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D.C. Bar Communities Announce Lawyer of the Year Awardees

June 17, 2024

The D.C. Bar Communities are recognizing 12 Communities members for their leadership in their respective practice areas, excellence in their professional and personal lives, and dedication to the mission of the D.C. Bar and its Communities.

The Communities Lawyer of the Year Award recipients will be honored at the D.C. Bar’s Celebration of Leadership on June 20 at the Westin Washington, DC Downtown Hotel.
“The D.C. Bar Communities program is known Bar-wide for the many individual lawyers who contribute to the development of top-notch programming for their fellow Bar members,” said Pamela Robinson, Communities director. “Selecting just a few to be recognized this year was a difficult task for the nominators. I am certain these Lawyer of the Year Award recipients are gratified to be honored by their peers.”

The following are the 2024 Communities Lawyer of the Year awardees:

Adrian GottshallAdrian Gottshall
Antitrust and Consumer Law

As director of pro bono representation and training with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, Adrian Gottshall oversees the center’s Advocacy & Justice Clinic, which provides full representation in housing, family law, public benefits, and consumer dispute cases. Prior to joining the Pro Bono Center, Gottshall worked as a clinical instructor at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law’s Housing & Consumer Law Clinic, where she taught law students about eviction defense and other housing matters and supervised civil litigation. Previously she worked as an attorney at the Neighborhood Legal Services Program.

Kassandra RamseyKassandra Ramsey
Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law

Kassandra Ramsey is founder of The Law Office of Kassandra Ramsey, P.L.L.C., where she assists entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, and creatives with creating, running, and protecting their businesses and brands. Additionally, Ramsey is an advocate for college athletes’ rights, writing about getting the most out of the emerging name, image, and likeness (NIL) opportunities. She runs a blog, NIL With The Esquire Coach, and hosts a local television show, Court-2-Court With The Esquire Coach, where she dives deep into NIL and the latest in college sports news.

Leila BhamLeila Bham
Corporation, Finance and Securities Law

As a senior special counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Leila Bham advises the SEC on significant regulatory initiatives, including reforms under the Dodd–Frank Act, access to capital, and climate-related disclosure. Previously she provided legal counsel for the World Bank’s Financial Market Integrity Unit and practiced at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London, where she advised on global capital raisings. In addition to holding several leadership roles at the D.C. Bar, Bham served as cochair of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section Annual Meeting and the NYU School of Law Conference on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing in the U.S. and Beyond.

Robin EarnestRobin Earnest
Criminal Law and Individual Rights

After serving as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and then with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, Robin Earnest established Earnest Attorney at Law, LLC, focusing on direct appeals and post-conviction relief. In this appellate practice she serves on the Criminal Justice Act panels for the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and D.C. Circuit, as well as for the D.C. Court of Appeals. In addition to her service on the D.C. Bar Criminal Law and Individual Rights Community’s steering committee, Earnest authored the competition problem for the 2024 D.C. Cup Moot Court Competition and coordinated the editing of the criminal law chapter of the D.C. Practice Manual.

James BubarJames Bubar
District of Columbia Affairs

James Bubar runs his own law practice focused on litigation, business law, and communications law. Previously he worked at Kaye Scholer (which merged with Arnold & Porter) and was special assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. The D.C. Affairs Community won Community of the Year during Bubar’s term as cochair in 2017–2018. Bubar also helped lead the Community’s award-winning outreach project for a mayoral candidates’ forum. Additionally, Bubar served on a special working group to revise the Bar’s policies and procedures so Communities could continue to issue amicus briefs and other public statements.

Jennifer LiJennifer Li
Environment, Energy and Natural Resources

Jennifer Li is staff attorney and adjunct professor of law with the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches in the policy clinic and works on climate adaptation, community development, and human rights policy. Before coming to Georgetown, Li was a Fulbright Scholar in India researching climate policy and was an instructor at Jindal Global Law School. She served as cochair of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Community’s steering committee from 2020 to 2023.

Chad MillerChad Miller
Government Contracts

Chad Miller is a principal and associate general counsel at KPMG LLP, where he leads a team of attorneys advising on issues related to the services that KPMG provides to federal, state, and local government entities. Previously Miller was an associate at White & Case and Arnold & Porter focused on government contract matters. He began his career as assistant general counsel with the U.S. Navy, where he focused on federal procurement law relating to construction and service contracts, and later became counsel for the Navy Public Works Center and associate general counsel to the assistant secretary of the Navy.

Margaret (Meg) McKinneyMargaret (Meg) McKinney
Family Law

A principal at Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd., Meg McKinney is a respected family law attorney in Maryland and Washington, D.C., with more than 30 years of experience representing clients in complex financial and custody matters. An effective mediator and litigator, she handles complicated cases in service to the long-term needs and interests of her clients and their children. McKinney also represents clients in pro bono matters, mentors volunteer attorneys, and participates in a variety of legal and community organizations, including the William B. Bryant American Inn of Court. McKinney frequently serves as a court-appointed mediator in D.C. Family Court.

Geoffrey GoodaleGeoffrey Goodale
International Law

Geoffrey Goodale, a partner in the corporate practice group at Duane Morris LLP, focuses on export controls, economic sanctions, import compliance, trade litigation, international intellectual property rights protection, foreign direct investment, cybersecurity, and compliance counseling to government contractors. Goodale has served numerous terms as cochair of the D.C. Bar International Law Community and as a member of the Community’s steering committee. He is also active with the ABA’s Sections of International Law, Public Contract Law, and Intellectual Property.

Jaime SantosJaime Santos

Jaime Santos is cochair of Goodwin Procter LLP’s appellate and Supreme Court litigation practice, a member of the firm’s ERISA litigation and life sciences disputes groups, and cochair of its Dobbs Task Force. She has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and more than half of the federal courts of appeals. Santos currently serves on the board of directors of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and has served on the executive committee of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the MacArthur Justice Center’s Supreme Court & Appellate Program Advisory Board, and the National Women’s Law Center’s Leadership Advisory Committee.

Brandon WallaceBrandon Wallace
Real Estate, Housing and Land Use

The founder of the D.C. boutique law firm APEX Legal and the consulting firm Apex Group, Brandon Wallace previously served as legislative assistant for D.C. Council’s Committee on Business and Economic Development. Wallace is also of counsel at the Green Law Firm PLLC, specializing in real estate law in Tennessee and Mississippi. In partnership with the Green Law Firm, he hosts Lawyer-ish: A Podcast for the People. Wallace has a longstanding commitment to public service and advocacy for community engagement, serving as a past board director for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and as former executive director of the William Kellibrew Foundation.

Amy ElliottAmy Elliott

Amy Elliott, a senior practice attorney in the tax group of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, provides advice on the federal tax aspects of business transactions and the implications of business tax legislation and regulations. She writes reports analyzing tax issues raised by public company events and assists with lobbying efforts regarding tax legislation and regulations. Prior to joining Akin, she worked for eight years as a legal journalist at Tax Notes. She served on the D.C. Bar Taxation Community steering committee from 2016 through 2022 and was chair from 2019 to 2020. She has been a member of the D.C. Bar Communities Committee since 2022.

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