Bet Tzedek to Honor Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Other Champions in the Fight for Justice on Jan. 26, 2016

Posted on December 23, 2015

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 23, 2015)—Eric H. Holder, Jr., 82nd U.S. Attorney General and partner at Covington & Burling, LLP, will receive Bet Tzedek’s Luis Lainer Founder’s Award at the non-profit law firm’s annual dinner gala on Jan. 26, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.

Holder, the first African-American U.S. Attorney General, has long recognized the professional and moral obligation of attorneys to provide access to justice. As Attorney General, Holder implemented the Access to Justice Initiative in the Department of Justice, creating volunteer opportunities across Federal agencies to promote accessibility, ensure fairness, and increase efficiency in the civil and criminal justice system.

Earlier in his career, President Clinton tapped Holder to lead the national effort, Lawyers for One America, which sought to harness pro bono representation to drive progress and open doors of opportunity in underserved communities.

“Eric Holder has spent his career – in both public and private practice – working tirelessly to ensure our nation’s judicial system works for everyone,” said Bet Tzedek President and CEO Jessie Kornberg. “He has not only encouraged lawyers to provide pro bono service but he has created pathways to make that both possible and effective. He exemplifies our organization’s mission and is a most fitting recipient of our Luis Lainer Founder’s Award.”

Established in 1999 in honor of the agency’s co-founder and first full-time Executive Director, the Luis Lainer Founder’s Award is the agency’s highest honor.

The Annual Dinner Gala also recognizes other leaders who have helped make Bet Tzedek a force in poverty law. This year’s other honorees include:

  • UCLA School of Law, recipient of the Rose Schiff Commitment to Justice Award, for its partnership with Bet Tzedek through the agency’s Right to Health Project (a medical legal partnership), Los Angeles Incubator Consortium, Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project, and both fellowships and summer clerkships;
  • Sam Yebri, a founding member of the Bet Tzedek New Leadership Council, will receive the Rebecca Nichols Emerging Leader Award for his volunteerism for various causes and passionate commitment to justice for all; and
  • Akiko Nishino, recipient the Jack H. Skirball Community Justice Award for her tireless efforts as Director of the agency’s Right to Health Project and her commitment to its clients.

Ticket and sponsorship information is available by contacting Amy Peckner, Bet Tzedek’s senior development officer at 323-549-5860 or apeckner@bettzedek.org.

About Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Holder served as Attorney General from February 2009 to April 2015. As the third-longest-serving Attorney General in U.S. history and the first African-American to hold that office, Holder is an internationally recognized leader across a broad range of regulatory enforcement, criminal justice, and national security issues. In 2014, Time magazine named Holder to its list of 100 Most Influential People, noting that he had “worked tirelessly to ensure equal justice.”

After stepping down as Attorney General, Holder rejoined Covington & Burling LLP as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office, where he was also a member of the firm from 2001 until 2009.

About Bet Tzedek
Founded in 1974, Bet Tzedek pursues equal justice for all by providing high-quality, free legal services to low-income people of all racial and religious backgrounds, with a particular focus on seniors and people with disabilities. One of the nation’s premier public interest law firms, Bet Tzedek uses direct legal service, impact litigation, community outreach, and legislative advocacy in the areas of consumer rights, employment rights, elder justice/caregiver law, Holocaust reparations, housing, human trafficking, public benefits and real estate to serve more than 20,000 people every year.

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