Record Number of Attorneys Sworn In to the D.C. Bar

December 14, 2017

December 4, 2017 D.C. Court of Appeals swearing in ceremony

In a ceremony on December 4 and another on December 18, 2017, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (DCCA) will swear in a total of over 700 new lawyers to the D.C. Bar.

In 2016, the D.C. Court of Appeals adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) which is accepted by over half of all states. Since adopting the new format, applications for membership to the D.C. Bar have grown exponentially. In July of 2017, nearly 1,200 candidates sat for the bar exam, compared with 700 in July 2016, and 350 in July 2015 (prior to adopting the UBE format). 

With an overall pass rate of 72%, the DCCA’s Committee on Admissions worked tirelessly to review the applications and certify the successful examinees so that they could be sworn-in without delay. “I am so pleased with the Committee’s work in getting this huge number of applicants tested, reviewed, certified and sworn-in. I offer my congratulations to each and every one of the new attorneys – as well as their families, mentors and supporters – on this tremendous accomplishment. I wish them all well – and hope that they keep in mind the importance of pro bono service in seeing that there is access to justice in D.C.,” said D.C. Court of Appeals’ Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby.

Senior Judge John Steadman and Associate Judges Phyllis Thompson and John Fisher welcomed the newest members to D.C. Bar in the ceremonial courtroom of the Historic Courthouse on December 4. In her welcoming remarks, Judge Thompson gave a brief history of how the DCCA was established, and reminded the new attorneys to revel in this “significant and momentous occasion.”

Moreover, she encouraged the new admittees to take advantage of the many training opportunities that the D.C. Bar provides, and to be mindful of the need for lawyers to serve the residents of D.C. through pro bono service.

View a live stream of the December 4 ceremony.