On Wednesday, May 6, Legal Aid will present our highest honor – the Servant of Justice Award – to Phil Horton of Arnold & Porter LLP. This award will be presented by James J. Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation.
Phil is a former Legal Aid Board President and the long-time chair of Arnold & Porter’s Pro Bono Committee. Throughout his legal career, Phil has maintained a robust pro bono and public interest practice, and he has long focused on providing legal services for the poor. In the 1980s, he worked as a full-time poverty lawyer for Greater Boston Legal Services. While in private practice, he has provided pro bono assistance in a wide range of poverty law cases, including landlord/ tenant, family, trusts and estates (for people with HIV/AIDS), consumer, and safety-net benefit matters. He has also advocated for systemic improvements to better address the needs of low-income people facing legal issues by serving on DC Bar committees devoted to encouraging pro bono work and improving operations at the District’s Landlord Tenant Court. In addition, he has done extraordinary pro bono work in a wide range of matters, from representing indigent defendants threatened with the death penalty to representing victims of international terrorism. Phil’s wife, Roberta, who is also a partner at Arnold & Porter, has also volunteered for Legal Aid.
Arnold & Porter’s Managing Partner, Richard Alexander, summed up Phil’s dedication this way: “We are proud that the Legal Aid Society will be recognizing Phil Horton with this prestigious award. Phil’s commitment to pro bono service is unwavering. He has led by example through his active pro bono practice, his ongoing leadership participation in important legal service providers throughout the city, and the passion with which he advocates for those in need on a wide range of legal issues.”
Phil’s work with Legal Aid is broad and deep. He has been on Legal Aid’s Board since 1997, and, in addition to serving as president, he has chaired or sat on numerous Board committees, including Legal Aid’s Executive Committee, on which he currently sits. Phil has made an immense contribution to Legal Aid during his many years of Board service, consistently offering both sound judgment on policy matters and practical advice on operational issues, all informed by his years of public interest experience. Former Board President, Tom Papson, commented: “Phil’s contribution to Legal Aid over the past 18 years, particularly his Board leadership on legal operations matters, cannot be overstated. He played a major role in ushering Legal Aid into a period of service expansions.”
Please join us on May 6, 2015 – individual tickets are still available – to honor Phil, as well as his fellow Servant of Justice Honoree, Wade Henderson of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Klepper Prize winner, Daniel Russell.