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Venable litigation partners Bill Dolan and Damon Wright were recognized on Saturday, September 27 for their work in support of The Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF). JTBF is an organization formed in 1992 by African American federal judges. With over a hundred federal judges among its members, JTBF's purpose is to reach young people and promote diversity in the legal profession. Its Biennial Conference was held from September 25 to 28 in Washington, D.C.

In addition to serving as Master of Ceremonies at the September 27th JTBF Gala Reception, Bill Dolan put in countless hours over the last year as Co-Chair of JTBF's Development Committee. Working closely with national corporations and law firms, Bill's Committee was able to generate a net return to JTBF in excess of $250,000 in connection with the Biennial Conference. These monies will be used to support important activities including JTBF Law Student Scholarships and the JTBF Legal Institute, a summer program that exposes young people to the legal profession. For its financial commitment, Venable also received prominent recognition as a generous JTBF sponsor.

Damon Wright served as Chair of JTBF's Robes in the Schools Committee, a committee comprised of dozens of federal and state judges, law, college and high school faculty, and area lawyers. After extensive coordination and planning, on Thursday, September 25, over sixty federal and state judges, in groups of three, shared their personal stories with students at eighteen schools and two courthouses across the Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland region. Through the work of Damon's Committee, some two thousand young people heard the judges' inspiring stories of overcoming adversity and likely gained a positive vision of what their future could be. Venable's Ken Slaughter and Claude Bailey also served as moderators at two of the participating schools.

At the JTBF Gala Reception, Venable's name was announced again and again. Numerous federal appellate and district judges from around the country and locally have expressed their gratitude to Bill and Damon for their tireless work and Venable's commitment to JTBF. In the words of Robert Wilkins who attended the JTBF Gala Reception, "What a night! It was just wonderful to hear about JTBF's work and our contribution to it. It could not make me prouder to be a Venable lawyer!"