Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 27

John Murph

On April 17 the Asian
Pacific American Bar
Association of the Greater
Washington, D.C. Area
brought into focus the issues
of race, discrimination,
civil rights, and the struggle
for justice against bigotry
in its trial reenactment of
the Massie cases. The
reenactment featured a
distinguished cast of judges,
lawyers, and civil rights
and community speakers.

the Greater Washington, D.C. Area (APABA-DC) and former Board member of
the Bar. "I don't think board membership is something I would have sought out
on my own, but it did happen, and I'm glad it did."

CHALLENGES & CHANGES
In recent years, some national voluntary bars have watched their membership
numbers shrink, as fewer law firms have chosen to underwrite memberships
and millennial attorneys have sought more virtual outlets for networking. Some
lawyers are left wondering whether voluntary bars are still relevant. Most D.C.area bars have not been as affected by the contractions, thanks to their proximity to the federal government.
But that doesn't mean the District's voluntary bars aren't evolving to meet the
needs of their changing membership, both in terms of age and interests. Most
bars are upping the ante with their social programs, expanding beyond happy
hour cocktails and brown-bag lunches to offer wine tastings, meditation
sessions, and family barbecues.
"Our approach to networking events has had to change," says FBA's Vernet, an
attorney in private practice. "Attorneys spend so much time in the office. If
they're giving up more time for a professional networking event, they'd like it to
be inclusive of family and friends. We really think that is something that will
work better for our younger lawyers who have so many outside obligations."
MWELA keeps its members engaged with topical excursions, including a trip
to the National Portrait Gallery for a guided tour of a special exhibit, "The
Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers," and a viewing party of the
popular film RBG, a documentary about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg.
Frequently, voluntary bar events delve into weightier topics involving the
history of law in America. APABA-DC hosted its third trial reenactment this past
spring, focusing on the Massie cases during the Depression era in Hawaii. The
Massie trial reenactment spotlighted the two related criminal cases in the 1930s

that took place in a racially and ethnically divided Honolulu, sparking national
attention before Hawaii became a state.
The challenge for voluntary bars is creating a mix of relevant and engaging
programming that serves every member, addressing the generational divisions
that have evolved over time. Connecting with bar members at the different
junctures of their careers is essential when bars are reaching out to millennial
lawyers while also serving the World War II generation.
"We have practitioners who have one to five years of practice experience and
some with more than 40 years' experience," says MWELA's Bollini, of counsel for
Correia & Puth, PLLC. "I think we're in a golden age because we have the practitioners who began practicing in the late 1960s and are still working. They're an
amazing resource for us at MWELA and very inspiring, and they're interested in
giving back through mentorship and career advice."
To remain competitive, voluntary bars watch new developments in the law and
track any trends that demand their attention. In fact, many are growing their
membership by pursuing the increasing numbers of single practitioners and
small firm lawyers. They hope to build a culture of bar membership early in
attorneys' careers while also offering the support and mentorship needed to
build successful practices.
"I found my network. I found my friends. I found my community," says APABADC's Kwok, an associate at Venable LLP who came to the city not knowing
anyone. "We have happy hours, but it's more than that. It's really about developing deeper and more meaningful relationships. When you volunteer
together, you really get to know people on a different level than at a happy
hour or a social event."

AN ALTRUISTIC MISSION
The mission behind a voluntary bar's work is appealing for many attorneys,
whether it's helping to run bar programs and events or giving scholarships to
law school students. For some, volunteering for a local bar allows them to give
back more fully to society.
*

JULY/AUGUST 2019

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER 27


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
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