Leadership

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As the D.C. Bar continues to prioritize member engagement, we are now offering greater access to our leaders’ work with audio recordings from our Board of Governors meetings.

Our Leadership

FAQS About D.C. Bar Board of Governors Service

What is the D.C. Bar Board of Governors?

The Board of Governors has general charge of the affairs and activities of the Bar. The Board is composed of the following members:

  • President
  • President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Immediate Past President – ex officio member
  • Fifteen (15) Lawyer Members
  • Three (3) Non-Lawyer Members

All officers and voting members also serve as the Board of Directors of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. All are elected by active Bar members. Non-lawyer members are appointed by the President, subject to Board of Governors approval.

What will be expected of me as an elected member of the Board of Governors?

The President-Elect serves for 3 years (as President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President); the Secretary and Treasurer serve for 1 year. Members serve a three-year term (up to two consecutive terms).

All Members are expected to attend all D.C. Bar Board of Governors and D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center Board of Directors meetings [up to eight (8) regular meetings/year] and serve on one (1) or more Board committees.

In addition to the duties above, the Secretary is tasked with drafting meeting minutes, and securing approvals thereof at the next scheduled meeting. The Treasurer presents regular financial reports at all meetings.

I have a lot of work/personal commitments – what is the estimated time commitment for Board service?

While there is no fixed (or minimum) number of hours required for Board service, the monthly time commitment for a Member could range from 5-15 hours depending on the number of meetings, preparation time and necessary follow up. Regular Board meetings last approximately 2-3 hours each. Board committee meetings are held 2-6 times per year.

The time commitment required for Officers is generally greater, as they typically sit on multiple committees and/or have additional responsibilities with regard to meeting minutes and reports.

I’ve never served on a Board. Will this preclude me from running or being elected for Board service?

No. The Bar welcomes all active members who are interested in the Bar’s future. Though prior leadership or relevant volunteer experience is highly desirable, past board experience is not required.

I don’t live or practice in the District of Columbia. Can I still serve on the Board?

Yes! All active D.C. Bar members are eligible to serve, even if they do not reside or practice in D.C.

Will I be expected to travel for Board service?

In general, Board members are not expected to travel, with the exception of local events when circumstances allow.

Why volunteer for a Board position?

Join a select group of volunteer leaders whose expertise, diverse perspectives and spheres of influence help advance our position as the nation’s preeminent bar.

Lend your talent and voice to help the Bar:

  • Maintain the highest ethical standards, absolute integrity, and an unwavering commitment to service;
     
  • Pursue organizational excellence with fervor, driving continuous improvement, and set the highest standards of conduct in the legal system – in our backyard and around the world;
     
  • Drive systemic change in the legal system and increasing access to justice;
     
  • Empower lawyers to achieve individual excellence; and
     
  • Foster collegiality among the brightest and most capable lawyers on the planet.

Service is at the heart of everything we do.

We serve our members so they, in turn, can serve the community.

Help us continue to deliver on this commitment.

FAQS About ABA House of Delegates Service

What is the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates?

The control and administration of the ABA is vested in the House of Delegates, the policy-making body of the association. It is made up of almost 600 members, two-thirds of whom represent state, local and special-focus bars. The House meets twice each year, at ABA Annual and Midyear Meetings. The D.C. Bar’s delegates are elected by its members to serve as liaisons between the Bar and the ABA.

How many ABA House of Delegates positions are open for nomination?

For the FY22-22 nominations slate, there are a total of three (3) ABA House of Delegate positions open for nomination.

What are the prerequisites for ABA House of Delegates Service?

  • Delegates must be active members of the D.C. Bar and a member of the ABA.
     
  • One (1) delegate must be either: under the age of 36 at the beginning of his or her term or have been admitted to practice in his or her first bar within the past 5 years (elected every other year).

What are ABA Delegates’ roles and responsibilities?

Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates are responsible for:

  • Attending each meeting of the House, participating fully in its proceedings, and discharging the responsibilities of the House as described in Chapter 2, Powers and Functions, of the New Delegate Handbook;
     
  • Reviewing the New Delegate Handbook on the House of Delegates webpage on the ABA’s website;
     
  • Reviewing all of the House of Delegates meeting materials, including resolutions, before the meetings;
     
  • Participating in a House Caucus or serve on a House Committee, if desired; and
     
  • Drafting, debating and voting on resolutions. (NOTE: Any member, affiliated bar association or ABA entity can bring a resolution. Action taken by the House of Delegates on specific issues becomes official ABA policy.)

How long is the ABA House of Delegates term?

Delegates serve two-year appointments, with no stated limit on the number of terms served. New delegates’ terms begin at the conclusion of the annual meeting. (NOTE: Under-36 delegates must be under the age of 36 at the conclusion of the annual meeting.)

Are Delegates required to attend meetings? If so, are they reimbursed for travel-related expenses?

ABA delegates are expected to attend two (2) meetings/year: the ABA Annual Meeting (usually held in August), and the ABA Midyear Meeting (usually held in February/March.)

Reimbursement for travel-related expenses varies, depending on the meeting:

  • Midyear Meetings: Roundtrip air/ground transportation is reimbursable, provided the delegate is present at the end of the meeting.
     
  • Annual Meetings: Travel reimbursement is not available.
     
  • House Committee Meetings (held during Midyear and Annual Meetings): Per diem reimbursement only.

Where can I find more information about the ABA House of Delegates?

For more information, please click here.

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 376. 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 Committee

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 acts on the annual report of the firm. The committee also provides a forum for receiving and investigating complaints and charges related to accounting, legal matters, or retaliatory acts. Positions: 3 members of the Board of Governors, the majority of whom have completed at least one year of service on the Board. 2 additional committee members Please note: Neither the Immediate-Past President nor the Treasurer may serve on this Committee. Appointed or Elected: Appointed in July by the President with the approval of the Board Term: Three years, staggered (no more than two consecutive terms)

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.

Audio Recordings

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. For more information about serving on the committee, email [email protected].

Communities are committed to promoting diversity within its leadership in order to recognize and reflect the numerous demographics they serve. To review the Communities Statement on Diversity and Inclusion, click here.

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.

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.

Global Legal Practice Committee

The Global Legal Practice Committee studies issues arising from globalization in the practice of law that have a significant impact on law practice for members of the District of Columbia Bar and for the Bar as an organization. Among other issues, the committee studies, monitors and addresses issues arising from changing models for obtaining and delivering legal services in the United States and abroad, including alternative legal services providers and business structures, and multi-disciplinary practice (MDP). Such issues may also include regulatory innovations for the public protection of consumers of legal services and the legal profession overall. The committee consists of 11 active members of the D.C. Bar and two non-lawyer professionals.

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.

Pension Committee

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.

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.
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