January 3, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC -- James J. Sandman, a former longtime Managing Partner at the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP and the current General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for the District of Columbia Public Schools, has been selected as the next President of the Legal Services Corporation, Board Chairman John G. Levi announced today.
Throughout his career, Mr. Sandman has worked to promote pro bono legal services for low-income Americans and to increase diversity in the legal profession. He is a former President of the 90,000-member District of Columbia Bar and served for several years on the Board of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in D.C., an LSC grantee.
"After conducting a nationwide search and following interviews with a number of superbly qualified candidates, the Board decided that Jim Sandman was our outstanding choice to lead LSC. Jim is a very distinguished attorney admired by his colleagues for his service to the community and to the legal profession. He is an extraordinary leader and we are thrilled and excited that Jim is joining us as the Corporation's chief executive," Chairman Levi said.
The LSC Board's annual meeting is scheduled for later this month and Mr. Sandman is expected to take office at LSC about that time, Chairman Levi said. Victor M. Fortuno, LSC's long-serving General Counsel, has been acting as President for the last year.
The recruitment of a new LSC President was led by the Board's Search Committee. In addition to Mr. Levi, its members included current LSC Board members Charles N.W. Keckler, Victor B. Maddox, Laurie Mikva and Martha Minow. The Search Committee also included Advisory Members: LaVeeda Morgan Battle, Douglas S. Eakeley and Frank B. Strickland, all former LSC Board members; Robert E. Stein, Chairman of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, and Deierdre L. Weir, Executive Director of the Legal Aid & Defender Association in Detroit.
"The Legal Services Corporation will be in extraordinarily good hands with Jim Sandman; he brings managerial excellence, accomplished leadership of private and nonprofit organizations, and contagious devotion to ensuring access to justice for all," said Martha Minow, Dean of the Harvard Law School. Louisville, Kentucky, attorney and fellow Board member Victor Maddox added, "Jim Sandman brings with him a remarkable array of experience, talent and integrity. The Legal Services Corporation is fortunate to have a man of such accomplishment as its President at this challenging time, and I am looking forward to working with him in the coming years."
Mr. Sandman brings more than 30 years of legal experience to LSC, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established by Congress to provide civil legal assistance to low-income Americans and to promote equal access to justice. LSC distributes grants to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 900 offices across the country.
Two prior Board chairmen, Frank Strickland and Douglas Eakeley, expressed support for Mr. Sandman's selection. "I'm very pleased and excited about the selection of Jim Sandman," Frank Strickland said, noting that Mr. Sandman's private and public sector career experiences, "together with his understanding of LSC's mission, made Jim the best choice to lead the organization." Douglas Eakeley called Mr. Sandman "a spectacular choice for LSC President. He brings to the job a passionate commitment to access to justice, a vision for how to achieve it, and the intellect, managerial expertise, and personal integrity that promise to translate the vision into reality."
Another Advisory Member of the Search Committee, LaVeeda Morgan Battle, added, "I am impressed that Jim Sandman is the right person at this critical time to serve as President of the Legal Services Corporation. I predict that his leadership will be legendary in elevating LSC's role in ensuring equal justice in America."
Mr. Sandman became the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer for D.C. Public Schools in 2007 after a 30-year career at Arnold & Porter LLP, an international law firm based in Washington. He was elected as the firm's Managing Partner from 1995 to 2005 and worked in the firm's Washington, Denver and Los Angeles offices.
He served as the elected President of the D.C. Bar from 2006-2007 and on the Bar's Board of Governors from 2003-2008. He is the Chair of the Bar's Pro Bono Committee and a former Chair of the Bar's Pro Bono Initiative Working Group.
Mr. Sandman currently is the Co-Chair of the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and is a member of the Pro Bono Institute's Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee. Mr. Sandman from 2007-2008 served on the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.
He is a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's District of Columbia State Advisory Committee. He also is Vice Chairman of the Washington Performing Arts Society and on the boards of the International Senior Lawyers Project and the Meyer Foundation. He previously served on the boards of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program (2000-2005), the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, Wilkes University, the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Whitman-Walker Clinic. He also has served on the scholarship selection committee of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.
He received the University of Pennsylvania Law School Alumni Award of Merit in 2007 and was named one of the "90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years" by the Legal Times in 2008. He also was recognized as a "Star of the Bar" by the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia in 2006.
Mr. Sandman is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston College and a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After receiving his law degree, he served as law clerk to Judge Max Rosenn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Mr. Sandman is married to Beth Mullin, Executive Director of Friends of Rock Creek's Environment, a nonprofit organization. They have two children, and the family resides in the District.