Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight


The District of Columbia Bar. While headquartered in our nation's capital, our members span the world, reaching all 50 states and more than 80 countries. From Atlanta to Seoul from Switzerland to San Juan, our work as attorneys, professors, judges, business owners, advocates, and even as chefs and artists, pull us together in a shared global legal community.

We give voice to those who struggle to be heard. We help invigorate our towns and innovate ways to advance our professions. We practice law. We teach. We learn. 


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Jennifer Maisel  Jennifer Maisel 

Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C.

A lawyer who chooses a career path inside a boxing gym might be seen as a bit pugilistic. But Jennifer Maisel, an associate with the intellectual property firm Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck, P.C., is actually a soft-spoken, careful IP attorney with a background in engineering and cyberspace. Maisel says "I discovered cyberspace law and thought, Hey, there aren’t many people who can really bridge that gap between engineering, technology, and law."


Read more about Jennifer.








Michele ZavosMichele Zavos

Managing Partner and Founder, Zavos Juncker Law Group, PLLC 

Throughout her career, Michele Zavos has witnessed monumental societal change, working during the height of the AIDS crisis and at the forefront of LGBT issues and family law. Read about more about her experiences.

 

Read more about Michele. 










Sirine ShebayaSirine Shebaya

Senior Staff Attorney, Muslim Advocates

Not that there's anything wrong with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University, but for Sirine Shebaya, today a senior staff attorney with the advocacy group Muslim Advocates, she realized she "wanted to be working with people and having an immediate impact."


Read more about Sirine. 










Herbert Dubin

Herbert Dubin

Solo Practitioner

As Herbert Dubin tells it, he went to law school to “delay the decision of going into the military—there was a draft at the time—or doing something else in my life.” Now 77, Dubin has been in solo practice since 1983 and still loves the different challenges of practicing law.


Read more about Herbert.












Jade Wu

Jade Wu

Author, Flash Points: Lessons Learned and Not Learned in Malawi, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Rule-of-law expert Jade Wu remembers speaking to a group of judges, criminal defense attorneys and policemen in Afghanistan and being asked, "Did your husband give you permission to be here?" Read about how Wu has learned to navigate cultural differences to make a difference abroad.


Read more about Jade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claudio Gnocchi and Paolo Gnocchi

Claudio Gnocchi and Paolo Gnocchi

Law Office of Paolo Gnocchi, LLC

Immigrants—documented and undocumented—often have a hard time in court. English is often not their first language, misunderstandings are rife, and sometimes what appears to be a small mistake can lead to deportation. Read about father-and-son attorneys Claudio Gnocchi and Paolo Gnocchi, who have seen all this in their criminal defense and immigration practice.


Read more about Claudio and Paolo. 











Bryan WebsterBryan Webster 

Microsoft Corporation 

Bryan Webster was sitting at a bar in Seattle after a job interview, thinking it was for a position in Washington, D.C., where he lived at the time. His phone went off. The job was his. He packed up his things and headed west. Today, Webster is a senior attorney at Microsoft.

Read more about Bryan. 





Greer Family

Sharra Greer

Children's Law Center 

When Sharra Greer first met her wife D’Arcy Kemnitz, they got into a “heated” conversation about the Millennium March on Washington in 2000. Nearly 20 years later, they now have two beautiful children and incredible careers fighting for social justice, from repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to aiming for open transgender military service.

 

Read more about Sharra.









Kathleen Mueller, Sidley Austin LLP

Kathleen Mueller

Sidley Austin, LLP

Lawyers who are looking for a work-life balance plus a flourishing career might start by looking at what Kathleen Moriarty Mueller, counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, has done. 



Read more about Kathleen.











Thomas Lenz, senior partner at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Thomas Lenz

Senior Partner, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo


When Thomas Lenz, senior partner at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, decided to focus on labor law, he was told it was a "dead area." Undeterred, he has gone on to have a nearly three-decade career handling labor and employment law issues.


Read more about Thomas.









Vanessa Sophir

Vanessa Sophir

Attorney, Hamlin Law Group


As the D.C. Bar celebrates Mother’s Day, we spotlight Vanessa Sophir, a former public defender who took a 10-year break to raise her three children before getting “back in the game.”


Read more about Vanessa.










Mike Allen

Michael Allen

Senior Corporate Counsel, Nordstrom, Inc.


Allen has an intricate life story—he’s a family man with close ties to his sister’s children, a lawyer who chose the law after an epiphany in Jamaica, and a political junkie who had the courage to quit jobs and work for candidates he believed in. 


Read more about Mike.









Jim MarkwithJim Markwith

Cofounder, Symons Markwith LLP


When Markwith, cofounder of Symons Markwith LLP, graduated college, he had two choices: law school or flight school. Learn how he went from Navy pilot to technology and intellectual property attorney. 


Read more about Jim.









Dennis ArcherDennis Archer 

Chairman emeritus, Dickison Wright PLLC (Detroit)


By all standards, Archer, a D.C. Bar member since its founding in 1972, has had quite the career. Michigan Supreme Court judge, two-term mayor of Detroit, first African American president of the ABA, a strong believer in giving back. 



Read more about Dennis














Shannon NashShannon Nash

Vice President of Finance, Cumulus Media


Never let it be said that Nash passes up an opportunity to do something a little different. The lawyer, tax specialist, certified public accountant, and entrepreneur—who started her career in D.C. law firms—has taken her peripatetic life and fashioned it into a series of jobs and other ventures.  



Read more about Shannon. 










Keith  Harper-CroppedKeith M. Harper 

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP


After years working as U.S. representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Keith Harper has returned to private practice at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. Harper made history in 2014 by becoming the first Native American to hold the rank of U.S. ambassador. 





Read more about Keith. 



Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson  

Litigation attorney 


Johnson says, “If you crack a door open, I’ll kick it open.” And kick he did, launching a career full of firsts, including being the first African American president of the Maryland State Bar Association and first African American partner at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston. Read more about his life, work, and the cases that changed him. 



Read more about Harry.









Judge Harry StormJudge Harry Storm 

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge 


Storm, a D.C. Bar member and former principal in the Bethesda law firm Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chartered, talks to the Bar about a range of topics from the importance of civility in the practice of law to his view from the bench. 



Read more about Harry.










Timothy Hester

Timothy C. Hester        Play video

Covington & Burling LLP
Antitrust litigation

"My proudest moment as a lawyer came when I was able to successfully argue for a last-minute stay of execution for a client in Florida who was getting his head shaved and being prepared to be strapped into the electric chair. It was very tense, very harrowing. When we secured the stay, it was incredible—a very emotional moment."

 

Read more about Tim







Monty Cooper

 Monty Cooper

 Sedgwick LLP
 Complex civil litigation, 10 years


"I'm chair of the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George's [in] Maryland, and we've been in the process of redeveloping an old low-income housing complex in Glenarden. I often think about what the area will look like 20 years from now—a whole community and a new generation of people will live and thrive there. It's an exhilarating experience."


Read more about Monty.








Elina-Hum

Elina Hum          Play video

 Hum Law Firm, PLLC
 Tax law, 33 years                                       

"I was fortunate to be unfortunate in having difficulty in finding a job after law school in 1982, when there were very few opportunities for public interest work, which is my passion. I had to pound the pavement, knock on doors, and steel myself against rejection to work my way to my first full-time job as a lawyer. It is not very different for me today when I have to seize every opportunity to gain a client's trust and compete for interesting work."

Read more about Elina.                                            



Regina-deMeo

Regina DeMeo   

 Law Office of Regina A. DeMeo
 Family law, 17 years


"When I began practicing, I was very clinical in my work. I viewed all of my cases like a surgeon dealing with a cancerous growth. The shift for me was going through my own divorce in 2005, where I experienced the emotions of litigation firsthand. That experience made me pay more attention to my client's feelings, learn collaborative divorce strategies like mediation training, and become a more effective and caring family law attorney."


Read more about Regina. 


 

Jill-Yu

Jill Yu

 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and 
 White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders



"I assisted in starting the D.C. chapter of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association. Our community isn't aware that there are Filipino American attorneys available to serve them; our issues and identity get swept under the 'Asian American' umbrella, and that drives me to organize and help [our community] become more visible. We're a small but mighty group."


Read more about Jill.




David-Calabrese

 Dave Calabrese

  Daikin U.S. Corporation
  Government affairs, 14 Years

"I became interested in the legal profession because as a nonlawyer I always enjoyed getting into the minutae of regulations and laws. I find it exciting! I like to be the person who people rely upon for answers to complicated questions. In Washington, if you're knowledgeable on topical issues and related laws and regulations, you become a valuable commodity and the go-to person on certain topics or issues."


Read more about Dave. 


 



Andrew-Dye

 Andrew C. Dye

 Webster Chamberlain & Bean LLP
 Nonprofit law, 3 years

 

 "I had worked in many different career fields before choosing to go to law school, and each of those jobs touched on the legal world in some way. On the Hill, I learned abut drafting bills; while working for the Friends of the National Arboretum, I studied fundraising issues and regulations for nonprofits; in real estate, I encountered zoning and property laws; and as a waiter, I witnessed alcohol violations. Seeing the vast reach of the legal world inspired me to understand law."


Read more about Andrew.

 

 

Naza-Shelley

Naza N. Shelley

 Attorney Advisor
 Office of the General Counsel, D.C. Public Service Commission


"[After] law school, an unexpected opportunity came to teach abroad. Initially I was reluctant. Professional, I thought it was a step back. But I took a chance and spent a year teaching English in China. I'm glad I did! It opened my eyes to a radically different culture, I gained invaluable life experience, and the time away from the legal profession really helped bring balance and perspective back into my life."

Read more about Naza.





Greg-Lipper

Gregory Lipper

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
Civil rights/civil liberties litigation, 11 years


"My first courtroom hearing was in a pro bono asylum case on behalf of a journalist and that journalist's family. I had to show that [they] would be in serious danger if they returned to their home country. Ultimately, the judge granted relief to my client. The experience was thrilling but nerve-racking, especially because the stakes were so high."


Read more about Greg.







Miriam-Valoy

 Miriam A. Valoy

 Miriam A. Valoy, PLLC
 Real property litigation and landlord and tenant law, 13 years



"After experiencing my own real estate loss during the financial crisis and getting laid off, I signed up for an Outward Bound wilderness expedition. I came out of that feeling empowered, ad I started my own practice. I was my first client and I learned a lot about real estate law, which I now use to help others. I was fortunate to have been able to turn these obstacles into opportunities."

Read more about Miriam.