Washington, DC—Annamaria Steward, Associate Dean of Students at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) and incoming President of the District of Columbia Bar has been featured in the June issue of Washington Lawyer magazine.
The Q&A with Jeffrey Leon details Dean Steward's structured upbringing in a military family, her relentless work ethic which contributed to a position at Jack H. Olender & Associates, P.C., and her bold, steadfast leadership as the first African-American female president of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia (BADC).
While serving on the board of BADC with UDC-DCSL Dean Shelley Broderick, Dean Steward oversaw the 50th Anniversary of BADC's integration:
"This was an important milestone, but there had never been an apology to lawyers of color for the previous segregation and its impact. More specifically, for decades the BADC owned the only law library in the city. If you were not a BADC member, you could not access the law library. Without the key materials needed to practice, many African American lawyers had to pursue other careers.
The BADC was integrated in 1956, and in 2006 Shelley, Mr. Olender, and I wrote an apology to lawyers for failing to integrate sooner. This was modeled after the 2005 congressional apology for failing to enact federal anti-lynching legislation. It was important and necessary to recognize the impact of discriminatory practices on lawyers of color and note how far the organization had come. That year, at the Annual BADC Luncheon, the apology was presented to many lawyers who were alive and impacted by the practice. It was a powerful day for all involved.
A couple of years later, Shelley reached out to me to apply for the associate dean of students position at [the law school]. She cited my leadership on the apology, my work within the Young Lawyers Section and the BADC, and my legal experience. When I asked her what the job entailed, she responded, 'Everything you are currently doing in your spare time.' She was right."