by the
men. But, according to Klein, Prettyman said that,
frankly, "he didn't have the confidence he would
recognize it when it happened." Klein says
Prettyman was open to learning. "He was a fine
person, very sympathetic, very frank."

Roisman notes that in those early years "not very
many women were in the Bar Board, not like the
percentages there are today."

FINDING ITS SEA LEGS

"Some of the men on the Board were just dumbfounded that women got elected and that they
would have to take women seriously," she says.
Roisman recalls an incident in which a male Board
member admonished another female Board
member, maritime lawyer Amy Loeserman Klein
(formerly Scupi) for not attending to Board business
in what he deemed the proper manner. He called
Klein to complain: "You girls had better be more
careful. Your stature in this organization is
diminishing."
"Amy responded ferociously in a letter, which was
copied to all Board members. The man probably
still hasn't recovered," Roisman says. "Some men
had to learn how to deal with women as equals.
They came through it pretty well," she laughs.
Klein remembers the letter, and her response to
the phone call. "I advised the man to perform a
tricky anatomical feat and then I hung up," Klein
says. In the letter, to clarify the association with
Roisman, Klein said: "We share more things than
our gender. We are both moms, we are both
near-sighted, and we both bathe. These linkages
are not fragile." However, given Roisman's

In the early days, mandatory bars had more
freedom to act independently on behalf of their
members. Figuring out where that line started and
stopped was difficult that first decade. Recalling
controversial amici briefs filed on behalf of the Bar
that some members supported and others vehemently opposed, Pollak notes, "The self-awareness
of our limitations had to be learned."
The tension on whether to have a broader bar
concerned with public interest work, or a mandatory bar with a smaller role focused on discipline
and ethics oversight, played out over the 1970s
and culminated in two referendums - the first
mandated that the Board had to get membership
approval for any legislative advocacy and for filing
amici briefs, the second ended the use of mandatory dues to provide free legal services for the
poor and for continuing legal education. John H.
Pickering, Bar president in 1979-80, said in an interview marking the Bar's 25th anniverary that the
decision was "a shocking victory of pocketbook
over professionalism."
The 1970s was a decade in which the D.C. Bar was
forging its identity through its policies and new publications like Bar Report and District Lawyer. While its

was a good
" [Prettyman]
bridge between the old
voluntary bar and the
new bar. He was a great
leader.

"

STEPHEN J. POLLAK
Served on Bar's First Board
of Governors

mission might have been a work in progress, what is
remarkable in retrospect is how it endured and grew
from a membership of around 15,000 in 1972 to
more than 104,000 members today.
On the Bar's 25th anniversary, Prettyman remarked,
"We must've done something right. This baby
organization that could've expired in its crib has
grown . . . into healthy, rollicking adulthood." And,
at 45 years old, has matured into solid, middle-aged
stability today.

1979
Iranian students storm the U.S.
embassy in Tehran and take several
Americans hostage. The Iran Hostage
Crisis ends after 444 days.
A D.C. Bar referendum declines to
expand the authority of the Bar's Board
of Governors to speak for the membership on legislation related to the structure and administration of the Bar,
courts, legal services delivery systems,
or adjudicatory and rule-making procedures of administrative agencies.
The Supreme Court rules in United
Steelworkers of America v. Weber that
affirmative action is legal.
The U.S. Department of Education is
created; it begins operations in 1980.

President Jimmy Carter, AP Photo/Barry Thumma;
Stephen J. Pollak, Howard Ehrenfeld; Iran hostage
crisis, Goodell DeVries/Getty Images

Members of the group Muslim Students of the Imam Khomeini Line hold a press
conference after storming the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
*

WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JULY 2017 25


http://www.dcbar.org

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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