The Esther F. Lardent Hall of Fame for Excellence in Pro Bono Award, established in 2016, in memory of PBI’s founding President and CEO, recognizes individuals and organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to pro bono and have made a profound impact on advancing the aspirational goal of access to justice for all.
Those recognized have demonstrated a significant commitment to pro bono over a substantial period of time, demonstrated exemplary leadership promoting access to justice, or served as a thought leader and inspiration to the legal profession.
When awarded, Hall of Fame inductees are acknowledged during a special ceremony at the PBI Annual Conference.
The Honorable Jonathan Lippman
As part of its 25th anniversary, PBI presented the award to the Honorable Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Judge Lippman is Of Counsel in the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department.
Judge Lippman has been a vehement pro bono champion his entire career, and as New York’s Chief Judge, he advanced equal access to justice issues in the state and around the country and took the leadership role in identifying permanent funding streams for civil legal services, strengthening the state’s indigent criminal defense system, and reforming New York’s juvenile justice, bail and pre-trial justice systems. READ MORE about Judge Lippman’s career and watch a video interview.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In 2018, the Inaugural Esther F. Lardent Hall of Fame for Excellence in Pro Bono Award was presented to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on February 22, at a reception at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Justice Ginsburg was a deeply deserving recipient of the award for her decades of work to improve access to justice and pave the way for equal treatment for all people under the law. The Justice was a tireless advocate for increasing pro bono participation and support for legal aid services.
READ MORE about Justice Ginsburg and watch as she accepts her award and gives remarks, and then speaks with PBI Board Member Greg Jordan, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
The award is given to an individual or organization that has provided extraordinary contributions to PBI’s work, in addition to unequaled thought and action leadership to pro bono in the legal community.
When awarded, the President’s Award inductees are acknowledged during a special ceremony at the PBI Annual Conference.