During the Business Law Section’s recent 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, four individuals and one law firm were honored with awards for contributions to the section and the profession. The honorees were:
· Vicki O. Tucker, Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award
· Jason Goitia, Section Chair’s Award
· Linda Arnsbarger, Grace Robson and Dechert Law LLP, National Public Service Awards
Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award
Presented to Vicki O. Tucker for her significant contributions both to the profession and to the Business Law Section. Tucker is a recently retired from Hunton Andrews Kurth in Richmond, Virginia, where she focused on structured financing and securities, and capital markets and securities. Tucker was recognized by Virginia Lawyers Weekly in 2019 as one of the most influential women in the law. An advocate for diversity in the legal profession, Tucker was elected to the American Law Institute in 2018; elected an American Bar Foundation Fellow in 2013; and is the recipient of the E. Randolph Williams Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Services. She is also a former the chair of the Business Law Section.
Section Chair’s Award
Presented to Jason Goitia in recognition of his outstanding work in the section and the profession. Goitia, who started his own e-lawyering practice in Tampa, Florida, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has been an inspirational and guiding force in the section’s diversity initiatives and commitment to disability inclusion. Prior to starting his own firm, Goitia worked at Mayer Brown in Chicago, practicing finance and securities law, and then worked for Goldman Sachs. It was while he was at Goldman Sachs that he was diagnosed with MS. Goitia has served as chair of the Business Law Section’s Lawyers with Disabilities Involvement Subcommittee of the Diversity and inclusion Committee and is a commissioner of the ABA Commission on Disability Rights.
National Public Service Awards
Presented to Linda Arnsbarger in recognition of her deep and continuing commitment to providing sustained pro bono legal counsel to nonprofit organizations. Arnsbarger is of counsel with Morrison Foerster in Washington, D.C., where she has a more than 30-year career. She advises nonprofits and businesses on a wide range of issues relating to the regulation of exempt organizations and the unique issues raised in doing business with them. She has compiled an extraordinary record of public service consisting of more than 3,300 hours of pro bono legal advice to nonprofit and social enterprise clients. One of her longtime pro bono clients is the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America, now known as Apraxia Kids. Arnsbarger’s pro bono work extends across the globe. Nonprofits that have benefited from her pro bono counsel include an organization that provides conservation programs in the Amazon region, an organization that works to improve maternal health in East Africa, and a group that runs schools for low-income children in Cambodia.
Presented to Grace Robson in recognition of her longstanding commitment to promoting pro bono and to providing direct pro bono services, both within the section and throughout the community at large. Robson is a bankruptcy attorney and partner at Markowitz Ringel Trusty + Hartog, PA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has served as co-chair of the Pro Bono Services Subcommittee of the Business Law Section's Business Bankruptcy Committee for several years. In that role, under her leadership and guidance she has developed programming dedicated to pro bono issues in the law and the advancement of attorney education in that arena. One of her more notable pro bono representations was for the Switchboard of Miami, a long-running, nonprofit 24-hour crisis hotline that was incorporated in 1971 and ran until shutting down amid financial crisis in 2016. Robson also dedicates much of her time to financial literacy initiatives on a pro bono basis. She serves as a mentor and role model to many young lawyers in the South Florida community, teaching them how to not just be a strong lawyer, but also the importance of giving back to the community.
Presented to Dechert Law LLP, based in Philadelphia, in recognition of their commitment to delivery of pro bono services and the breadth of work throughout Dechert’s many offices. The firm presently maintains approximately 1,500 active pro bono matters, with a little more than half involving the representation of nonprofits, small businesses, social impact investors or social enterprises. Through collaboration with Exponentum, formerly the National Network of Business Law Pro Bono Providers, Dechert lawyers generously donate their expertise in just about every corporate and transactional area, in matters of varied complexity and scope, to benefit nonprofit organizations and low-income entrepreneurs nationwide. The breadth of Dechert’s work is reflected in work with organizations in New York City; nonprofit clients in Connecticut; small business and nonprofit clients in Philadelphia; and several matters for the Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco and Public Counsel, among others.
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.