Annual Events

Celebration of Leadership

Celebration of Leadership 2015

True to its name, the D.C. Bar's Celebration of Leadership is a celebratory evening that takes place every June to honor the past year's achievements and to build excitement for the new goals to come. The gala dinner and annual meeting is also the Bar's official welcome for its newly elected officers, members of the Board of Governors, and American Bar Association delegates. 

With the tables set and the microphone on, the Board of Governors and past presidents of the D.C. Bar recognize leaders whose contributions have helped move the profession forward. The awards focus on some of the key values of the legal industry. Commitment to government service. Champion for civil rights and individual liberties. Dedication to public interest. Featured awards are the Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service and the Justice Thurgood Marshall Award or Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Award in alternating years. In addition, outstanding D.C. Bar members, committees, sections, and projects are honored with other annual Bar awards.

At the 2015 Celebration of Leadership, D.C. Bar President Brigida Benitez gave her final speech as president as she passed the gavel on to Timothy K. Webster. D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Eric T. Washington administered the oath of office as Webster was sworn in as the 44th president of the D.C. Bar. His first action as the new leader was to offer remarks about his vision for the upcoming year.


  • Welcome newly elected officers and members of the Board of Governors.
  • Meet members of the Board of Governors, past presidents of the Bar, members of the judiciary, and other leaders in the Bar community.

Save the Date!
2016 Celebration of Leadership
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Mayflower Hotel
1127 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Know a member of the Bar or a project that deserves to be honored at the event? Nominate them for one of several awards given out at the reception. 

2015 Featured Awards:

Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service
Daniel Koffsky, deputy assistant attorney general, Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice

Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Award
James J. Sandman, president, Legal Services Corporation

View videos and read transcripts of Koffsky and Sandman accepting their awards.

Frederick B. Abramson Award
16th Annual Youth Law Fair (D.C. Bar Litigation Section and D.C. Superior Court)

Laura N. Rinaldi Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (tie)
Dennis Lane, Stinson Leonard Street LLP
Gary Thompson, Reed Smith LLP

Section of the Year 
Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section

Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
Covington & Burling LLP

Thank you to the 2015 Celebration of Leadership Host Committee

For more information, contact Verniesa R. Allen at 202-737-4700, ext. 3239.