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Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

Washington DC Legal DC

The Neighborhood Legal Services Program turns 50 this year, and AG Eric Holder (who has been attorney general for about that long) came out to celebrate.

Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

Eric quoted former AG Robert F. Kennedy in saying, "Unasserted, unknown, unavailable rights are no rights at all," to thank NLSP for its work in asserting those rights. The organization provides free legal services to low-income DC residents and has three offices in DC Wards 5, 7, and 8. Eric didn't give any hints as to where he'll end up after leaving government (though he did say that this will be the end of his public service career). 

Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

In Howard University's Blackburn Center, we snapped NLSP executive director Hannah Lieberman with one recipient of the Pioneer of Justice Award, Edgar Cahn. The other recipient is Edgar's late wife, Jean Camper Cahn. Hannah joined NLSP back in 2012 (we were there for her welcome reception at Covington).

Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

Covington (where Eric was partner for eight years before being sworn in as AG in '09) took home the Enduring Impact Award for its pro bono work. It has been providing attorneys to NLSP in six-month rotations for 45 years, and many attendees were alums of the program. Since '94, the firm has also provided a fellowship for recent grads to work as staff attorneys at NLSP. Here's Covington chairman Tim Hester, right, after accepting the award, with partner Pat Davies and vice chairman and former Assistant AG Lanny Breuer

Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

We also spotted the renowned Judge Patricia Wald with Susan Schapiro. Judge Wald was the first woman to sit on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit (and its chief judge for five years). She's a former NLSP attorney and assistant AG and was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama last year.

Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, now Covington senior counsel, with one of the first (if not the first) attorneys to take a rotation at NLSP: Bob Sayler. Bob has his own 50th anniversary coming up next year: he's been with Covington since he finished Harvard Law in '65.

Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

WilmerHale partner and former firm co-managing partner Bill Perlstein is an NLSP board member; we snapped him flanked by Covington senior counsel Tom Williamson and Bread for the City chief operating officer Jeannine Sanford.

Holder Celebrates NLSP at 50

Covington's Bing Leverich, an NLSP board member, was also one of the first to take an NLSP rotation. In his remarks, the AG thanked Bing for inviting him to the event. Around 300 lawyers and NLSP supporters turned out to celebrate the anniversary. The event, which included a silent auction, was emceed by ABC 7/WJLA's Leon Harris.