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D.C. Bar Welcomes First Writers in Residence

October 27, 2020

By Jeremy Conrad

The D.C. Bar has announced the selection of law students Tonée Jones and Lisa Jiron for its inaugural Writers in Residence Program launched this fall. Jones, a 3L at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, and Jiron, a 3L at The George Washington University Law School, will work alongside D.C. Bar staff writers during the duration of the residency, which runs from November 2020 to June 2021.

The Writers in Residence Program, a collaboration between the D.C. Bar’s Communities Office and Communications Department, provides law students a unique opportunity to hone their writing and interviewing skills, earn publication credit, and benefit from one-on-one interactions with attorneys across various practice areas. The writers in residence are expected to produce content for the Bar’s multimedia channels, including its award-winning flagship publication, Washington Lawyer magazine. 

“We started this program in order to provide our Law Student Community members with the opportunity to merge their creativity with their legal education. We are excited to have Lisa and Tonée on board and look forward to their contributions to the inaugural Writer’s in Residence Program,” said Candace Smith-Tucker, director of Communities.

Tonee JonesJones currently works as a paralegal specialist at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division. At UDC, she has served as the Student Bar Association class senator, as a legal writing mentor, and as a teacher’s assistant for multiple courses. She has produced videos on a variety of legal topics using humorous skits to illustrate legal principles and to demystify legal processes. Through her work with the UDC Law Juvenile and Special Education Clinic, she has helped produce videos about the criminalization of non-criminal acts by students and juveniles, as well as a flyer for parents of students with disabilities to better understand their rights under COVID.  

Previously focused on public service, Jones said that lately she’s been thinking about how improving the public’s understanding of the tax system could produce positive social change. “It’s important for people who aren’t savvy about the law, who haven’t gone to law school or taken a class, to know what the laws are,” Jones said. “Like a lot of people, I simply hated tax because I didn’t know what it was.” Jones is expected to graduate in May 2021 and is considering pursuing an LLM in tax law.

Jiron’s experience pitching and drafting content was evident in her application to the Writers in Residence Lisa JironProgram, and her writing has already impacted the District’s legal discourse. Over the past year and a half, Jiron has worked with retired D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert Dixon Jr., assisting him with drafting articles for the American Bar Association’s quarterly publication The Judges’ Journal. Jiron also previously interned with D.C. Superior Court Judges Shelly Mulkey and Jorge Vila, served as a congressional intern, and worked as both a volunteer and intern on national political campaigns.

Currently a legal intern at the Financial Services Institute, Jiron is interested in financial regulation, particularly in banking and securities, and intends to pursue work with a government agency or trade organization. 

This academic year she has been juggling law school, her internship at the Financial Services Institute, and extracurricular activities, noting that the ability to work remotely has made it easier to meet her obligations. Also on her plate is preparation for motherhood. “I’m an expecting law student. I actually just started telling people,” she said.

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