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Life Fellow Patricia M. Wald is 2014 Recipient of Outstanding Service Award from Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

January 27, 2014, Press releases


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Distinguished judge will be honored at ABA Midyear event in February

CHICAGO, January 27, 2014 – The Honorable Patricia M. Wald, Retired Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, will receive the Outstanding Service Award from The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation at the 58th Annual Awards Reception and Banquet on Saturday, February 8 from 6 – 10pm at The Murphy Chicago. The Outstanding Service Award is given annually to a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation who has, in his or her professional career, adhered for more than thirty years to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and to the service of the public.

Robert A. Clifford and Clifford Law Offices are the Presenting Sponsors of the 2014 banquet, one of several events being hosted by The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation during the Midyear Meeting of the American Bar Association. Keynote remarks will be given by former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Judge Wald served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for twenty years, from 1979-1999, including five years as Chief Judge. She was a member of the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern Europe Law Initiative Executive Committee from 1993-99, working on constitutional and judicial reform in that region’s emerging democracies. In 1999, she was appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to serve as judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where she sat on the first ICTY Srebrenica genocide trial.

From 2002-2012, Wald was a member of the governing body of the OSI Justice Initiative, a member of the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, an advisor to the American Law Institute’s Sentencing Project and a Co-Chair of the Advisory Board to DLA-Piper’s New Perimeter Project.

Judge Wald was also a member of the Advisory Committee to the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and a member of the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States.  Additionally, she served on the American Constitution Society’s Security and Justice Initiative Task Force.

A graduate of Yale Law School, Judge Wald also previously served as an attorney with the Mental Health Law Project, an attorney with the Center for Law and Social Policy, co-director of the Ford Foundation Drug Abuse Research Project, an attorney with the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, and as the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs in the Carter Administration’s Justice Department.

Judge Wald was the first woman of the D.C. Circuit bench and the first woman to head Legislative Affairs in the U.S. Department of Justice.  She was the recipient of the American Bar Association’s Medal of Honor in 2008. Since 2012 she has been a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and in 2013 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Nominations for the Outstanding Service Award are made by the national membership of The Fellows, and a final selection of the recipient is made by the officers and ratified by the ABF’s Board of Directors. Past recipients of the award include Philip S. Anderson, Senator David H. Gambrell, and William G. Paul.

Also receiving awards at the event will be Professor Deborah L. Rhode for Outstanding Scholar and Henry M. Coxe III and A. Joshua Markus for Outstanding State Chairs.

In announcing Wald’s selection for the award, Fellows Chair Don Slesnick said, “Judge Wald has made immeasurable contributions to the legal profession both here in the United States and internationally as well. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation are honored by her acceptance of this award.”

Program details:         

WHAT:            The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation Annual Award Reception and Banquet

WHEN:            Saturday, February 8, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

WHERE:         The Murphy Chicago

                        50 E. Erie St.

                        Chicago, IL 60611

This is a ticketed event. Please click here for registration information. For general event information, contact or call 800-292-5065.

The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an honorary organization of lawyers, judges, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.

The American Bar Foundation is the nation's leading research institute for the empirical study of law. An independent, nonprofit organization for more than 60 years, ABF seeks to advance the understanding and improvement of law through research projects of unmatched scale and quality on the most pressing issues facing the legal system in the United States and the world. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment.


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