Upcoming Events

National Bar Association - Constitution Day

September 17, 2014
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM

District of Columbia Schools

Washington, DC

Volunteer to teach our youth!

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9th Annual Region XII BBQ: Chillin= and Grillin=!

September 20, 2014
3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

The Lightfoot Residence
1609 Kalmia Road, NW
Washington, DC 20012

Please join us!

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Sistas in the Law: A Networking Mixer and Happy Hour

October 16, 2014
5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

The Front Page
1333 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC

Please join us!

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GWAC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

October 26, 2014
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Afternoon Tea
Washington, DC

Please save the date.

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National Bar Association 90th Annual Convention

July 18, 2015
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Register Now!

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September Member Spotlight


Judge Fern Flanagan Saddler


We are proud to have D.C. Superior Court Judge Fern Flanagan Saddler presiding over the 2014-2015 GWAC Officer Installation Ceremony on Thursday, September 11, 2014.  

President George W. Bush appointed Fern Flanagan Saddler to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia as an Associate Judge in 2003.  Judge Saddler is the daughter of the late Thomas Earl Flanagan, Sr. and the late Marjorie Brooks Flanagan. After graduating from high school she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976 from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. After college, Judge Saddler attended Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 1979.

Upon graduation from law school, Judge Saddler was an attorney at the general practice law firm of Mitchell, Shorter & Gartrell where she was involved in trial and appellate work in local and federal courts in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In 1984, Judge Saddler became an Assistant Bar Counsel for the District of Columbia Office of Bar Counsel where she investigated and prosecuted complaints of attorney misconduct.  Beginning in 1988, Judge Saddler served as a Senior Staff Attorney for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals where she supervised staff attorneys and law clerks. From July 1990 through January 1991, she was the Acting Chief Deputy Clerk at the District of Columbia Court Appeals.  From 1991 to 2003, Judge Saddler served as a Magistrate Judge (formerly known as Hearing Commissioner) of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, where she presided over thousands of matters in the Criminal, Civil, and Family Court Divisions of the court.

Throughout her professional career, Judge Saddler has been active in many bar associations and numerous professional and community organizations, including: the Washington Bar Association; the Women’s Bar Association; the National Association of Women Judges; the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women’s Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (GWAC); and the Charlotte E. Ray American Inn of Court.

Judge Saddler is married to Reverend Dr. Paul Harvey Saddler. He is the Pastor of Twelfth Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Washington, D.C.  



Please click here to view pictures from our 2013-2014 Judicial Reception.


Welcome!  This is the official website of the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association (GWAC).  It is a very exciting time, as we are celebrating our 40th year anniversary.  I am humbled and honored to serve as President for the 2014-2015 bar year.  My priorities are as follows:

1. Increase Pro Bono Service
Providing legal services pro bono is integral to the success of our justice system.  I became a lawyer to help the poor.  I believe it is imperative that every person who walks through the courthouse doors has access to affordable legal representation.  I plan for GWAC to partner with local legal services organizations to ensure that we do our part to contribute to this critical need.

2.  Strengthen Region XII
I plan for GWAC to work closely with the Washington Bar Association to foster more collaboration between our respective organizations.

3.  Connect with our seasoned, esteemed members
I am pleased to announce that we recently amended our bylaws to establish a Past President Advisory Council.  The Council consists of past GWAC presidents who serve as an expert resource and provide support, guidance, and assistance as needed.

GWAC is comprised of very strong, dynamic women who are changing the world.  I am confident that we will achieve these three ambitious goals with ease.

In closing, please feel free to contact me.  I welcome your feedback and look forward to you joining our membership

Thank you!

Melanie Bates
GWAC President