Meet the Candidate: Charles C. Lemley

March 28, 2019

The D.C. Bar’s 2019 General Election runs from April 30 to May 24. Voting will be held exclusively online. Eligible voters also will receive election ballots for their D.C. Bar Communities.

Results of the election will be announced on the Bar’s website and during the 2019 Celebration of Leadership, which includes the Bar’s Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting, on June 11 at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

Below, get to know Charles C. Lemley, one of two candidates running for D.C. Bar president-elect for the 2019–2020 term. The president-elect serves for one year before becoming president, and then continues in office a third year as immediate past president.


2019 President Elect CandidateCharles C. Lemley is a partner at Wiley Rein LLP where he represents clients in a variety of civil litigation matters, focusing primarily on professional liability coverage and malpractice litigation in federal and state courts. He also has significant experience in litigation, arbitration, and mediation of disputes.

Lemley served for eight years as co-chair and chair of Wiley Rein’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which, among other accomplishments, developed and implemented two strategic diversity plans that resulted in strengthened relationships with law schools and minority bar associations as well as greater opportunities for diverse attorneys.

A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of North Florida, Lemley previously was an associate at Gardner, Carton & Douglas LLP where he specialized in technology-related litigation, and prior to that, he was director of programs of the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation.

Lemley served as a member of the D.C. Bar Litigation Section Steering Committee from 2004 to 2010 and as chair of the Limited Scope Working Group, a joint project of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Committee and the D.C. Access to Justice Commission, from 2013 to 2014. The Working Group recommended changes to court rules and to the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct to facilitate limited scope representation.

If elected, Lemley says one of the assets he would bring to the position is his ability to “know how and when to listen.”

“We’ve all been in groups or organizations that were ‘chaired’ in reverse because the chair started making assignments and setting priorities without first taking the time to listen and learn what the group already had and where it needed help. That’s not a leader, [that’s] an anchor,” he says. “I’ve found that there is an amazing pool of talent in this Bar, and my job will be to listen to them, learn where they’re strong and where they need help, provide assistance or guidance where they need it, and get out of their way when they’ve got it under control.”

Lemley says his first priority would be to serve the Bar and its members. “That means I need to learn about their key initiatives first so I don’t set an agenda that ends up being a brick wall to progress,” he says.

If given the opportunity to serve as president-elect, Lemley says he will work to advance inclusion and diversity in the legal profession. “My agenda would include exploring pipeline diversity education opportunities with the help of people who know more about it than I do,” Lemley says.

He would also like to focus on how the Bar can most appropriately serve the needs of small law firms and solo practitioners. “If I am elected, I plan to spend time during the president-elect year getting to know more about the needs of small firms and solo practitioners to find out whether the Bar is giving them what they need and if there are things that we can do to serve them better. If I find opportunities for improvement, they’ll be on the agenda for the year as president,” he adds.

Lemley has written several articles and commentaries for bar association journals and other legal publications over the years, and has extensive experience preparing and presenting continuing legal education materials at industry seminars, client training sessions, and in-house programs.

Lemley has been an adjunct professor at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School since 2002 and a mock trial coach at Georgetown University Law Center since 2005.