Bar Exams, Politics, Technology

Will the DC Bar Soon Be Adding You as a Friend?

Earlier this week, I interviewed Darrell Mottley and Laura Possesky, the two candidates for president-elect of the DC Bar. Motley is a shareholder at Banner Witcoff, LTD, and Possesky is a partner at Gura & Possesky, PLLC.

Running for president-elect of the DC Bar means they are running for president as well, because the president-elect automatically ascends to the presidency after a year. This leadership structure is very common in most bar associations, including the ABA.

I thought this would be valuable for ATL, since many attorneys who read this blog are DC-licensed, regardless of whether they reside in the DC area. Many others are eligible to waive into DC, if they are already licensed in another state or jurisdiction. The process is pretty simple. In order to waive into the DC Bar, one has to do the following:

  • Score at least a 133 on the multistate portion of the of the bar exam;
  • Fill out a lengthy bar application, which you can do online;
  • Not kill anyone; and, most importantly,
  • Pay all applicable fees.

By all indications, this race is anything but a knock-down, drag-out fight. Bush v. Gore this is not. However, it’s what they agree on that’s very telling about the direction the DC Bar will go. It seems the Bar is well on its way to embracing the ways of the World Wide Web…

In the DC Bar, like most of its counterparts, you have to actually win two elections to become president. First, you have to submit your resume and interview with the nominations committee. After that, the committee meets in private as a conclave, performs some wizardry and hocus-pocus-like rituals — which I hear include everything from pulling names out of a hat to sacrificing a baby goat — and then finally burns all the resumes submitted, sending out white smoke from the top of the DC Bar headquarters to signal that they have finally selected two candidates worthy of running for president-elect. Only then have the two candidates earned the right to face judgment by its members.

“I think the nominations committee selected both of us to run because we both worked on putting together the DC Bar’s Strategic Plan,” said Possesky. “And the plan can’t get executed by itself.”

Roughly two years ago, the DC Bar put together a strategic plan to chart the association’s future. Part of that plan focuses heavily on implementing technology to reach out to its members.

“As a Bar we have something like 93,000 members,” said Mottley. “It’s essential that we make use of social media tools to reach out to them.”

Both were adamant about moving the DC Bar to the Web 2.0 world.  Mottley mentioned possibly making use of LinkedIn. Possesky is a fan of Twitter, but she also cautioned that she would work with the Bar to “strike a balance” in finding which tools would work best for the Bar.

They are no strangers to online media: Motley has already put together a webinar for the DC Bar as Chair of the Council on Sections. He also has a campaign website and twitter page. Possesky also has a  campaign website, with links to her Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter accounts, as well as a blog about her running.

If you are a DC Bar member, you can make use of online tools too, by voting before June 4th deadline.

Gabe Acevedo is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and the owner of the e-discovery blog He also writes on legal technology and discovery issues for Above The Law. He can be reached at

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