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LSC President James Sandman and OSF Policy Analyst Nkechi Taifa Honored at 2014 Branton Awards Luncheon

Joined by nearly 1,000 supporters, including representatives from over 90 area law firms and companies, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs celebrated its 2014 Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 18, from 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. in the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel.

WLC 2014 Branton Awards Lunch 6 18 14-photo credit Taisie Berkeley 25 4
James Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation (left), received the 2014 Wiley A. Branton Award from presenter Ronald S. Flagg, General Counsel of the Legal Services Corporation and a former Washington Lawyers' Committee board member (right).

James Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation, and Nkechi Taifa, Senior Policy Analyst for Civil and Criminal Justice Reform at the Open Society Foundations, jointly received the 2014 Wiley A. Branton Award. The award is presented annually to members of the legal community whose lifetime efforts on behalf of civil rights advocacy mirror the deep commitment to equal justice exemplified by legendary civil rights attorney Wiley A. Branton, Sr.

Accepting the award, James Sandman said: “It is a great honor for me to receive an award from an organization as preeminent as the Washington Lawyers’ Committee and named after the great civil rights hero Wiley Branton.”

Nkechi Taifa, in receiving the award, said: “Thank you very much, Washington Lawyers’ Committee, for this esteemed award and for always being in the forefront of the demand for civil and human rights.”

The Committee’s 2014 Vincent E. Reed Award was presented to the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, for the firm’s commitment and contributions to public education in the District of Columbia. Accepting the award for the firm were Fried Frank public service counsel Karen Grisez and managing attorney’s office coordinator Joseph DeSantis.
This award is given in the name of distinguished educator Dr. Vincent Reed for commitment and unique contributions to improving public education in the District of Columbia.

Melvina Ford, Executive Director of the Equal Rights Center (ERC), accepted the 2014 Alfred McKenzie Award on behalf of Donald Kahl, former ERC Executive Director. This award is named in honor of the former Tuskegee Airman and lead plaintiff in a successful class action brought by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee challenging racial discrimination. The award recognizes Committee clients whose dedication and courage produced civil rights victories of particular significance.

In addition, the following 19 area law firms were honored for their outstanding work on cases and related matters with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee over the past year: Baker & Hostetler LLP; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; Covington & Burling LLP; Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP; Hogan Lovells US LLP; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Kaye Scholer LLP; Kelley Drye & Warren LLP; Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP; Kirkland & Ellis LLP; McDermott, Will & Emery LLP; Reed Smith LLP; Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC; McGuireWoods LLP; Sidley Austin LLP; Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP; Troutman Sanders LLP; Williams & Connolly LLP; and Winston & Strawn LLP.

The annual Branton Awards Luncheon is the Committee’s primary event recognizing the outstanding achievements of individuals, clients and organizations that the Committee has worked closely with over many years. Attendees at the luncheon included government officials and representatives from law firms, businesses, foundations, and other non-profit organizations.

Click here to view photos from the event
and click here to view video highlights of the presenters and award winners.

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