Upcoming Events

Surviving on a Public Interest Salary (Rescheduled Date)

February 09, 2016
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

District of Columbia Court of Appeals
430 E Street, N.W., Second Floor, Courtroom 1
Washington, DC

Are you considering a public interest career?

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GWAC BINGO: Valentine's Edition

February 13, 2016
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Washington Center for Aging Services
2601 18th St., N.E.,
Washington, DC 20018

Let's Spread Some Love!

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28th Annual Charlotte E. Ray Award Ceremony

February 24, 2016
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004


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GWAC & WBA Career Fair

February 27, 2016
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Thirteenth Annual Career Fair for Law Students

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Valerie Evans-Harrell 


Valerie Evans-Harrell is a Native New Yorker, who received her B.A. from Hunter College-City University of New York (CUNY) and her JD from The George Washington University Law School.  On October 2, 2015 she was appointed by the Secretary of Labor, The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, to serve as an Alternate Member and Judge for the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB).  She is a member of the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia Bars, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.  She joined GWAC during former GWAC president Grace Speights’ administration, fellow GWU alumnus.

Valerie immediately joined the Community Outreach Committee (COC) and became active in the mentoring program at Malcolm X Elementary School in Anacostia, which was later expanded to a tutorial program under former GWAC president Cheryl Ziegler Ragland.  She tutored for eight years while serving either as a co-chair or chair of COC, during various administrations.  She represented GWAC for approximately 18 years on the Resident Community Advisory Board (RCAB), which was formerly the 501 (c)(3) charitable arm for the Washington Center for Aging Services (WCAS) in Northeast, DC.  During this time she was instrumental in GWAC’s active participation in fundraising ventures to purchase buses, planters containing non-toxic dirt, and other needed items to improve the quality of life for WCAS residents.  Valerie continues to serve as co-chair of COC, focusing on the WCAS portion.

Valerie has also served as recording secretary for GWAC Foundation, Inc. and actively participated in the early days of the annual auction.

Valerie is a proud Life Member of both, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the NAACP.  She and husband Durand Harrell, who is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., will celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary in March of this year.  She is also the proud Mother of high schooler DuVal Evans Harrell, who has been assisting with “Bingo Nights” at WCAS since he was about 4 years old.


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2015-2016 Networking Reception Video

Reception Pictures

40th Anniversary Tea

2015 Charlotte E. Ray Award Reception honoring Kirra L. Jarratt

Greetings!  I am extremely humbled to serve as your President for the 2015-2016 bar year.  GWAC was founded on the principles of community engagement and improving opportunities for African American women in the legal profession.  My predecessors all worked extremely hard to ensure that this organization continued to thrive and impact the lives of those in and beyond the Greater Washington D.C. area; thus, I do not take my position lightly.  As a proud graduate of Howard University School of Law, it goes without saying that I was trained to appreciate the critical role of the black lawyer.  We cannot simply be comfortable in using our law degrees to be strictly litigators, professors, analysts, lobbyists, and/or politicians. Instead, if you are not already aware, I challenge you to understand that our purpose is much greater.  We are social engineers, called to influence and educate not just our fellow practitioners but, more importantly, to advance the causes of African Americans as a whole.  

In addition, here in the District of Columbia, Charlotte E. Ray made history by passing the bar exam and becoming the nation’s first African American woman lawyer.  To this end, we must not overlook the unique bond we share as black women.  I was once asked whether there is a need for an organization like GWAC, and why, since black women hold positions in many D.C.-Metro area bar associations.  Undeterred, I immediately realized that I was being given an opportunity to not only educate this particular individual but to substantiate the importance of my esteemed association. No matter how lucrative and straightforward even the most successful black woman lawyer's career path has been, undoubtedly, there are certain experiences that she has distinctively shared with all other black women in this profession. Thus, it is imperative that we continue to advance and protect our interests through educational programming, networking, service, and similar opportunities.  

My goals this bar year include fostering GWAC’s continued presence in the D.C. legal community, working closely alongside our parent organization, the National Bar Association and our fellow affiliate, the Washington Bar Association, promoting a significant amount of resources and relevant programing to members from all stages of the profession, and actively interacting and serving our community. I am always accessible and encourage you to reach out with any questions, ideas, and/or concerns for purposes of making this bar year successful. Finally, please encourage your colleagues, family members, and friends to join GWAC or renew their membership.  The support of the legal community has been a significant factor in keeping GWAC a constant, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Warmest Regards, 

 Brandes S. G. Ash, President, 2015-2016

Join Now!!

We would love for you to be part of our organization.  We have several career, social, and professional development events planned for this year.  Remember, membership has its advantages, such as access to the GWAC job bank and an invitation to some of our signature events.

We hope you consider joining our organization. Regular Membership is $65, Graduate Membership is $30 (graduated within the past two years), and Student Membership is $15.