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2014 Volunteer Recognition & Awards

The Project celebrated the outstanding contributions of volunteer firms and individuals at its 2014 Volunteer Recognition & Awards Event on September 11, 2014, in Washington, DC.

Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, award winners, and everyone who joined us for a memorable and inspirational evening celebrating the achievements of our volunteer attorneys! We hope to see everyone back next year when we will again be in Washington, DC, for our 2015 Awards Celebration.

Event Media


Program Booklet


Exceptional Service Awards

Every fall, the Project celebrates volunteer lawyers at its Volunteer Recognition & Awards Dinner. Pro bono firms are nominated by their colleagues for exceptional service to death row prisoners and honored with the Exceptional Service Award.

This year's Exceptional Service awards were presented to two outstanding volunteer law firms, Quarles & Brady and Sidley Austin. 

Quarles & Brady LLP

Quarles & Brady, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based law firm, has answered the Project’s call for assistance on multiple occasions. But something elsemakes this firm special. Quarles & Brady has repeatedly taken some of the most difficult and urgent cases for which counsel was needed. Quarles has filed amicus briefs in death penalty cases and provided representation to prisoners in six capital cases in four different states, almost all of them in precarious procedural postures or with imminent deadlines. In 2012, the firm accepted TWO urgent matters on the same astonishing day, replacing near-defeat with a new, fighting chance for justice.

Read their full bio here

Sidley Austin LLP

Sidley Austin, a global law firm with 18 offices, has made a truly remarkable commitment to justice for death row prisoners in Alabama. In 2005, Sidle ypartnered with the Project and the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama (EJI) to create its Capital Litigation Project to provide representation todeath-sentenced prisoners inAlabama without counsel.

Read their full bio here


John Paul Stevens Guiding Hand of Counsel Award

Mark J. MacDougall

Th e Project is proud to present the 2014 John Paul Stevens Guiding Hand of Counsel Award to Mark J. MacDougall for his unique commitment to providing outstanding legal representation in capital cases in South Carolina.

Mark is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld where his practice is focused on white collar criminal litigation. For more than a decade, Mark has worked pro bono with South Carolina public defenders to represent persons facing the death penalty in that state. Since 2006, Mark has volunteered over 1,720 hours of his time serving as trial counsel in death penalty cases. He has handled six capital cases and led teams of Akin Gump lawyers that have dedicated an additional 10,512 hours to pro bono death penalty work.

Keynote Speaker

Debo P. Adegbile


The Project is honored to welcome Debo P. Adegbile, former Senior Counsel for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, as the 2014 Keynote Speaker.

Mr. Adegbile began his career as a successful litigator at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in 1994. At Paul Weiss he represented, among other clients,a death-sentenced prisoner before the United States Supreme Court and in connection with a clemency petition. After seven years with Paul Weiss, he joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), where, among other positions, he served as its acting president and director-counsel. During his 12 years at LDF, Mr. Adegbile litigated a broad range of civil rights cases and became a leading expert on voting rights. He argued twice before the United States Supreme Court defending the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, most recently in Shelby County v. Holder.  In July 2013, he joined the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Read full bio here.


The Project is enormously grateful for the generosity of our sponsors! Sponsorship of this event provides us with critical funding to continue our important work year-round. 


Thank you for your support!