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Crowell & Moring Public Service Partner Susan M. Hoffman Receives Inaugural Presidents Pages Award from ABA National Council of Bar Presidents

Washington – January 30, 2020: The American Bar Association’s National Conference of Bar Presidents named Crowell & Moring’s public service partner and D.C. Bar president Susan M. Hoffman as the first recipient of the Presidents Pages Award. The award is in recognition of her column in the January/February 2020 edition of Washington Lawyer and will be presented at the 2020 NCBP Midyear Meeting in February.

Entitled “Losers: Our Unsung Lawyers,” Hoffman’s column touches on the impact that “losers” can have, both in fiction, such as Atticus Finch defending Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird, and in real-life, such as dedicated and hardworking public defenders and criminal defense attorneys upholding the Sixth Amendment every day.

In the column, Hoffman shares the story of representing Lt. Tracy Thorne, a firm client who sued the U.S. Navy in 1995 for discharging him based on his sexual orientation. Faced with failure at every turn, Lt. Throne accepted that his career in the military was over and pursued a legal career. With such public losses endured at every stage during his fight for justice, as well as the fights of countless others, Hoffman believes that the case played a role in President Obama’s decision in 2011 to lift the ban against gays in the military, a view shared by Thorne. In March 2013, Thorne made history by becoming the first openly gay judge in Virginia.

Hoffman has dedicated the bulk of her career to pro bono work. She became the nation’s first pro bono counsel in 1988 when she joined Crowell & Moring. She is a former two-term member of the D.C. Bar's Board of Governors. She serves on the board of directors for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Washington Council of Lawyers and is a founding board chair of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project. In addition, she has served in leadership roles with the ABA Litigation Section, D.C. Bar Foundation, and Legal Counsel for the Elderly, among others.


Andrew Loeb
Communications Specialist