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Washington Council of Lawyers seeks nominations for our 2020 Government Pro Bono Award.

The Washington Council of Lawyers Government Pro Bono Award highlights the important (and often overlooked) pro bono contributions made by government attorneys. Pro bono service can take many forms and is not limited to direct legal representation or litigation. Past recipients have demonstrated a commitment to promoting access to justice for those in need in a variety of ways and in many different substantive practice areas.

Selection Criteria:

The Government Pro Bono Award recipient will be a government attorney who has made significant pro bono contributions. The pro bono work performed may include, but is not limited to activities such as:

  • Involvement in establishing or implementing an agency pro bono program;
  • Increasing the level of pro bono service by agency attorneys through promotion or facilitation of pro bono opportunities;
  • Mentoring or training agency lawyers handling pro bono matters, litigating cases or providing non-litigation legal services to low-income people or entities; or
  • Participating regularly in pro bono clinics.

Please note that the above lists of pro bono activities are not exhaustive. We gladly will consider nominations of attorneys who have performed other kinds of pro bono service.

Nomination Materials:

Nominations should describe the nominee’s relevant professional activities, including:

  1.  A description of the legal services and/or other efforts upon which the nomination is based,
  2.  An explanation of the impact of that work on clients, other advocates, and/or others, and,
  3.  The time period covered by the activities.

Nomination materials should be no longer than 6 pages in length, including the nomination, resume, and any other supporting documents, such as articles or letters of support.

Nominations should be sent via email to Nancy Lopez at


All nominations must be received by 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 1.

Government Pro Bono Award – Past Recipients

2019   Marissa Schnaith, U.S. Department of Labor

2018   Catalina Martinez, U.S. Small Business Administration

2017   Deborah Birnbaum, U.S. Department of Labor

2016   Katrina Rouse, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2015   Kathryn Legomsky, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

2014   John Bowers, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2013   Jay Owen, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2012   Edward Eliasberg, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2011   Karen Shrimp, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

2010   John Warshawsky, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2009   Sean Keveney, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2008   Paul Kendall, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice

2007   James Yoon, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2006   Mark Pletcher, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2005   Julie Abbate, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

2004   Laura Klein, Pro Bono Program, U.S. Department of Justice

2003   Claire McGuire, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation & Department of Treasury

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