Washington Lawyer - July 2017 - 32

The committee's recommendations led to major
reforms, turning PSAC into a program that delivered
services and leveraged staff to help provide pro
bono work to attorney volunteers. New staff was
hired, including Maureen Thornton Syracuse, who
served as director of the Pro Bono Center from 1992
to 2011.
In 1993 the Pro Bono Center launched its flagship
project, the Law Firm Clinic (now the Advocacy &
Justice Clinic), recruiting and training attorney volunteers to represent prescreened low-income clients in
housing, family, public benefits, disability, consumer,
and unemployment law matters. Syracuse and Pollak
shopped the clinic's concept around to major law
firms to gauge their interest in participating. Syracuse
recalls the initial concerns: "We spent months
recruiting firms and structuring the supporting materials, and figuring out how to get these lawyers to do
cases they knew nothing about, including going to a
courthouse most of them had never seen."
Fortunately, the response was extremely positive:
18 firms volunteered for the Law Firm Clinic in the
first year.
That same year, the Pro Bono Center established the
Pro Se Plus Divorce Clinic, providing training and
support in a classroom setting to individuals representing themselves, followed by the Pro Bono
Bankruptcy Clinic in 1994. In September 1995, the Pro
Bono Center convened the first Pro Bono Initiative
Breakfast, briefing the District's legal community on
the state of the safety net in the wake of new federal
cutbacks, and calling for increased support for pro
bono work to fill the gaps.
From that summit came the Pro Bono Center's Advice
and Referral Clinic, a push to get pro bono attorneys
out into hard-hit neighborhoods to offer onsite legal

1995

assistance on Saturdays. Working with Bread for the
City, the Center held its first Advice and Referral Clinic
in the Shaw neighborhood in 1997. A second clinic
would launch in Anacostia a few years later.
In 1998 the Pro Bono Center established the
Community Economic Development Project with
the goal of getting business lawyers involved in pro
bono work by helping community-based organizations working in distressed neighborhoods in the
District.
"The 1990s was transformational for the Pro Bono
[Center]," says Syracuse. "It was a period of dramatic
and rapid change."

EXPANDING THE
PROGRAMS DIVISION
In 1990 Cynthia D. Hill joined the D.C. Bar as assistant
executive director for programs, overseeing the
Attorney/Client Arbitration Board, the Lawyer
Counseling Program, and the Legal Ethics Program.
Also under Programs were the Clients' Security Fund,
the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program, and
the Sections Office (now Communities). In the early
1990s, Programs did not yet have a Regulation
Counsel, a Practice Management Advisory Service, or
a Rules of Professional Conduct Review Program.
One of the first tasks under Hill's management was
developing the Bar's CLE Program, which had been
administered by Georgetown University. In June
1990, the Bar decided to bring the CLE Program
in-house, negotiating a five-year agreement with the
George Washington University Law School to
provide seed funding toward the CLE Program and
coordinate its multiday courses. The CLE Committee,
chaired by Mark Tuohey III, who would later serve as
president of the Bar, led the development of the

D.C. Court of Appeals rule changes
making the attorney discipline
system more public take effect.
D.C. Bar holds referendum on
mandatory continuing legal education and legal ethics courses for
members. The proposal is defeated.

O. J. Simpson, Rick Meyer/Pool/Getty Images; Mark H.
Tuohey III, Howard Ehrenfeld; Bill Clinton, Richard Ellis/
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

32 WASHINGTON LAWYER

Bar establishes the Lawyer Practice
Assistance Program (now Practice
Management Advisory Service).

* JULY 2017 *

With the assistance of Susan Moss of the U.S.
Department of Justice's Legal Education Institute, the
CLE Program successfully obtained MCLE accreditation by the end of the year. In June 1991, Mary
Frances Edwards would be hired as the first manager
of the CLE Program. She would help build the
program and set the template for future managers.
"It was quite a challenge, especially to be starting a
program of that nature during an economic recession," recalls Hill. "But we got where we needed to go
as far as being able to provide a full-service CLE
Program for our members."
Several other notable changes would come to
Programs in the 1990s. The Lawyer Counseling
Program (now Lawyer Assistance Program), which
was established in 1985 to provide support to legal
professionals dealing with substance abuse, would
expand its focus to include mental health.
In 1995 the Lawyer Practice Assistance Program, now
the Practice Management Advisory Service, would
debut, providing free and confidential service to
members seeking to improve their office and
practice management.
That same year, upon recommendation by the D.C.
Bar Board of Governors, the D.C. Court of Appeals
adopted changes to Rules Governing the Bar on
lawyer discipline and attorney conduct regulation.
The amendments changed the timing of when disciplinary complaints would become public, and
provided diversionary options for attorneys in cases
where ethical violations are deemed minor. The
court also made fee arbitration mandatory if the
client requests it.

dcbar.org

The O.J. Simpson murder case
becomes one of the most followed
trials of the century.

O.J. Simpson (left) with defense
attorney Johnnie Cochran.

curriculum. The first class was held in October 1990,
and much of the CLE programming in those early
days was taught by CLE Committee members.

Pro Bono Center holds first Pro Bono
Initiative Breakfast; 54 local firms
pledge to increase their pro bono
efforts in the city.

Congress passes the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act, a major welfare
reform.

Congress establishes the District
of Columbia Financial Control Board
to monitor the District's finances.

Congress overhauls telecommunications law for the first time in nearly 62
years with the Telecommunications
Act of 1996.

1996
Congress passes the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act.

D.C. Court of Appeals adopts a
comprehensive set of changes to the
D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct.

Defense of Marriage Act becomes
law.

D.C. Bar launches its website,
dcbar.org.


http://www.dcbar.org http://www.dcbar.org 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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