James J. Sandman


James J. Sandman has been president of the Legal Services Corporation since 2011. He practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm’s managing partner for a decade. From 2007 to 2011, he was general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Sandman is a past president of the 100,000-member District of Columbia Bar. He is currently the chair of the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services. He is a member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission (by appointment of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals) and of the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee. He is chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s District of Columbia State Advisory Committee, chairman of the board of the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, vice chairman of the board of Washington Performing Arts, and a member of the boards of the Meyer Foundation, the College of Saint Rose, and Tahirih Justice Center.

Sandman previously served as a member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, as chairman of the board of Whitman-Walker Health, and as a member of the boards of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia, the International Senior Lawyers Project, the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, Wilkes University, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also has served on the scholarship selection committee of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

Sandman was named one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” by the Legal Times in 2008. The University of Pennsylvania Law School has honored him with its Alumni Award of Merit and its Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award. He has also received the District of Columbia Bar's Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Award, the Wiley A. Branton Award from the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Legal Rights and Urban Affairs, the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s “Star of the Bar” Award, D.C. Law Students in Court’s Celebration of Service Award, the Washington Council of Lawyers Presidents' Award, the Council for Court Excellence's Justice Potter Stewart Award, and Tahirih Justice Center’s Wings of Justice Award. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the College of Saint Rose, where he was the 2013 commencement speaker. In 2014, he received Villanova University's Medallion Award and was the commencement speaker at Villanova Law School.

Sandman is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received his law degree cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as executive editor of the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Max Rosenn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.