For decades, several judges in Washington, D.C. were active members in the National Bar Association and the WBA. They attended conventions, planned and participated in panel discussions, and otherwise advanced Houstonian jurisprudence. To accommodate the interests of a younger generation of judicial officers, and to direct more attention to local issues, in September 1999, the WBA created the Judicial Council Division of the Bar Association. Members include all judicial officers from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, the United States court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Tax Court, as well as Magistrate Judges and Administrative Law Judges.
WBA Past President Donald A. Thigpen, Jr. created this Division during his administration. The first officers of this esteemed Division were Judge Arthur L. Burnett, Sr. and Judge Paul Webber, III, both Seniors Judges of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and recipients of the WBA's prestigious Ollie May Cooper Award. After the first election of officers in early 2000, the Judicial Council Division began an ambitious program, planning activities for its members, as well as for WBA members and the greater legal community.