+ Avis E. Buchanan, Celebration of Service Award

A graduate of Michigan State University and Harvard Law School, Ms. Buchanan has spent her almost four-decade-long legal career fighting to extend justice to Washington D.C.’s most vulnerable and underserved communities. In her current role as Director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, she leads a celebrated team of lawyers and advocates who take on the city’s toughest and most complicated felony cases. In her previous leadership roles at what is now the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Ms. Buchanan litigated civil rights cases that have led to important and long-lasting reforms in public policy.

+ Donald P. Salzman, The Distinguished Alumnus Award

A 1985 graduate of LSIC’s criminal division, Mr. Salzman has spent more than 30 years working on behalf of poor and indigent, justice-involved people. As an assistant public defender in Maryland (1988–2002), he spearheaded a novel pro bono partnership between his office and prominent D.C. law firms. Among other public interest leadership roles, he has also served on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project since 2002. Currently, he coordinates the pro bono work of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s Washington, D.C. office.

+ Steptoe and Johnson, LLP, Pro Bono Partner Award

Steptoe and Johnson has a long and rich tradition of providing pro bono services. The firm has represented clients on an impressive range of issues including cases involving race, age, gender, and disability discrimination; human rights abuses; voting rights violations; prisoners rights; and freedom of speech claims.

+ The Mayor's Office on Returning Citizen Affairs, Community Partner Award

MORCA works to empower returning citizens by providing resources, services, structured mentorship, and advocacy. Since opening its doors, the agency has significantly helped to turn the tide in the lives of thousands of D.C.’s returning citizens.