August 4, 2020
It is my honor to share some great news with you. Children’s Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow has been awarded the American Bar Association’s 2020 John Minor Wisdom Public Service and Professionalism Award.
The ABA presents the award, named after the Honorable John Minor Wisdom, to individuals or law firms who have made outstanding contributions to the quality of justice in their communities, ensuring that the legal system is open and available to all.
For all of us who have witnessed Judith’s commitment to DC’s children over the past two decades, we know this recognition is incredibly well-deserved. As the first full-time executive director of Children’s Law Center, Judith has grown the organization into the largest legal services provider in Washington, DC – reaching more than 37,000 children and families since its founding.
Barbara J. Dawson, outgoing chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, presented the award to Judith during a July 31st ceremony, highlighting the “extraordinary work” that Children’s Law Center has been doing for nearly 25 years.
Judith reflected on the current calls for justice in her acceptance speech, acknowledging that true change requires long-term commitment.
“Local legal services organizations have a unique opportunity to address structural racism – that intersection of laws, policies, government practices and individual human behavior. It is especially true here in the District of Columbia, where we struggle with both economic and racial inequities,” Judith commented.
“It is my fervent hope that the current, nation-wide protests will lead to real progress in the anti-racism movement – and that the very public show of support from major law firms and corporations will be followed by the hard work and sustained commitment necessary to make lasting change. But if these commitments are made instead of – rather than in addition to – support to local legal services organizations, then racial harm, not racial justice will be the result.”
Please join me and the American Bar Association in congratulating Judith and the entire Children’s Law Center team for their never-ending commitment and dedication to the many children who need our help today and every day.
Partner-in-Charge, DC Office
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Children’s Law Center Board Chair