New Members

New Member: Welcome Letter

Dear New Member:

It is my pleasure as President of the District of Columbia Bar to welcome you to the second largest bar in the nation, with more than 100,000 members. As a member, you will receive a subscription to our award–winning publication, Washington Lawyer, which will keep you advised of activities and programs of interest to members. You also will receive e–mail announcements of Bar news and important deadlines if you have included your e–mail address with your registration statement. And finally, our Web site provides information you might need today, tomorrow, and beyond; to get you started, please visit the New Member Welcome Kit.

I urge Bar members in active status to participate in all Bar activities. Please vote in the annual elections for officers and members of the Board of Governors. These are your Bar leaders. Please also join one or more of our 20 Sections and participate in the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.

The Sections focus on many different areas of professional interest. Participation in Sections activities is a wonderful opportunity for new members of the Bar to enhance their skills and to meet other lawyers in their areas of practice. More than 25,000 of our members belong to one or more of our sections. I invite you to join those Sections which match your interests. Simply mark the appropriate areas on the attached annual membership statement. You will begin immediately to receive publications and invitations to events from Sections you choose.

The D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Program mobilizes the members of our Bar to provide legal assistance to those most in need. It trains volunteers and gets them actively involved in providing direct pro bono legal services—either through the Bar or one of the many legal service programs in need of volunteers. As a new member of the Bar, you can call on the D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Program to help you find the best way to participate in pro bono activities and to provide you with the training and mentoring you need to get started. If you are interested in more information, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form.

The D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Program needs not only your time, but also your financial support. Unlike mandatory bars in virtually every other jurisdiction in the country, the D.C. Bar, by court rule, cannot fund its pro bono program from membership dues. We must depend instead upon the generosity of lawyers who appreciate the importance of providing access to justice and of making legal services available to all who need them. While we suggest an individual contribution of $100, many Bar members give more. We appreciate any amount that you are able to give to support these pro bono services. Please check the attached membership statement to indicate the amount of your voluntary contribution to support our pro bono activities.

Another important function of the D.C. Bar is to keep its members informed of their ethical obligations to their clients and colleagues. The D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct as well as Opinions of the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Committee interpreting their application are available on our Web site, www.dcbar.org. You may also avail yourself of the services of our Legal Ethics Committee, which provides advice to members on ethical issues.

Another valuable D.C. Bar resource is the District of Columbia Practice Manual; the 2014 update will be released mid-September. This more than 1,400 page, two–volume publication covers the practice of law in 34 chapters. Although this title retails for $300, it is available for new members at the subscription price of $150.

The officers and members of the Board of Governors of the Bar look forward to your participation as a member of our Bar, contributing to its efforts to improve the profession and serve the public. If you are interested in serving on a Bar committee or otherwise becoming involved in Bar activities, please write to Katherine A. Mazzaferri, Chief Executive Officer of the Bar. With best wishes, I am,

Sincerely yours,

Brigida Benitez
2014–15 D.C. Bar President