Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 29

students experiencing a variety of problems,
including mental health issues and addiction.
"It was decided that the program needed to be
more 'broad brush' and reach out to people not just
with alcohol issues," says Denise Perme, director
of the Lawyer Assistance Program since 2006.
"We realized that helping people with mental
health issues related to stress, such as depression
or anxiety disorders, also helped to reach lawyers
with addiction issues."

WOMEN & THE LAW
In the 1980s women entered the legal field in
record numbers. Sometimes they found themselves
battling discrimination and harassment in the law
firms they joined. Some women, such as Marcia D.
Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center
(NWLC), spent the decade taking on cases in the
fight for the rights of women.
In 1980 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission issued guidelines declaring sexual
harassment a form of prohibited sex discrimination.
In 1981, following the retirement of Justice Potter
Stewart, Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor
as the first woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Justice O'Connor's nomination was a memorable
occasion for female lawyers in the D.C. area and
beyond. Once on the bench, Justice O'Connor was
often the deciding vote on cases affecting women's
education, reproductive rights, and employment
conditions.
"Democrats were not exactly sanguine about a
Reagan appointee; nevertheless, there was a lot

of cheering among women lawyers when Justice
O'Connor was nominated," Gorelick recalls. "She
brought a perspective that was previously missing
on the Court."
A few years later, the D.C. Bar elected well-known
attorney Marna S. Tucker as its first female president,
serving in 1984-85.
"By the time she became the president of the Bar,
she was already an extraordinary force in our legal
community," says Greenberger, founder and copresident of the NWLC. "She had already displayed
a strong commitment to what the law can do for
people who need it most. She was the perfect
pathbreaker."
Tucker says that it surprised her how much her
becoming Bar president meant to female lawyers
at that time.
"My being president let women know that that they
could join leadership, that there was a place for
them in leadership," Tucker says.

GROWING PAINS
As the legal industry grew, so did the D.C. Bar,
and it struggled to define itself along the way.
In the 1980s, Bar members and leadership asked
and reviewed questions relating to how much
lawyers should pay in fees and where the money
should go. The debate somewhat mirrored the
concern nationally over whether tax dollars
should go to legal-aid services.
"The contours of the D.C. Bar were being worked
out in the 1980s," Gorelick says.
In the early 1980s there was a push to establish
a dues ceiling and restrict how funds should be
used. By 1981 the D.C. Court of Appeals had
approved a $75 dues ceiling and ruled to restrict
use of the money to basic Bar functions such as
discipline, admissions, and continued registration.
But Tucker was focused on figuring out how
to get the Bar to help the less fortunate.
"I had ideas. I was an activist," Tucker says.
"I had to figure out a way to increase participation in public service and pro bono cases, but
by doing it through private funds. It was a real
challenge."
By 1988 the D.C. Bar Office of Public Service
Activities (now the Pro Bono Center) incorporated as the D.C. Bar Public Service Activities
Corporation. The funding initially came from individual Bar members.

Members of the Women's Bar Association
celebrate the voluntary bar's 15th anniversary.

"The program started small and was initially
primarily a source of information and referrals,"
Syracuse says.

the time [Marna
" By
S. Tucker] became the
president of the Bar,
she was already an
extraordinary force in
our legal community.
She had already
displayed a strong
commitment to what
the law can do for
people who need it
most. She was the
perfect pathbreaker.
MARCIA D. GREENBERGER
Founder and Co-President
National Women's Law Center

"

Also during the 1980s, the D.C. Bar helped found
the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
By the end of the decade, the questions over
how Bar dues should be used remained. In 1988
the D.C. Bar Board of Governors initiated a referendum to examine the use of Bar dues, but it did
not achieve a consensus for any change.
In the meantime, the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics
Committee was "very active" during the 1980s,
Gorelick says.
"D.C. has always distinguished itself in this area,"
Gorelick says. "Because we have more people
moving in and out of government, we are more
thoughtful and experienced than some other
bars on this front."
Anna Stolley Persky is a regular contributor to
Washington Lawyer.

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JULY 2017 29


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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