Since the 1980s, alumni continue to find new ways to shape, improve, and leave their mark at the D.C. Bar.
The District of Columbia Bar (D.C. Bar) has sworn in Patrick McGlone, JD '86, as president for the 2017-2018 term. Mr. McGlone is the 46th president of the D.C. Bar and joins a long list of GW Law alumni who have also served as president. The organization is the second-largest unified bar in the country.
Mr. McGlone, who serves as Ullico's senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer, assumed the office after a ceremony at the organization's "Celebration of Leadership" Awards Dinner and Annual Meeting on June 14, 2017. At the dinner, Annamaria Steward, JD '99, of the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, gave her final speech as outgoing D.C. Bar president and passed on the gavel of leadership to Mr. McGlone. He recently shared that, as president, he is looking forward to engaging more of his fellow in-house counsel in contributing their skills to the community through pro bono work.
Since the 1980s, many alumni and members of the law school have taken a lead and shaped the organization in a variety of ways. One notable alum, Suzanne V. Richards, JD '58, was an active member in the Bar for over 40 years, and in 1989, made history when she was elected as the first woman president. In an announcement, she was regarded as "a selfless and tireless mentor, leader, and role model for women and minorities in the District of Columbia."
GW Law caught up with a few alumni who have served as president, and they discussed their contributions within the organization and shared their thoughts on the law school's long-lasting connection to the Bar.
Andrea Ferster, JD '84, was the president from 2013-2014. During her tenure, she began a community-wide discussion about the need to address the legal problems faced by people who earn too much to qualify for free legal services but not enough to afford to hire a lawyer—and the role lawyers can play to address this gap by providing "low bono," (i.e., reduced fee and legal services) to modest means individuals. That effort, Ms. Ferster said, has now born fruit in the creation of several initiatives, including the D.C. Reduced Fee Lawyer and Mediator Referral Service, a new organization that she co-chairs, which has recently launched an online directory of reduced fee lawyers. As for her time as president, she said that being able to serve in that capacity was a significant "highlight" in her career.
Those who are involved with the organization support its mission and find ways to improve the legal system. According to an announcement, "At the core of the Bar's mission is the charge to not only assist members but to protect the public … Since its inception the Bar has kept a fundamental commitment to protect the integrity of the profession."
Under Darrell Mottley's, JD '00, leadership, the D.C. Bar entered into the era of social media, and this led the organization to find new ways to communicate with its members. The first blog, DC Bar Voices, launched when he served as president. "I was pleased to start the blog with a post on pro bono service," he said. He served as president from 2011-2012. During Mr. Mottley's term, he supported the organization's pro bono efforts with service in various clinics in the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. He dedicated his time to get more lawyers involved in Bar service as well as in pro bono service in the District. Mr. Mottley described his time as president as "rewarding" and added that many alumni tend to stay in the D.C. area not only for their career, but because they also want to "give back" to the community.
Joan H. Strand, Professor Emeritus in Residence of Clinical Law and JD '75, served as president from 1999-2000. Professor Strand believes that GW Law has a strong connection to the organization because public service is an important value stressed by the law school. "I think that many of us who teach at GW Law want students to recognize that beyond getting jobs and repaying loans, lawyers have a responsibility to give back to the community and that there are many ways to do that," she said. "Taking on leadership roles in the Bar is another way to fulfill that obligation."
Additional Participation in the D.C. Bar
1982-83: Jacob A. Stein - Class of '48; GW Law Professorial Lecturer in Law
1990-91: Sara-Ann Determan - Class of '67
1991-92: James Robertson - Class of '65
1978-79: Robert L. Weinberg - GW Law Professorial Lecturer in Law
1996-97: Myles V. Lynk - GW Law Visiting Professor