ABA ANNUAL

2018 Thurgood Marshall Award

Honoring Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Thurgood Marshall Award

The Award Dinner

The 2018 Thurgood Marshall Award was awarded to former Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. at the 2018 Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner on Saturday, August 4, during the ABA’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. 

About the Recipient

Mr. Holder served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States from February 2009 to April 2015, the third longest serving Attorney General in U.S. history and the first African American to hold that office. Mr. Holder is an internationally recognized leader across a broad range of regulatory enforcement, criminal justice, and national security issues.

Including his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Holder served in government for more than thirty years, having been appointed to various positions requiring U.S. Senate confirmation by Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Reagan. He began his legal career at the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Justice Department. In 1988, President Reagan appointed him to serve as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1993, Mr. Holder stepped down from the bench to accept an appointment from President Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He held that position until he became the first African American Deputy Attorney General in 1997. From 2001 until his confirmation as Attorney General, Mr. Holder was a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on complex investigations and litigation matters, including those that were international in scope and involve significant regulatory enforcement issues and substantial reputational concerns. He rejoined the firm in 2015 after his tenure as Attorney General

In 2014, Time magazine named Mr. Holder to its list of 100 Most Influential People, noting that he had “worked tirelessly to ensure equal justice.” He is a member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s National Board of Directors. He also serves as the Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

Mr. Holder was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University.

Credit to Covington & Burling LLP

ABOUT THE RECIPIENT

Mr. Holder served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States from February 2009 to April 2015, the third longest serving Attorney General in U.S. history and the first African American to hold that office. Mr. Holder is an internationally recognized leader across a broad range of regulatory enforcement, criminal justice, and national security issues.

Including his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Holder served in government for more than thirty years, having been appointed to various positions requiring U.S. Senate confirmation by Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Reagan. He began his legal career at the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Justice Department. In 1988, President Reagan appointed him to serve as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1993, Mr. Holder stepped down from the bench to accept an appointment from President Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He held that position until he became the first African American Deputy Attorney General in 1997. From 2001 until his confirmation as Attorney General, Mr. Holder was a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on complex investigations and litigation matters, including those that were international in scope and involve significant regulatory enforcement issues and substantial reputational concerns. He rejoined the firm in 2015 after his tenure as Attorney General

In 2014, Time magazine named Mr. Holder to its list of 100 Most Influential People, noting that he had “worked tirelessly to ensure equal justice.” He is a member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s National Board of Directors. He also serves as the Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

Mr. Holder was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University.


Credit to Covington & Burling LLP

ABOUT THE RECIPIENT

Mr. Holder served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States from February 2009 to April 2015, the third longest serving Attorney General in U.S. history and the first African American to hold that office. Mr. Holder is an internationally recognized leader across a broad range of regulatory enforcement, criminal justice, and national security issues.

Including his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Holder served in government for more than thirty years, having been appointed to various positions requiring U.S. Senate confirmation by Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Reagan. He began his legal career at the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Justice Department. In 1988, President Reagan appointed him to serve as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1993, Mr. Holder stepped down from the bench to accept an appointment from President Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He held that position until he became the first African American Deputy Attorney General in 1997. From 2001 until his confirmation as Attorney General, Mr. Holder was a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on complex investigations and litigation matters, including those that were international in scope and involve significant regulatory enforcement issues and substantial reputational concerns. He rejoined the firm in 2015 after his tenure as Attorney General

In 2014, Time magazine named Mr. Holder to its list of 100 Most Influential People, noting that he had “worked tirelessly to ensure equal justice.” He is a member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s National Board of Directors. He also serves as the Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

Mr. Holder was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University.


Credit to Covington & Burling LLP

ABOUT THE RECIPIENT

Mr. Holder served as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States from February 2009 to April 2015, the third longest serving Attorney General in U.S. history and the first African American to hold that office. Mr. Holder is an internationally recognized leader across a broad range of regulatory enforcement, criminal justice, and national security issues.

Including his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Holder served in government for more than thirty years, having been appointed to various positions requiring U.S. Senate confirmation by Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Reagan. He began his legal career at the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Justice Department. In 1988, President Reagan appointed him to serve as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In 1993, Mr. Holder stepped down from the bench to accept an appointment from President Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. He held that position until he became the first African American Deputy Attorney General in 1997. From 2001 until his confirmation as Attorney General, Mr. Holder was a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, where he advised clients on complex investigations and litigation matters, including those that were international in scope and involve significant regulatory enforcement issues and substantial reputational concerns. He rejoined the firm in 2015 after his tenure as Attorney General

In 2014, Time magazine named Mr. Holder to its list of 100 Most Influential People, noting that he had “worked tirelessly to ensure equal justice.” He is a member of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s National Board of Directors. He also serves as the Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

Mr. Holder was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in East Elmhurst, Queens. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University.


Credit to Covington & Burling LLP

About the Keynote Speaker

The Section had the privilege of hosting esteemed leader Sherrilyn Ifill as she delivered a powerful Keynote Address that moved the entire audience of the 2018 ABA Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner. She was unequivocally a highlight of the evening, delivering a speech that was both encouraging to the listeners and a strong call to action.

SHERRILYN IFILL is the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the nation's premier civil rights legal organization. LDF was founded in 1940 by legendary civil rights lawyer (and later Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall. Ifill served as an Assistant Counsel for LDF from 1988-1993, litigating voting rights cases in the south. She left LDF to teach at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, where in addition to teaching in the classroom, she litigated civil rights cases alongside her students and served as consulting counsel on a variety of complex class action cases. While at Maryland she developed an environmental justice clinical offering and co-founded one of the first legal clinics in the nation focused on removing legal barriers to formerly incarcerated persons seeking to responsibly re-enter society. Ifill returned to lead LDF in 2013, and has emerged as one of the nation’s leading voices in the struggle for racial justice and equality, and has positioned LDF at the forefront of the nation’s most important civil rights battles. 

A critically acclaimed author, her scholarly articles and her 2007 book “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” reflect Ifill's lifelong engagement in and analysis of issues of race and American public life. Ifill graduated from Vassar College in 1984, and from New York University School of Law in 1987, and has received honorary doctorates from Fordham Law School, New York University and CUNY Law School.. Ifill serves on the board of the National Women’s Law Center, Equal Justice Works, and the National Constitution Center.

2018 Dinner Sponsors

PREMIER ($25,000)

  • Uber Technologies, Inc.

GOLD ($15,000)

  • Covington & Burling
  • King & Spalding LLP
  • Sidley Austin LLP
  • World Justice Project

SILVER ($10,000)

  • CSI DMC
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

BENEFACTOR ($5,000)

  • Arnold & Porter
  • Clifford Law Offices
  • Jenner & Block
  • McGuireWoods, London LLP
  • Morrison & Foerster
  • Riley, Safer, Holmes & Cancila
  • Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
  • Winston & Strawn LLP

PATRON ($3,500)

  • 3M
  • ABA Criminal Justice Section
  • Boston University School of Public Health
  • Mayer Brown
  • Myles and Julie Lynk
  • Schiff Hardin LLP
  • Sperling & Slater, PC
  • WilmerHale

FRIEND

  • ABA Business Law Section
  • ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity 
  • ABA Death Penalty Due Process Review Project
  • ABA Death Penalty Representation Project
  • Holland & Knight 
  • School of Law at Loyola University Chicago 
  • WBEZ Radio Station