Issue 1, Year 2009-2010
EXECUTIVE BOARD National Bar Association Government Lawyers Division Newsletter
Chairperson Chairperson’s Message
Kimberly Rice DeGross
Washington, DC It is my distinct pleasure to serve as the Chair of the Government Lawyers
Division this year.
Lani P. Shaw My primary goal is to increase the membership of the Government Law-
Burke, VA yers Division and to leverage technology to enable our members to participate virtu-
ally, year round, in NBA events.
Yuri N. Walker We have begun this process with an electronic survey of our current and
Reston, VA prospective members to gather input on how the Government Lawyers Division can
best serve our constituents. We have established a quarterly full body conference
Treasurer call to enable members all over the country to call in and participate throughout the year, the first of
Kelly J. Davis which was held in November, 2009. I also participated in a first of its kind conference call hosted by
Washington, DC Vice President, Ellen Douglass for all Division Chairs to share ideas and collaborate.
Members-at-Large While attending the NBA Board Meeting, at the Wiley Branton Symposium in Philadelphia,
Col. Cheryl R. Lewis PA., in November, I submitted a request that Board members be permitted to join the next meeting
Huntsville, AL virtually. The Executive Board acted on that proposal and with the Executive Director, Mr. Carr, set
up a conference line allowing Board members to attend by phone, rather than travel to Hawaii. This
Bernice L. Walker
was a watershed moment and technological move forward for the National Bar Association.
I also assisted in another technological project by facilitating the joint venture between the
Immediate Past Chairperson
NBA and WestLegalEdCenter. This resulted in over 300 people worldwide registering in a webinar
Beverly F. Druitt
entitled Haiti Crisis Update: Emerging Legal Issues, which was held on Monday, January 25, 2010
and offered free to the public. It addressed important immigration concerns, including matters related
to adoption and Temporary Protective Status. It also addressed the legal system and reconstruction
issues. This webinar was the first of what we hope will be many to come.
Doing things in person is still the best when possible! In September, I attended the NBA re-
ception in Washington, DC for the Congressional Black Caucus Members. In October, I coordinated
a meeting with Books for Africa leaders and the NBA at the Nigerian Embassy in furtherance of the
NBA initiative with BFA for our International trip to Ghana & Senegal.
“Great leaders are almost We have an incredible board this year in GLD. We have some new members highlighted
always great simplifiers, below, and are ever grateful for the experienced leaders who remain active. They have assisted with
who can cut through argu- the GLD co- sponsoring the 3rd Annual NBA Labor & Employment Law CLE Conference on March
26, 2010, and we encourage our members to attend this co-sponsored conference. Registration for the
ment, debate and doubt, to conference may be completed from the NBA website—www.nationalbar.org. Our members are
offer a solution everybody working on many other projects throughout the NBA.
General Colin Powell, Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends and colleagues, and encourage them
to join us for our next virtual meeting.
Former Secretary of State
I welcome your suggestions on how to best serve the Government Lawyers Division and the
National Bar Association. Have a great year!
Chairperson, NBA Government Lawyers Division
Issue 1, Year 2009-2010 Page 2
Meet the New Members of the GLD Executive Board
Ms. Yuri N. Walker is the Director of the Risk Management Program for the Department of
Veterans Affairs. Although assigned to the VA Central Office headquarters in Washington,
D.C., she has administrative program oversight responsibility for the Risk Management pro-
grams at each of the 154 VA medical centers located throughout the United States. Prior to
assuming this position, she was assigned to the Office of the Medical Inspector in the VA Cen- Secretary
tral Office as a Program Manager (Clinical Investigations).
Ms. Walker earned her undergraduate degree in Nursing from California State University, Los Angeles and earned a
Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She received her Juris Doctorate degree at St.
Louis University in Missouri where she also obtained a Health Law Certificate. Ms. Yuri N. Walker is licensed to
practice law in both Illinois and Missouri.
In 2003, Ms. Walker retired from the United States Air Force as a Chief Nurse in her reserve unit. Serving in the
United States Air Force, Ms. Walker obtained the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation
Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medals from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and the Global
War on Terrorism Medal.
As a member of the National Bar Association (“NBA”), Ms. Yuri N. Walker is currently the Secretary for the Gov-
ernment Lawyers Division. She is also a member of the Greater Washington Area Chapter and the NBA Region 4
Treasurer. As part of the platform for President Mavis T. Thompson, Ms. Walker is chairing the Healthcare Initia-
tive. Ms. Yuri N Walker is married with one son in college.
“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States
Raised under the magenta, red and blue desert sky of Arizona, Ms. Kelly J. Davis de-
cided to bravely venture to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. for high school and
college. She studied at Georgetown University as an English Literature major with a mi-
nor in government. She was privileged to internship at the U.S. Supreme Court. This
“whet her palate” for digging deep into the law, therefore she returned to her home state
and pursued the field of law. While studying at Arizona State University College of Law
she obtained a background that includes externing for the Honorable Daniel A. Barker of
the Arizona Court of Appeals, for Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano in the Office of Treasurer
Policy, and clerking for the law firm, Fennemore Craig Law LLP. Ms. Davis also prac-
ticed criminal litigation as a rule 38 student attorney for the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. Here, she
actively defended clients in misdemeanor DUI cases. After law school Ms. Davis clerked for the Federal Public
Defender for the District of Arizona. In the Federal Public Defender’s Office, she was assigned to the Habeas
Corpus Unit. There she dealt with myriad of issues of a complex nature. Although Arizona will always be her
home she longed to return to the rustle and bustle of the big, little city. Thus, she returned to Washington, D.C.
In Washington, D.C., Ms. Kelly J. Davis currently serves as an Assistant General Counsel at the Office of the
General Counsel for the Council of the District of Columbia. As an Assistant General Counsel, she performs ex-
tensive research into laws, regulations, decisions and other precedents bearing on the legal issues involving the
Council. Ms. Davis advises Council staff on particular ethical issues concerning their position and outside influ-
ences. She drafts, or directs council staff how to draft, legislation that is legally sufficient under the Home Rule
Act and the Constitution. At present, Ms. Kelly J. Davis is assigned to the committee on Public Works and Trans-
portation, Libraries, Parks and Recreation, and Economic Development. Ms. Davis also assists in representing the
Council in any legal action to which it is a party.
Issue 1, Year 2009-2010 Page 3
COL Cheryl Renea Lewis is currently the Staff Judge Advocate at U.S. Army Space
and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command (“USASMDC/
ARSTRAT”) in Huntsville, Alabama. Here, COL Lewis’ 30 member legal team
supports a global command in a myriad of legal areas which include military justice,
fiscal and acquisition law, international law, space operational law, ethics, labor and
civilian personnel law, intellectual property, legal assistance, and claims. Prior to
serving with USASMDC/ARSTRAT, COL Lewis served as the Staff Judge Advo-
cate at U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Frederick, Maryland.
Over the course of more than 20 years, she has held many positions in the Army,
which enabled her to gain a broad legal background. Member-at-Large
As a civilian, COL Cheryl Renea Lewis received a Baccalaureate in Political Science from Hampton Uni-
versity and received a Juris Doctorate from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William
“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
CLE Seminar 2009
During the NBA 84th Annual Convention in San Diego with the Government Lawyers Division co-
sponsored a seminar with the Small Business Law Section: “The Legal Implications of Financing
Public-Private Developments” focused on the legal restrictions and obligations of various financing
methods. The three panelists were, Lewis C. Horne, Jr. (Schiff Hardin LLP - Atlanta, GA), Serena L.
Sparks (The Sparks Firm, LLC – Atlanta, GA), and Ivery D. Foreman (Vorys, Sater, Seymour &
Pease, LLP – Columbus, OH). They discussed the state and local law considerations, bond financing,
and inclusion (SBE/MBE/WBE/DBE) programs. Beverly F. Druitt, then Chairperson of the Govern-
ment Lawyers Division served as moderator. The panelists responded to questions from the audience
and were even engaged in dialogue with some of them after the seminar. The well-attend seminar re-
ceived rave reviews from the attendees.
CLE Seminar 2010
In 2010, at the 85th Annual Convention in New Orleans the Government Lawyers Division will again host a CLE
seminar. This year the title will be - “The Government Lawyer: Practicing Law in a Public Fishbowl?” The
panel will discuss some of the legal, ethical, political, and policy issues and considerations unique to a public/
government law practice. Panelists are lawyers from across the country in various levels of government. If you
have suggestions for future seminars and/or panelists, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
In January, the Board of the NBA Government Lawyers Division sent out a brief survey to gather your
input on how we may best serve the NBA and the members of our Division in 2010. The survey is only 10
questions long and should take less than 15 minutes to complete. Please fill the comment sections through-
out the survey to give your feedback. If you have not yet had the opportunity to submit your responses,
please do so right away. We appreciate your participation: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MWXQ7RJ
Issue 1, Year 2009-2010 Page 4
2010 Calendar of Events
March 10-14, 2010 May 12, 2010
National Black Law Students Association GLD Full Body Quarterly Meeting, 4:00 p.m.
42nd Annual Convention Eastern Time, contact Chairperson DeGross
National Bar Association Boston, MA for details at
Government Lawyers Division firstname.lastname@example.org
June 3-15, 2010
March 25-26, 2010 Annual International Trip
Contact Us: 3rd Annual Labor & Employment Law Sec- Ghana & Senegal
Kim DeGross, Chairperson tion Continuing Legal Education Conference
email@example.com Atlanta, GA
August 9, 2010
GLD Annual Meeting
New Orleans, LA
The Bulletin April 8-11, 2010
“Standing on Shoulders, NBA 30th Annual Mid-Year Conference & August 9-13, 2010
Gertrude E. Rush Award Dinner National Bar Association
Keeping the Promise” The Renaissance St. Louis Grand & Suites 85th Annual Convention & Exhibits
St. Louis, MO The New Orleans Marriott
New Orleans, LA
We’re on the Web!
The Government Lawyers
Division of the National Bar As-
National Law Day - April 30, 2010
sociation, as part of its commu-
nity outreach, will once again be working in conjunction with The Washington Middle School for
Girls to assist in their Career Day program. We will use Law Day to volunteer our morning to
speak with these inner city middle school girls on Friday, April 30, 2010. There will also be a
booth where the students can come by and ask questions about the practice of law, and how to be-
come a lawyer.
Last year, the event was a great success. More than 75 young women learned about the
path to becoming an attorney, amongst other careers as well.
The Washington Middle School for Girls provides a caring and safe environment for
young girls who are living in an under-served urban area and are at risk of leaving school prema-
turely, in the south east section of Washington, DC. Learn more about the school at http://
We encourage all members of the Government Lawyers Division to organize and/or par-
ticipate in a Law Day event in their local cities, volunteer for a day at an inner city school, or oth-
erwise support the education of children at risk. Please let us know what activities you participate
in so we may give recognition. The ABA website has many resources and suggestions for activi-
If you would like to volunteer to speak on April 30, 2010 in Washington, DC, or you
would like to help staff the booth, please contact the Chair of the Government Lawyers Division,
Kimberly DeGross at 202-777-9976.