February 06, 2020

National Public Service Award

2019 National Public Service Award Recipients

From left to right: G. Eric Brunstad, Jr.; Elizabeth Stong, Pro Bono Committee Co-chair; John Quinn, Pro Bono Committee Co-chair; and Anne Geraghty Helms on behalf of DLA Piper.

About the Award

The Section initiated the National Public Service Award in 1994 as part of its pro bono efforts.  The ABA Business Law Section National Public Service Award recognizes significant pro bono legal contributions of law firms, corporate law departments and individual business lawyers that demonstrate a commitment to providing legal services to individuals and entities that could not otherwise afford them.

Past recipients have demonstrated dedication to the development or delivery of pro bono legal services at the trial, appellate, and Supreme Court level, contributed significant work toward developing innovative approaches to the delivery of pro bono legal services, and/or provided sustained pro bono legal counsel to nonprofit organizations or to micro and small business enterprises in aid of community development.

Nomination Process

The nomination period for the 2020 National Public Service Award has now ended. All nominators will be notified of the status of their nomination by March 1, 2020. 

Applicants may self-nominate. Submissions may be considered for the three upcoming years.  Please contact Gina Dickinson (gina.dickinson@americanbar.org or 312-988-5316) with any questions.

2019 Award Recipients

G Eric Brunstad Jr.

Eric Brunstad is an esteemed Business Law Section member whose longstanding contributions to public service have helped promote equal access to our legal system for all.  This award recognizes his extraordinary commitment to pro bono service, particularly through pro bono representation in appellate matters of parties in bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related cases.  Through his efforts, he has helped to continue the efforts for those causes that may not have otherwise had their appellate “day in court.”

Eric has displayed extraordinary breadth of work in this area. The Section was particularly impressed with his ability to incorporate this work seamlessly into his practice as a preeminent bankruptcy appellate litigator and scholar, and the many courts in which he has argued pro bono appeals – including the United States Supreme Court.  We commend Eric’s dedication, and we celebrate it as giving effect to the highest ideals of the profession.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has demonstrated their commitment to pro bono service through the broad and creative efforts that they have undertaken to find opportunities for corporate and transactional lawyers to use their legal skills to help their communities.  One of their most concerted efforts has been a focused initiative to support hunger relief programs. For over 30 years they have provided pro bono legal counsel to food banks across the country and throughout the world. The Section recognizes and celebrates DLA Piper’s efforts to identify on a particular challenge in our society where they could make a difference.

Additionally, they have contributed work in the area of assisting small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs and increasing financial inclusion outside the United States. The hundreds of lawyers and thousands of hours that you commit to this work are a model for all firms everywhere.

Past Recipients

  • 2019
    Individual: G. Eric Brunstad Jr.
    Firm: DLA Piper
  • 2018
    Corporate Law Department: Arizona Intel Legal Team
    Firm:  Duane Morris LLP
    Corporate Law Department:  Exelon Corporation
  • 2017
    Firm: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP
    Individual: Lorri Anne Dunsmore
  • 2016
    Firm: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
    Corporate Law Department: Turner Broadcasting System
    Individual: Susan Mac Cormac
  • 2015
    Firm: Seyfarth Shaw LLP
    Individual: Robert Scott
  • 2014
    Firm: Sidley Austin LLP
    Firm: Goodwin Procter LLP
    Individual: Donald Parman
  • 2013
    Firm: Troutman Sanders LLP
    Corporate Law Department: Verizon
    Individual: James L. Patterson
  • 2012
    Firm: Ropes & Gray LLP
    Corporate Law Department: Coca-Cola Company
    Individuals: Andrea S. Kramer and Lisa Kaderabek
  • 2011
    Firm: DLA Piper
    Firm: Dykema
  • 2010
    Individual: Douglas L. Rogers
    Firm: IBM Law Department
  • 2009
    Individual: Heidi Y. Echols
    Firm: Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
  • 2008
    Individual: Alison McKinnell King
    Firm: Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • 2007
    Individual: Conrad G. Bahlke
    Firm: Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
  • 2006
    Individual: David Punzak
    Firm: Skadden Arps
  • 2005
    Individual: L. Joseph Genereux
    Firm: Cooley Godward, LLP