2019 D.C. Bar Elections Candidates

The statements below are in the candidates’ own words and have not been edited for brevity or clarity.

(1 vacancy)

2019 elections candidateGarylene "Gage" Javier
Giving back to the legal profession and the local communities of which I am a part is a core personal belief and the reason for my candidacy as DC Bar Secretary. Over my tenure as an attorney at Buckley LLP, I provided over 1,400 hours of pro bono legal services to the elderly, survivors of domestic violence, and small businesses in DC. I held DC bar leadership positions in the Filipino American Lawyers Association and the Women’s Bar Association where I advocated for access to justice, community education, mentorship, and diversity in the law. As a VP of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association, I focused on operational efficiency and programming effectiveness on a national scale. With your vote, I will leverage my skills and experience in the role of Secretary to support board operations and DC Bar programming, advance Bar goals, and work to advocate for our members’ interests.


2019 elections candidateCourtney Weiner
Courtney Weiner has been a leader in the D.C. Bar community for a decade.  The Bar elected her Under-35 Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.  She also co-chaired the Litigation Section Steering Committee.  Courtney has likewise been a leader in supporting legal services for the poor, co-chairing the Young Lawyers Network of D.C.’s Bar Foundation and becoming the founding Vice Chair of Tzedek DC, which provides legal assistance for consumers on debt-related issues.  Courtney served on the ABA’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel.  In addition, having worked at a law firm, the Department of Justice, and, now, as a solo practitioner, Courtney would bring to the job of Secretary a deep understanding of the diversity of our Bar and the different needs and interests of its members.   A native Washingtonian, Courtney graduated from Princeton University and Columbia Law School.

(1 vacancy)

2019 elections candidateHardeep Grover
Being a solo practitioner, a leader with multiple affinity bar organizations, and pro bono counsel to nonprofits across the country, I seek your confidence as Treasurer of the D.C. Bar.  My experience with nonprofit and bar organizations makes me a true fit for this position, be it fundraising, monitoring investments, working with a variety of committees to accomplish concrete goals, maintaining nonprofit compliance, or leading a local 400+ person affinity bar organization as its President. What makes me an ideal candidate is a set of goals.  If elected I will work to mesh D.C.’s great need for pro bono services with the mutually beneficial need for attorney training.  I will push for professional development resources for young attorneys while scouring spreadsheets for funding to deliver it.  I will bring the cost-sensitive, planned perspective of solo and small firms to the D.C. Bar. I truly appreciate your consideration, and your support.


2019 elections candidateRichard Rodriguez
Richard Rodriguez serves as a trial attorney with the District of Columbia’s Office of the Attorney General, where he investigates violations of the District’s consumer protection laws, largely focusing on issues in the FinTech and shared economy spaces along with traditional issues such as contractor and services fraud. Richard previously worked on matters protecting Medicaid funds through payment suspensions and third-party cases. Before his switch to the law field, Richard worked as a cash management officer with the largest Long Island, NY based commercial bank. Richard received his JD/MBA from American University and his MPS/BS from Stony Brook University. He currently sits on the board of the Hispanic Bar Association of DC, having been its President in 2018, and serving on that board since 2013. He also sits on his second term of the Steering Committee for the Antitrust and Consumer Law Community of the D.C. Bar (2015-2020).

Board of Governors 
(5 vacancies)

2019 elections candidateJessica E. Adler
Jessica E. Adler is principal and founding partner of The Law Office of Jessica E. Adler.  With almost two decades of experience advising clients in family law matters, Jessica uses her decisive and organized style to tirelessly advocate on behalf of clients.  She has been recognized by Super Lawyers, and holds an AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell in recognition of her excellent work. Jessica has proven leadership skills serving as a member of the Board of Governors for the DC Bar, President of the D.C. Women’s Bar Association, co-chair of D.C. Bar’s Law Practice Management and Family Law Steering Committees, and Vice-Chair of the Practice Management Service Committee.  She volunteers in the DC legal community.  She is committed to working with the bar to provide a high level of service. Jessica received her B.A. with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her J.D. from The Ohio State University College of Law.


2019 elections candidateCatherine “Katie” Bertram
Katie Bertram has been a member of the D.C. Bar for 30 years.    She is a civil litigator, with a focus on medical malpractice.  She founded her own law firm and has been actively involved in leadership positions in D.C. Bar activities for over a decade.  She is devoted to legal education with a focus on trial advocacy skills, especially for women litigators.  Ms. Bertram is an adjunct professor at American University Law School and she regularly teaches DC Bar CLE courses in trial strategy.   She was an active member of the CLE committee for many years and then Chaired the CLE committee for two terms.  Currently, Ms. Bertram is Chair of the DC Bar Communities Committee.  She is co-founder of Power of 100 DC, a local charity.    Ms. Bertram was Captain of the 1986 National Championship Crew team at University of Wisconsin.  She graduated from Catholic University Law School.


2019 elections candidateTheodore Howard
I have been honored to serve on the Board of Governors of our outstanding Bar since 2016 and, because I still have more to give in furtherance of the Bar's objectives and core values of increased inclusiveness and enhanced access to justice for all D.C. residents, I would be pleased and privileged to serve another term.  My tenure on the Board's Executive Committee, Compensation Committee and Working Group on Board Governance have afforded me valuable opportunities to gain insight into the Bar's inner workings and provided experience that would help me, if re-elected, serve as a more effective representative in advocating for the maintenance (or adoption) and implementation of policies and practices that foster, to the greatest possible extent, the Bar's responsible stewardship of the resources with which it is entrusted by its membership. Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.  While the field of nominees is strong, I would appreciate the benefit of your vote.


2019 elections candidateJanene Jackson
As a member of the Board of Governors, I will continue to follow the organization’s mission of enhancing access to justice, improving the legal system and empowering lawyers to achieve.  And while the DC Bar is a mandatory bar, it is still a membership organization that works best when programming and services meet members’ expectations and needs.  I believe the DC Bar must be a benefit and deliver value to its membership. Additionally, I intend to promote the importance and need for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.  I believe the profession should mirror the community it serves.  And in serving our community, I will work to ensure access to high quality legal representation through the expansion of pro bono services. I intend to be one of the “angelic troublemakers” Bayard Rustin remarked that every community needs because these individuals seek to improve the world they inhabit.


2019 elections candidateSu Sie Ju
I am Legal Director at Bread for the City, which provides free legal assistance, medical care, food, and social services to District residents. I have been at Bread for 18 years, the last four as Legal Director overseeing the work of 21 legal staff. A graduate of Yale College and UVA Law School, I started my career as a NAPIL (now Equal Justice Works) Fellow at the National Partnership for Women and Families. I have been appointed by the Court or the Bar to numerous access to justice, pro bono, and family law committees, including the DC Access to Justice Commission, the DC Bar Pro Bono Committee, the DC Bar Family Law Task Force, and the Court’s Paternity & Support Subcommittee, for which I served as Co-Chair. If elected, I would be responsive to the DC legal community’s needs and committed to increasing access to justice for all DC residents.

2019 elections candidatePaul Lee
I have dedicated my entire legal career to the public interest—through a pro bono fellowship upon completing law school at Georgetown, as a pro bono coordinator for a juvenile immigration organization called Kids in Need of Defense, and by directing the pro bono programs at three different international law firms--Steptoe, Dechert and Howrey. My strengths and passion lie in inspiring and equipping more lawyers to make a greater impact on our community.  I believe my current service as the DC Bar Secretary, ability to build consensus across sectors, and deep commitment to the public spirit have prepared me well to serve a full term on the DC Bar Board of Governors.  Thank you for your support!

2019 elections candidateFabio Leonardi
An eleven-year resident of the District of Columbia, Fabio Leonardi is a white-collar criminal defense counsel in the Washington, DC office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.  He also teaches law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.  Fabio has been active in the D.C. Bar for years and has extensive leadership experience in voluntary bar associations.  He is currently serving as an elected member of the Steering Committee for the D.C. Bar’s Criminal Law & Individual Rights Community, sponsoring educational and practice-building programs in the areas of criminal law and the protection of individual rights for the D.C. legal community.  Originally from Venice, Italy, Fabio graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, George Washington University Law School and the University of Padua.  With your support, Fabio hopes to continue his involvement with the D.C. Bar in a greater capacity as a member of the Board of Governors.


2019 elections candidateAmy Nelson
Amy Nelson is the Director of Legal Services at Whitman-Walker Health, a community health center offering holistic services to the LGBTQI and HIV communities, and others regardless of status/ income. For the past 11 years at WWH, she has worked to fight sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, racism, and poverty; and to promote the value of pro bono work for firm and government attorneys.  Amy was elected Treasurer of the DC Bar Board of Governors in 2018 and is seeking re-election as a general board member.  A passionate advocate for transgender/gender-expansive rights, Amy currently serves on the May Is All About Trans board and Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Street Harassment. As an associate at McDermott, Will & Emery, Amy’s pro bono efforts included capital defense, homeless advocacy, and board service for Miriam's House/N Street Village.  Amy is a graduate of Texas A&M University and George Washington University Law School.


2019 elections candidateHansel Pham
Hansel Pham is a Partner at White & Case LLP, where his practice focuses on international arbitration and litigation.  He is active in the D.C. Bar, serving on the Attorney/Client Arbitration Board Committee since July 2013 and acting as the Chair of the Committee since July 2016. In addition, Hansel is a founding director and officer of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of the Greater Washington Area, where he was in charge of the Scholarship Program.  He also was Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s North American Regional Forum. Hansel has held leadership roles for a number of charitable organizations, including serving as the Board Chair for Asian American LEAD, a non-profit serving underprivileged Asian-American youth in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.  He currently is Secretary of the IBA Foundation, a non-profit devoted to promoting the rule of law. Hansel is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.


2019 elections candidateBridget Rowan
After a thirty-year career with the Department of Justice's Tax Division, Bridget Rowan now teaches first-year students as an Adjunct at American University's Washington College of Law.  At DOJ, Bridget was an appellate litigator and manager, and she served on mentoring programs, hiring committees, and the Diversity Committee, including a term as chair.  At AU, she approaches her teaching as another form of mentoring--which was recognized by an Adjunct of the Year award.    A longtime D.C. resident, originally from the Bronx, Bridget received her B.A. from CCNY, an M.A. from Columbia, and her J.D. from Harvard, where she was a member of the Legal Aid Bureau.    Bridget would bring her public-service perspective and seasoned management experience to the Board.  She wants to increase government-attorney engagement with the Bar's programs, and she is committed to supporting programs tapping experienced (including retired) attorneys for mentoring programs focused on pro bono work.

ABA House of Delegates
(2 vacancies)

2019 elections candidatePauline A. Schneider
The individual elected as delegate to the House has the dual responsibility of representing both the District’s bar while considering the ABA’s interests and goals.  I have served as (1) both secretary and president of the District’s Bar and chaired its governing board, (2) represented the Bar and the Section of Legal Education in the House and (3) served on the ABA Board of Governors.  In none of those roles did I feel that the challenges the ABA faced were as grave as those it faces today.  Both membership and revenues have declined significantly. Clearly thoughtful review and strategic intervention by Board of Governors and House may warranted.  I am confident that my past service to the Bar and the ABA, combined with my relationships with hundreds of engaged ABA members, have prepared me to assist in identifying and implementing creative solutions for future success.   

2019 elections candidateDiane Seltzer Torre
Allow me to serve as your ABA Delegate so that I may help shape ABA policy with the best interests of DC Bar members in mind.  As an attorney who has extensive leadership experience with both the ABA and the DC Bar, I want to blend my commitment to, and understanding of, both organizations and do policy work that benefits both.  Since 2012, I have served on the DC Bar's Continuing Legal Education Committee for 7 terms as a member, Vice Chair, and Chair.  I also serve, or have recently served, on our Bar's Communities Committee, Screening Committee, and Nominations Committee.  On the ABA side, I served for 4 years as Co-Chair of the Section of Litigation's Employment and Labor Law Committee, and I served for 2 years as Co-Chair of the Section of Litigation's Solo and Small Firm Committee.  My full bio is at www.seltzerlawfirm.com.  I will not disappoint!

2019 elections candidateD. Jean Veta
Jean Veta, a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, is a current DC Bar Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.  Jean represents financial institutions in government enforcement actions and civil litigation.  A graduate of Newcomb College and Tulane Law School, Jean clerked for Judge Harold H. Greene, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  She served as Deputy Associate Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice during the Clinton administration.  Jean’s active pro bono practice includes defending reproductive rights, D.C.’s marriage equality, and transgender students’ rights. As a current DC Bar Delegate and former leader in the ABA Section of Litigation, Jean has a deep understanding of the House of Delegates.  Jean is committed to advancing the Bar's objectives in the House of Delegates, including improving the administration of justice, enhancing the delivery of legal services to those in need, and advancing diversity in the profession.

ABA House of Delegates Under 36 
(1 vacancy)

2019 elections candidateJosephine Bahn
As an ABA leader, I know the operations of the House, but more importantly, I have established relationships throughout the House, and will work to showcase and advocate for the D.C. Bar community on a national level. Since I joined the ABA my first semester of law school, I have had the honor of serving on the Council for the Section of Legal Education, working to fundraise for the Legal Education Opportunity Scholarship, and in leading a national ABA Young Lawyers initiative, No Limits!, advocating for women lawyers issues. I’ve drafted and advocated resolutions in the House, including for the Uniform Bar Exam in 2016, and for encouraging lactation rooms in courthouses in 2019, among others. I am an attorney with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, serve on several boards in the DC metro area, and just welcomed my first daughter, Ruth Eleanor Jennison, in March.


2019 elections candidateCarter Simpson
Carter, a litigation associate at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, is committed to engaging young lawyers with the D.C. Bar and the ABA. She has served as the Under-36 Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates for the past three years, and as a D.C. delegate to the ABA Young Lawyers Division Assembly since 2014. In 2018, she received a presidential appointment to the ABA House of Delegates' Resolution and Impact Committee. And as the 2016-2017 chair of the YLD Committee on Civil Rights and Social Justice, Carter oversaw the committee’s CLE programming, newsletters, and sponsorship of pertinent ABA resolutions. Carter’s commitment to pro bono work earned her Hunton’s E. Randolph Williams Pro Bono Award in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2019. Carter serves on Hunton’s pro bono committee and is a founding member of its D.C. Women's Initiative. Carter is a graduate of Duke University and Vanderbilt University School of Law.