Tomorrow, April 26, Susan M. Hoffman of Crowell & Moring LLP will receive Legal Aid's Servant of Justice Award. As Crowell & Moring’s Public Service Partner, Susie leads the firm's diverse pro bono practice which ranges from representation of the homeless, elderly individuals, and domestic violence victims to civil rights impact and appellate litigation. Susie was the first full-time Public Service Counsel at a major law firm in the D.C. area, joining Crowell & Moring in that capacity in 1988, and in 2000 becoming the first pro bono professional to be promoted to partner. Susie also serves as President of the C&M Foundation, a separate nonprofit organization that provides grants to organizations focusing on at-risk youth.
Susie began her career as a law clerk to the late U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene and as a litigator at Hogan & Hartson, working on a variety of pro bono matters. She has represented and supervised representation by other attorneys in her firm in more than 80 domestic violence, adoption, child abuse and neglect, and child custody cases, and has crafted appellate briefs on domestic violence issues. Susie participated in the first case involving a domestic violence statute to reach the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1990, she mobilized a group of practitioners to design the first D.C. Bar Child Custody training for attorneys representing low income clients, a course still presented annually.
Susie volunteered from 1981-1988 with My Sister’s Place and chaired the shelter’s Board of Directors. She is currently in her fifth year as Co-Chair of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, chairs the Archdiocesan Legal Network Advisory Council, is on the Executive Committee of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and serves on the Boards of the D.C. Bar Foundation, the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, the Washington Council of Lawyers, Friends of Superior Court, and the Center for Dispute Resolution. Her past Bar involvement includes two elected terms on the D.C. Bar Board of Governors and Board President of the Foundation of the Bar Association of D.C.
For her work, Susie has received much recognition including the George Washington Law School Belva Lockwood Award for distinction as a role model for female attorneys (1993), Whitman-Walker Clinic’s Outstanding Volunteer Mentor (1997), and the John Carroll Society Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2000, 2004). In 2008, Legal Times named Ms. Hoffman as one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” for her role as “pro bono trailblazer.”
Please consider joining us for our Servant of Justice Awards Dinner tomorrow at 6.30 pm, at the JW Marriott Hotel. Attorney General Eric Holder will be the keynote speaker. As we noted earlier this week, in addition to Susie Hoffman, we will also be honoring James vanR. Springer with the Servant of Justice Award, and Jonathan G. Lin with the Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence.