NLADA Announces 2015 Beacon of Justice Award Winners

Outstanding law firms to be honored at the Exemplar Award Dinner in June

The National Legal Aid and Defender Association is honored to announce the 2015 Beacon of Justice Award winners. These 13 law firms will be recognized for expanding access to quality legal services for people across the country. Last year, the exceptional law firms listed below collectively devoted more than 700,000 hours to pro bono work, including providing considerable resources to expanding opportunities for underserved populations. Two of the winners have one hundred percent pro bono participation.

NLADA applauds the pro bono accomplishments of the 2015 Beacon of Justice winners, who have met the high expectations and criteria for selection by expanding opportunities for the underserved in areas such as education, health care, housing, and legal services. In addition to demonstrating an embedded commitment to pro bono, these exceptional law firms have also created models that other organizations can replicate. A small sample of the honorees' successes includes: bringing legal services directly to homeless individuals in shelters in more than 20 cities nationwide; helping a nonprofit client achieve a major victory when a large health insurer was ordered to spend $56 million on community health needs in the nation's capital; working with multiple states on foster care system reform; and representing unaccompanied immigrant children and women and developing strategies to ensure legal representation for them.

"It is a privilege to be able to celebrate these outstanding awardees and shed light on their pro bono work that is making our communities stronger by expanding access to justice for countless low-income individuals," said Jo-Ann Wallace, NLADA President and CEO. "We are thrilled to recognize the depth and impact of their incredible efforts to advance policies and practices that provide pathways to justice and opportunity."

The full list of 2015 Beacon of Justice winners is as follows:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLPBaker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Covington & Burling LLPDechert LLP
DLA PiperHunton & Williams
Jones DayLavelle Law, Ltd.
Morrison & FoersterO'Melveny & Myers LLP
Perkins Coie LLPPhillips Lytle LLP
Stinson Leonard Street LLP 

The Beacon of Justice Award winners will be formally honored at the NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. The ceremony will also feature the presentation of the Exemplar Award to John F. Schultz, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of the Hewlett-Packard Company. The Kutak-Dodds Prizes will be bestowed on two advocates for equal justice, one from the civil legal aid community and another from the public defense community. For ticket and sponsorship information, please visit

The National Legal Aid & Defender Association, founded in 1911, is America's oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local levels through the creation of our public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation. A leader in the development of national standards for legal aid and indigent defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.

For more information on the Exemplar Award Dinner, contact Helen Katz, Chief Development Officer, at 202-452-0620 ext. 223 or [email protected].

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