James J. Sandman
James J. Sandman was president of the Legal Services Corporation from 2011 to 2020, before serving as president emeritus. He practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm’s managing partner for a decade. He is also a past president of the 100,000-member District of Columbia Bar and a former general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Sandman is chairman of the board of the D.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and a member of the boards of Washington Performing Arts, the College of Saint Rose, Albany Law School, and the Tahirih Justice Center. He is a member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, the District of Columbia Bar Pro Bono Committee, the American Law Institute, the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation, the Board of Advisors of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center on the Future, and the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee.
Sandman previously served as chair of the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and as a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, as chairman of the boards of the Meyer Foundation and of Whitman-Walker Health, and as a member of the boards of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia, the International Senior Lawyers Project, the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, and Wilkes University. 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 Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia, the D.C. Commission on Human Rights’ Cornelius R. Alexander Humanitarian Award, D.C. Law Students in Court’s Celebration of Service Award, the Washington Council of Lawyers’ Presidents’ Award, the Council for Court’s Excellence’s Justice Potter Steward Award, Tahirih Justice Center’s Wings of Justice Award, and Legal Aid Society of Cleveland's Louis Stokes Paragon Award. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the College of Saint Rose and has received Villanova University’s Medallion Award. He has given commencement addresses at the College of Saint Rose, Villanova Law School, Rutgers Law School, and the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
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.