The Real Olivia Pope
Can you picture your legal career inspiring a hit TV show? That's what happened for Smith & Company's Judy Smith, the inspiration behind the Olivia Pope character on Scandal. (Spoiler alert, we're going to talk about the show.)
The big difference between herself and Oliva Pope, said Judy last night, is that she hasn't had an affair with the president. (She was deputy press secretary to Bush 41.) She was surprised when Shonda Rhimes told her of that plot point (Judy is a co-producer of the show) but says George H.W. Bush took the news with good humor when she personally called to tell him (he even joked he'd confirm it). We snapped Judy flanked by Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin and WBA-DC president Jessica Adler at the National Building Museum. Judy was honored with the Woman Lawyer of the Year Award by the Women's Bar Association of DC and WBA Foundation.
DC Bar Foundation president Kirra Jarratt was WBA Foundation president for two years until she took the helm of DCBF this year. Vedder Price's Amy Bess, right, is its current president and presented Kirra with an award for her work. Between them is the WBA-DC president-elect Suzanne Reifman.
We also spotted Tina Ayiotis, center, who came over from Georgetown Law yesterday where she was co-chairing the Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute. She's flanked by Innovative Discovery VP Joanne Jordan, Hilton's Courtney Barton, BWW Law Group's Britney Pulley, and DKM Planners' Debrah Farnell.
How do you become the real Olivia Pope? Judy said her unconventional career combining communications and law started just after law school: she was set to join a big firm in NY, until she shared her frank opinions on the communications issues of the Iran-Contra investigation with a friend working on it, and ended up being hired to fix them by independent counsel Judge Lawrence Walsh. She says Judge Walsh called the head of the NY firm and said he needed her because "Scandals don't happen that often in Washington."