The White House today honored 16 lawyers and community leaders for their work in area of areas of the law that include civil rights, domestic violence and legal defense.
President Barack Obama designated the honorees, who included several Washington-based attorneys, as "champions of change."
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. today heralded the attorneys and community leaders as “remarkable individuals.” Today’s event was broadcast live at more than 100 law schools.
Holder, in prepared remarks, praised the work in, among other areas, securing benefits for disabled children and military families and for helping former inmates transition after their release.
“Across the country, their work is allowing us to address and overcome our most pressing legal challenges–and live up to our nation’s highest ideals,” the attorney general said.
After the jump, a full list of the honorees.
Laura Abel, acting director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
Todd Belcore, Equal Justice Works at the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law in Chicago
Martha Bergmark, founding president and chief executive officer of the Mississippi Center for Justice
Deb Ellis, director of New York University School of Law’s Public Interest Law Center
Paula Gómez, executive director of the Brownsville Community Health Center
David Hall, executive director of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Nan Heald, executive director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance
Lillian Johnson, executive director of Community Legal Services, in Arizona
Addison Parker, co-litigation director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky Inc.
Michael Pinard, director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Deborah Rhode, Stanford Law School professor and director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession
Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel and executive vice president
David Stern, executive director of Equal Justice Works in Washington
Jo-Ann Wallace, president and CEO of the Washington-based National Legal Aid & Defender Association
Ron Whitener, director of the Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic at the University of Washington School of Law