About the Bar

D.C. Bar Standing Commitees

Much of the work of the D.C. Bar is done by the committees listed below. Appointments to these committees as well as designation of chairs are made by the Bar president with the confirmation of the Board of Governors. The exceptions are the Attorney/Client Arbitration Board, Legal Ethics Committee, Judicial Evaluation Committee, and Nominations Committee, which are elected by the Board of Governors.

For more information about D.C. Bar committees, contact executive.office@dcbar.org.

View the current members for all of our committees.

Attorney/Client Arbitration Board
The Attorney/Client Arbitration Board (ACAB) oversees a Fee Arbitration Service which includes a Voluntary Mediation Program. The Fee Arbitration Service has jurisdiction over disputes about fees paid, charged or claimed for legal services between attorneys and their clients. It includes a mandatory program for attorneys when named as respondents, and for clients when named as respondents where the parties entered into a pre–dispute agreement to arbitrate fee disputes if the agreement complies with Legal Ethics Opinion 218. It also includes a voluntary program when clients are named as respondents in the absence of a pre–dispute agreement between the parties addressing how fee disputes will be handled. The ACAB consists of 11 members—seven active members of the Bar and four nonlawyers. The ACAB holds approximately five to six committee meetings, one arbitrator training session, and one arbitrator and mediator appreciation reception per year. The Committee normally meets from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every other month, except in August. ACAB members are also encouraged to apply for selection as an arbitrator for the ACAB, when such vacancies occur.
Audit
The Audit Committee provides independent oversight of the Bar’s financial reporting, internal controls and audit functions. The committee selects the Bar’s audit firm and receives and reviews the annual report of the firm. The committee also provides a forum for receiving and investigating complaints and charges related to accounting, legal matter, or retaliatory acts. The committee consists of five members: three Board members who serve staggered three-year terms. The other two committee members have a background, education or experience as an accountant, auditor or principal accounting officer with another organization, such as a retired CFO or auditor, or other appropriate financial or business expertise and are appointed by the President with the approval of the Board. The Immediate Past President of the Bar serves as Chair.
Budget
The Budget Committee oversees the preparation of a proposed budget, which it recommends to the Board of Governors for approval, typically in April. The committee also reviews and makes recommendations to the Board for the approval/disapproval of any budget amendments to the current fiscal year budget, as required by the budget guidelines. In addition, expenditures from the contingency account within the dues funded operation budget must be approved by the committee. The Budget Committee shall be chaired by the President-Elect of the Bar and shall include the President, the Treasurer, one representative designated by the Board on Professional Responsibility, and three other voting members of the Board of Governors appointed by the President with the approval of the Board for one-year terms.
Communities Committee
The Communities Committee (Committee) will oversee the operation of the D.C. Bar Communities Program by facilitating Communities-wide programming and content, volunteer opportunities, and member engagement initiatives. The committee shall consist of not more than 11 persons, appointed by the President, with the approval of the Board for staggered two–year terms, with no person to serve more than three consecutive terms.
Continuing Legal Education
The Continuing Legal Education Committee oversees the District of Columbia Bar CLE Program and the education component of the Mandatory Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice. The committee evaluates course proposals and generates course ideas. Committee members recommend course chairs and faculty members. The committee also evaluates and approves requests from D.C. Bar Communitys to cosponsor programs for continuing legal education (CLE) credit with outside CLE sponsors. The committee consists of 15 active members and normally meets from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month except August. Appointments are made in the fall.
Election Board
The president of the D.C. Bar, with the approval of the Board of Governors, appoints seven members of the Bar to serve as the Election Board, with no person to serve more than three consecutive terms. The Election Board is charged with reviewing and counting votes cast by members of the Bar in the election of officers of the Bar, members of the Board of Governors, and delegates to the American Bar Association, and in Bar referenda.
Executive Committee
The Executive Committee may exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the Board of Governors between the regular Board meetings, except the committee shall not, unless otherwise authorized by the Board, (a) amend the by-laws, (b) make rules or regulations governing nominations or elections, or (c) initiate the taking of any referendum or poll of members of the Bar. The committee shall also perform such duties as called upon by the Board. The committee consists of the President of the Bar as Chair, the President-Elect, the Immediate Past President, and four other voting members of the Board of Governors, appointed by the President with the approval of the Board. The members serve for one-year terms.
Finance
The Finance Committee assists the Board of Governors in its duty to oversee the Bar’s financial matters by monitoring, reviewing and reporting on the Bar’s financial and investment operations. The committee selects and receives periodic reports from the Bar’s investment advisor(s), if any, and takes action on the advisors’ recommendations. The Committee shall consist of the immediate Past-President as Chair, the current Bar Treasurer, and three members appointed by the President with the approval of the Board. The three members of the Committee shall serve staggered three-year terms with no person serving more than two consecutive terms.
Judicial Evaluation Committee
The Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) conducts confidential evaluations of judges who preside over the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Judges are evaluated in their 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 13th years of service. Senior judges are evaluated during the second year of their four–year terms and once during their two–year terms. Each evaluated judge, along with the chief judge of each court, receives a copy of the survey results. Also, evaluation results of senior judges and judges in their 6th, 10th, and 13th years of service are sent to the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure. Attorneys who appeared before the selected judges in the 24 months prior to the evaluation period are invited to participate. The JEC is responsible for reviewing the timetable, the survey instrument, the survey method, and the results of the survey, to ensure a fair, secure and anonymous process every year. The JEC is comprised of seven active members of the D.C. Bar. The Committee usually meets four times a year.
Lawyer Assistance Committee
The Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) assists individuals with substance abuse, mental health (including stress), and emotional problems that interfere with their professional or personal lives. The LAP’s services are available to members of the D.C. Bar, judges serving on any court located within the District of Columbia, applicants for admission to the D.C. Bar, and law students enrolled in law schools located in the District of Columbia if they have stated the intent to apply for D.C. Bar membership. Members of the Lawyer Assistance Committee address policy issues, help with outreach, and identify ways to improve the program. The Lawyer Assistance Committee consists of 15 D.C. Bar members and two nonlawyers. The committee meets on the second Monday of every other month from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. beginning in November. Appointments are made in the fall.
Leadership Development Committee
The Leadership Development Committee recruits, trains, places, and assesses potential and current leaders for all volunteer leadership positions in the Bar. The committee shall consist of not more than 15 persons, appointed by the President, with the approval of the Board for staggered two–year terms, with no person to serve more than three consecutive terms.
Legal Ethics Committee
The Legal Ethics Committee issues formal opinions on questions arising under the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct. The committee consists of 11 active members of the D.C. Bar and four nonlawyers. It normally meets from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, except in August. Traditionally, the Board has appointed lawyers with a background in legal ethics including teaching, advising one’s firm or agency, writing and/or serving on a related committee.
Nominations Committee
The Committee on Nominations nominates candidates for Bar office who will run in the next Bar election. Any active member of the Bar who is not an officer or member of the Board of Governors may be appointed to the nominating committee, except that no one who has served on the Committee on Nominations at any time during the past three years is eligible for appointment to this year’s committee. Under the Bar’s by–laws, the Board of Governors must appoint each year a seven–person Nominations Committee. The Committee on Nominations will have at least five meetings late–November through early March. Appointments are made in the fall.
Nonprofit/Small Business Legal Assistance Subcommittee
The Nonprofit and Small Business Legal Assistance Projects provide a vehicle for corporate, transactional and business lawyers seeking non-litigation pro bono assignments. The Projects are designed to deliver critically needed legal services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities in D.C. The Nonprofit/Small Business Legal Assistance Subcommittee, composed of transactional attorneys and representatives of nonprofit organizations with substantial expertise and commitment to community economic development issues, provides the staff with policy guidance and advice. The subcommittee consists of not more than 15 members recommended by the Pro Bono Committee and appointed by the President, with the approval of the Board. The members of the Subcommittee may, but need not be, members of the Bar. The members of the Subcommittee serve for two-year terms, with no person to serve more than three consecutive terms. The Chair of the Subcommittee is a member of the Pro Bono Committee.
Pension
The Pension Committee has administrative oversight of the Bar’s retirement programs, including the selection of appropriate investment options. The committee consists of the President of the Bar, the Immediate Past President, and three persons who, by virtue of training and/or occupation, are knowledgeable about pensions and pension plans. The committee members are appointed by the President, with the approval of the Board, for staggered three-year terms. The Immediate Past President serves as chair.
Practice Management Service
The Practice Management Service Committee (PMSC) designs and implements educational programs on law office management. This includes making available practice monitors and acting as a clearinghouse of resources available to attorneys interested in improving their legal and management skills. PMSC consists of 10 active Bar members and three nonlawyers. The committee normally meets the third Tuesday of every other month from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Appointments are made in the fall.
Pro Bono Committee
The Pro Bono Committee serves as the operations committee of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, providing volunteer oversight of its day-to-day activities, including full representation clinics for individuals, Saturday neighborhood clinics, court-based resource centers, Nonprofit and Small Business Legal Assistance Programs, technology resources for the public, volunteer resources and other special projects. The committee helps the staff evaluate programs and recruit and train volunteer attorneys for pro bono service. Moreover, the committee identifies areas of unmet legal need and proposes topics for comprehensive study and systematic reform to increase access to the justice system. The committee is authorized to provide comments or information on lawyer referral, information services, and the delivery of legal services to the indigent in the District of Columbia. Individual committee members may serve on the ad hoc development committee formed each year for the Presidents’ Reception. The committee consists of up to 15 members appointed by the President with the approval of the Board, for staggered two-year terms, with no person to serve more than three consecutive terms. The committee meets every other month. Appointments are made in the fall by the President, with the approval of the Board.
Regulations/Rules/Board Procedures Committee
The Regulations/Rules/Board Procedures Committee was established in 1999 as the successor to the Regulations/Rules/Board Procedures Task Force. The committee reviews the Rules Governing the D.C. Bar and, as requested by the president and/or the Board of Governors, the Bar’s by–laws, policy statements, and related procedures, and if appropriate, recommends changes to the Board. It also seeks to codify current Bar practice, or to propose changes in Bar practice, where necessary. The committee does not address rules, by–laws, and procedures covered by other Bar standing committees, the Clients’ Security Fund, or the Board on Professional Responsibility unless there are overarching procedural issues. The committee consists of five active members of the Bar, and meets approximately every six weeks, or more often, as the need arises. Appointments are made in the fall.
Rules of Professional Conduct Review
The Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee regularly reviews the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct for possible revisions and amendments. All proposed amendments are considered by the Board of Governors. The Board sends recommended changes to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which has sole authority to promulgate the Rules. The committee consists of 15 active members of the Bar. It normally meets from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. on the second Monday of every month except August. Appointments are made in the fall.
Screening Committee
The Screening Committee makes candidate recommendations to the Board of Governors for certain committees, statutory appointments, and members of other boards. The Committee meets in the spring and the fall. In the fall, the Committee considers candidates for vacancies on the Nominations Committee and the board of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program. The Committee also considers candidates for the District of Columbia Judicial Nominations Commission and the District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure as these vacancies occur. In the spring, the Committee considers candidates for the Attorney/Client Arbitration Board, the Board on Professional Responsibility, the Clients’ Security Fund, the District of Columbia Bar Foundation, the Judicial Evaluation Committee, and the Legal Ethics Committee. For vacancies on the Board on Professional Responsibility and the Clients’ Security Fund, the Board of Governors recommends candidates to the D.C. Court of Appeals. The Committee consists of five persons (three lawyer Board members, one non-lawyer Board member, and one member of the most recent Nominations Committee), appointed for one-year terms by the President with the approval of the Board in July. No person may serve more than three consecutive terms.
Trustees of the Clients’ Security Fund of the District of Columbia Bar
The Clients’ Security Fund (Fund) is a court-appointed board of trustees charged with maintaining the integrity and protecting the good name of the legal profession by reimbursing losses caused by dishonest conduct of District of Columbia Bar members, when acting either as attorneys or as fiduciaries. Reimbursements are made to the extent authorized by the Fund’s rules and as deemed proper and reasonable by the trustees. Operating through its five trustees appointed by the D.C. Court of Appeals, the Fund represents a fundamental commitment by lawyers in the District of Columbia to protect the integrity of the profession through reimbursing losses suffered by people who have had a D.C. Bar member dishonestly retain money or something of value from them while acting as an attorney or fiduciary customary to the practice of law.