News

D.C. Bar Operating Status During Coronavirus Outbreak: A Shift to Remote Work

March 26, 2020

Amid growing health and safety concerns around the coronavirus disease, the D.C. Bar has decided to take precautionary measures to protect our members, our staff, and the community we serve.

The D.C. Bar headquarters is currently closed and will not be able to receive Bar members or guests. There will be no onsite meetings until further notice. Bar staff are working remotely, with preliminary plans to return Wednesday, July 1.

Please see below how the D.C. Bar, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and the Board on Professional Responsibility will continue to serve you.

Member Services

Staff are working remotely. During this time, Member Services will accept only electronic requests for Certificates of Good Standing. Production of all printed certificate orders is temporarily suspended. Orders for the electronic delivery of certificates should still be placed online by logging into your member account.

The Member Connection Suite will be unavailable for use.

If you require assistance regarding your membership, our staff is available to assist during normal business hours by email at [email protected] or by phone at 202-626-3475.

Attorney/Client Arbitration Board

Staff will continue to respond to all inquiries from parties and prospective consumers of the program by phone and email. Electronic filings will be accepted and submissions by mail, while potentially slightly delayed, will also be accepted and reviewed. The ACAB can be reached at [email protected] or 202-780-2779. Whenever possible, arbitration hearings and mediation sessions will continue to be held remotely either by conference call or video conferencing. When necessary, hearings and mediations may be postponed until in-person hearings can be held.

Clients’ Security Fund

Staff will continue to respond to all inquiries about claims for reimbursement and claims will be processed as they normally would. Staff can be reached at [email protected] or 202-780-2780. The Trustees will continue to meet and act on claims. Approved reimbursements will be mailed to claimants directly from SunTrust Bank.

CLE

Most classes are postponed, but a few may be conducted online. Individuals who have registered for CLE classes should call the CLE Program at 202-626-3488 or email [email protected] for more information.

Communities

The Communities Office will be available to offer services remotely. While many programs have been postponed, some will be offered as virtual events and the Bar’s website should be consulted frequently for the most up-to-date status of programs. For questions about programs, please call 202-626-3463 or email [email protected]; for questions about registration/cancellations, email [email protected].

Lawyer Assistance Program

The LAP will be returning phone calls and responding to emails as usual. To speak to an LAP counselor, please call our confidential line at 202-347-3131 or email [email protected]. All LAP client sessions will be offered through a secure and free telemedical video conferencing platform that will be made available to new and current LAP clients. All scheduled LAP outreach events will take place as scheduled unless cancelled by the requesting organization or law school. LAP staff and volunteers may be able to conduct some outreach events via video conferencing at the request of the organization or law school if the organization or law school provides this capability.

Legal Ethics Program

The Legal Ethics Helpline is fully operational with ethics counsel available by phone at 202-737-4700, ext. 1010, or email at [email protected] to address inquiries.

Practice Management Advisory Service

PMAS is open for business, but live programs and in-person assessments at the D.C. Bar are on hold until the Bar reopens. Reach the PMAS at [email protected] or the practice management advisors:

Pro Bono Center

Staff are working remotely, available by email and telephone to provide the legal information and advice that the community relies on.

The Advice & Referral Clinic scheduled for Saturday, April 11, in both Shaw and Anacostia has been canceled.

The Landlord Tenant Resource Center and Consumer Law Resource Centers at D.C. Superior Court will remain closed through May 15. Some services are being provided by telephone. LawHelp.org/DC offers free legal information and resources, including a list of organizations providing legal services to D.C. residents and their current status. The Pro Bono Center is updating the site daily with COVID-19 legal resources.

The Legal Information Help Line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People seeking legal help can call 202-626-3499 for basic information in English, Spanish, Amharic, and French on more than 30 legal topics; finding an attorney; and free legal services available in the District.

Pro Bono training events in March have been canceled. Some April training events will be offered remotely. For more information, email [email protected].

The Nonprofit and Small Business Legal Assistance Programs have transitioned to serving clients remotely. For more information, email [email protected].

To make a contribution to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center to help meet the legal needs of low-income D.C. residents during this emergency, visit www.dcbar.org/pro-bono.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 202-780-2734.

Office of Disciplinary Counsel

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel is CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC and our staff is working remotely with some modifications to how services are provided. For more information, visit Attorney Discipline, call (202) 638-1501 or email [email protected].

Board on Professional Responsibility

BPR staff are working remotely. For attorney discipline cases, please visit https://www.dcbar.org/attorney-discipline/index.cfm.

For all other Bar operations-related inquiries, please direct them to the D.C. Bar Communications Office at [email protected].

The Bar recognizes that this is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will continue to provide updates as things change.

For the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak and for information on how to protect yourself, please visit the CDC website.