WASHINGTON, July 20, 2021 — Stephen A. Saltzburg, a professor at the George Washington University Law School (GW Law), is the 2021 recipient of the John H. Pickering Achievement Award, presented by the American Bar Association Senior Lawyers Division. Saltzburg will be recognized at a virtual program on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 1:30 p.m. CDT, during the 2021 ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting. The program will be available on-demand for the duration of the conference.
The award honors the life and accomplishments of John H. Pickering, co-founder of the Washington, D.C., law firm formerly known as Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), who was involved in a variety of pro bono activities and law-related societal issues affecting older adults. It recognizes lawyers or judges who demonstrate outstanding legal ability and have compiled a distinguished record of service to the profession and their communities, resulting in significant contributions to improving access to justice for all.
Saltzburg, who joined GW Law in 1990, also serves as co-director of the school’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program. In 2004, the George Washington University named Saltzburg a “University Professor,” the highest honor a university can confer. He is the only law professor ever to be so named. Before that, Saltzburg taught at the University of Virginia School of Law and was named the first incumbent of the Class of 1962 Endowed Chair. During his 19 years on the faculty of UVA Law School, he represented indigent persons pro bono in civil rights and habeas corpus cases, and in state and federal courts.
Saltzburg is a co-founder of the National Institute of Military Justice, a nonpartisan organization devoted to promoting and improving military justice and protecting the constitutional rights of service members. He has participated in amicus curiae briefs in myriad courts that have supported the civil rights of men and women in uniform.
His government service includes serving as associate independent counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation; deputy assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; the attorney general’s ex-officio representative on the U.S. Sentencing Commission; and director of the Tax Refund Fraud Task Force, appointed by the secretary of the treasury.
Saltzburg has also served as chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and represents the section in the ABA House of Delegates. He was appointed to the ABA Task Force on Terrorism and the Law and to the ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession in 2001, and to the ABA President’s Advisory Group on Citizen Detention and Enemy Combatant Issues in 2002. In 2003, he served as chair of the ABA Justice Kennedy Commission, a group convened to conduct a detailed examination of the American criminal justice system. He is the author of numerous books and articles on evidence, procedure and litigation.
Born in Philadelphia, Saltzburg received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Dickinson College.
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