The D.C. Bar Foundation has named nine Washington-area attorneys as inaugural members of its Young Lawyers Network.
The network aims to provide increased access to justice for D.C. residents by working alongside the Bar Foundation, which is the largest private funder of civil legal services in the District.
Members of the network will serve as liaisons between young lawyers and the Bar group. The nine lawyers will advise its board of directors and committees while working alongside members on grant applications, fundraising efforts and public awareness events.
“I think that we are looking to help develop awareness and knowledge of these issues in tomorrow’s leaders of our legal communities,” said Katia Garrett, the executive director of D.C. Bar Foundation. “We believe that it is very important to understanding the role that legal services play in our community.”
Garrett said that the goal of the network was to bring the next generation of law firm leaders into the fold of the nonprofit. She expects to bring in a second round of members next spring and then another round in about a year. Ultimately, the foundation would like to have 30 members on the network.
“The inaugural members are going to have an interesting and fun time building this ship,” Garrett said.
The inaugural members are María Mendoza, an associate at Brown & Associates; Paul Lee, pro bono administrator at Dechert; Thomas Widor, an associate with Hogan Lovells; Bernardo Piereck, an associate at Kirkland & Ellis; John Matthews II, an associate at Latham & Watkins; Megan Hall, an associate with Mayer Brown; Brian Benko and Joshua Rogaczewski, an associate and partner, respectively, at McDermott Will & Emery; and Thomas Bundy III, a partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.
For the young attorneys involved, it’s an opportunity to be involved with the largest private funder of civil legal services in the district.
“I think everyone knows that there is an acute need for legal services in the district for individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them,” Rogaczewski said. “We want to utilize our talents to give back to the community.”