D.C. Bar Communities (formerly Sections)

Frequently Asked Questions

MEMBERSHIP 

1. Are the membership benefits the same in the new Communities as they were for members of Sections?

a. The Sections experience has been re-envisioned with expanded member benefits and opportunities to grow your network while maintaining focus on practice-specific career development. For only $79, you will receive:  

  • Two FREE On-Demand CLE courses 
  • The ability to join up to THREE Communities 
  • FREE remote access to your Communities’ live events  
  • FREE access to most of your Communities’ in-person events 
  • A discount on the annual D.C. Practice Manual 

The total of the enhanced member benefits is valued at over $425.  

2. As someone who is not a D.C. Bar member, could I join the new Communities? 

a. Yes, you do not have to be a D.C. Bar member to join Communities. There is a slightly higher fee for those who are not Bar members who wish to join D.C. Bar Communities. The membership dues for D.C. Bar members is $79; the subscriber fee for other individuals is $119. If you have not already done so, you will need to create an account at www.dcbar.org. Once you have established an account, you can join the Communities through your profile.  

3. How does the new Communities Program affect my Sections membership status? 

a. Beginning July 1, 2017, your payment of $79 dues will give you the opportunity to join and/or renew up to three Communities in practice areas that you identify. There are 20 Communities covering the same practice areas that were available to Sections members.  

4. I have been called a Section member. Of what would I be a member going forward? 

a. As of July 1, 2017, you will be a member of D.C. Bar Communities. 

5. How do I register for my free programs (CLE on-demand and Communities events)? 

a. Starting July 1, 2017, you may register for your free programs by logging into your member profile and selecting the eligible courses and events that interest you. For programs and events that are not CLE courses, preregistration is required. 

6. Are there any limitations to which CLE courses I would be able to take? 

a. Yes. The free offer would be for two on-demand courses (not to exceed three credit hours each) from the CLE online library. Live CLE courses are not included.  

7. I joined Sections because of a great series. Would I be able to sign up for these for free? 

a. To register for series programming for free as a Communities member, you would need to register during the Community member registration period prior to the program, based on space availability. To get free access to series programming, a member can sign up for each event separately through the individual registration process when it becomes available online. To register for all series sessions in a bundle, a fee will apply. 

8. How long will I have to take advantage of the free on-demand CLE courses? 

a. The offer is available throughout the membership year (July 1, 2017–June 30, 2018). 

9. If I were to join and/or renew three Communities, does that mean that I will get more emails? 

a. You would only get emails about the activities in the Communities to which you belong. You may log into your member account to adjust your preferences on email notifications relevant to your Communities.  

VOLUNTEERS & LEADERSHIP 

1. I am an elected member of a steering committee. Will my term continue now that I am in Communities? 

a. If your term on a steering committee of a former Section has not expired, you will continue serving on that steering committee in the new Communities. Through attrition, as terms expire, each steering committee will be reduced to five persons.  

2. What will happen to community outreach projects? 

a. Community outreach projects will continue to be organized based on the history of the events, and community partnerships will continue. 

3. How can I plan a program?  

a. Program planners/organizers should first contact the Communities Office staff for information on how to submit a program proposal online for approval. Proposals are accessible on the Bar’s website under the Communities tab. Staff and/or Communities program planners/organizers will then work together to set the program up.  

4. I have programs pending. Would I continue to plan them? 

a. Yes. Any pending programs would remain on the Communities calendar, and D.C. Bar staff would continue to assist program planners. The staff would continue to handle the administrative and logistics planning. 

5. How will I get involved in the new leadership opportunities? 

a. There are many leadership opportunities in the new Communities. Please apply to communities@dcbar.org to participate in leadership on Communities steering committees or as a program chair for one of the more than 85+ legal topics committees. 

6. Under the new Communities leadership structure, who would be the voice of Communities? 

a. Communities will be coordinated by a new leadership committee called the Communities Committee, which has been appointed by the D.C. Bar Board of Governors.  

7. With the potential for so many practice areas for Communities, how will the Bar ensure that these practice area groups stay cohesive?

a. The Communities have steering committees. With the D.C. Bar staff, they will participate in regular and annual networking events and will plan Communities receptions. Quarterly Community conferences will be held to ensure there is strong communication among the communities. 

8. My section contributed to the updates of the D.C. Practice Manual. What will happen to that contributor role? 

a. The Communities will continue to participate in development of the Practice Manual and make recommendations on authors and needed updates. Anyone interested in participating can submit a statement of interest for consideration to participate in this annual updating process.  

9. Who will create/decide policy of the new Communities? 

a. The new D.C. Bar Communities Committee will submit recommended policies to the Board of Governors for approval.  

10. Who will approve Communities event co-sponsorship? 

a. The new D.C. Bar Communities Committee will establish and approve policies for implementation for programs and activities. 

ECONOMICS & FINANCIALS  

1. What happens to the individual section net assets and future revenues? 

a. To provide the most flexibility going forward for the new Communities, former individual Section net assets are consolidated into one pool. Future revenues and future expenses will contribute to or draw from that pool. 

2. How will the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center or other charitable organizations to which the Sections have been donating be affected if funds are pooled? 

a. The decision to use a different economic model and to pool the net assets does not determine the effect that the Communities’ support may have on the ability to give to the Pro Bono Center. The decision would be made by the Communities Committee with recommendations from practice area community committee and a review of the budget and the financial viability of the Communities overall.