Before Legal Aid's 25th Annual Servant of Justice Awards Dinner brought together more than 500 lawyers last night, they'd already raised over a million dollars to benefit the legal services organization. (That might be the most we'd pay for a meal... until Eataly comes to town.)
Could there be a happier crew? Roaming the JW Marriott ballroom, we snapped Legal Aid executive director Eric Angel with Skadden's Michele Roberts and Donald Salzman. Michele gave a heartfelt introduction for Donald, one honoree of the Servant of Justice Award. Don spent almost 15 years as a public defender and coordinates the pro bono work for Skadden's 300 DC lawyers.
Drinker Biddle's Jerry Hartman (here with US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Judge Patricia Millett and Eric) picked up the other Servant of Justice Award on behalf of his brilliant late wife, Barbara McDowell. She founded Legal Aid's Appellate Advocacy Project, now named in her honor, 10 years ago. Her career included a Supreme Court clerkship, Jones Day partnership, and being Assistant to the Solicitor General (where she argued 18 SCOTUS cases, two in the same day).
We also spotted US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, with Jenner & Block's Amir Ali.
Winner of the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence, Covington's Stefanie Doebler was introduced with a quote from her pro bono client saying she's the "perfect person to have in your corner." Here she's congratulated by Joseph Zengerle and Arnold & Porter's Philip Horton, who co-chaired the event with Capital One's Tangela Richter.
Children's Law Center executive director Judith Sandalow with Tom Williamson (it's a coincidence that on the wall above his head "Covington" is projected, where he chairs the employment practice). Legal Aid and CLC teamed up with Skadden for its innovative pro bono Impact Project.
Alston & Bird's BJ Shannon, Jon Fee, and Brendan Carroll shared a table with Legal Aid's Ashley McDowell. While it was the 25th annual dinner, Legal Aid's been around since 1932.