Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 26

Whether the voluntary bar reflects attorneys' legal specialty or their gender, race,
or ethnicity, it can be a place to find like-minded colleagues, personal development opportunities, and - to no one's surprise - fun. Part social club, part professional society, a voluntary bar is a boon to attorneys looking for community.

membership includes lawyers who represent employees in employment and
civil rights disputes. "We provide opportunities to connect not only with other
attorneys but also with members of the bench and even members of the
employer side of the bar."

"These bar associations provide a way for attorneys of similar backgrounds to
connect to one another, share information, and provide a support system," says
Nicole Austin-Hillery, president of the Washington Bar Association (WBA), a voluntary bar comprised chiefly of African American attorneys. "Whether we like
it or not, discrimination still exists and disparities still exist. The support system
that comes from affinity bars like ours pulls our membership together and
allows us to focus on how to combat this discrimination, which is vitally important to all of us."

Voluntary or affinity bars are more than networking gold mines for attorneys,
however. They also can be a major benefit to members' employers - law
firms, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and corporations. Membership can boost reputations and open up new avenues of
business. Members can also gain new levels of confidence while enhancing
valuable skills.

Unlike unified bar associations such as the District of Columbia Bar that regulate
attorney admissions, voluntary bars draw potential members based on their
professional and personal interests, as well as the vitality of the organizations'
services.

For example, the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) has come
up with a novel way to improve attorneys' public speaking abilities through its
FCBA Sketch Comedy Boot Camp. Other affinity bars aspire to promote career
advancement for their member attorneys through job banks, education, and
other opportunities.

"As attorneys, we spend most of our waking hours on our careers, whatever
form they may take," says Ruth J. Vernet, president of the D.C. chapter of
the Federal Bar Association (FBA), the voluntary bar that represents federal
practitioners and the federal judiciary. "When there's an organization of likeminded individuals who share your interests and concerns on a daily basis,
you want to connect."

"Over the coming year, we're looking at where there aren't sufficient numbers
of women and how we can give women attorneys advice and skills to get
there," says Jill Dash, president of the Women's Bar Association of the District
of Columbia (WBADC). "That includes increasing the number of women in
leadership positions in law firms and in politics. This year, we will be hosting
programs on what it takes to become a leader in a corporate law department,
get elected to office, or become a judge."

Ask individual attorneys about the primary value of a voluntary bar membership, and the first response is often networking. In a career ruled by the billable
hour, any tactic that increases professional contacts and potential business partnerships is a plus. Additionally, voluntary bar events present a rare opportunity
to meet members of the bench outside the courthouse.

Voluntary bars also serve as an informal pipeline to leadership in the D.C. Bar.
Once a month, the presidents of voluntary bars come together at the D.C. Bar
offices to share ideas and best practices. These meetings have prompted some
voluntary bar leaders to join the D.C. Bar's Board of Governors or apply for its
John Payton Leadership Academy.

"The Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA)
provides support to our members by offering educational programming and
a sense of community," says Subhashini Bollini, president of MWELA, whose

"If you're willing to get involved, and you show yourself as open to these kinds
of opportunities, they are inclined to invite you to do things," says Annette
K. Kwok, a former president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of

In March the District of
Columbia and Capitol Hill
chapters of the Federal Bar
Association hosted a
Distinguished Lawyer
Luncheon featuring
Benjamin Ferencz, the last
surviving Nuremberg
prosecutor and subject
of the recently released
documentary Prosecuting
Evil: The Extraordinary
World of Ben Ferencz.
Jennifer Cogan

The 99-year-old Ferencz
served as chief prosecutor
for the United States Army
at the Einsatzgruppen trial.
26 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JULY/AUGUST 2019

*


https://www.dcbar.org/

Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Bar Business: Annual Report
Member Spotlight
Enforcing the Rules feature
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Enforcing the Rules feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 28
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Bar Business: Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 48
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 51
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover4
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/julyaugust2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/june2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2019
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June/July2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/March2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/February2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2018
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/November2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september 2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/august2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/july2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/June2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/may2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/april2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/march2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/february2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/january2017
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/december2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/november2016/
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/october2016
http://washingtonlawyer.dcbar.org/september2016
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com