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Join The Legal Aid Society as we celebrate the 42nd Annual Awards Dinner. This year, we are proud to honor Michele Roberts and Jeffrey Kessler with The 2019 Servant of Justice Award for their lasting impact on our city’s legal community. Your support helps our Civil Practice make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers in need.

Rich Davis

Chair of the Board of Directors

Blaine V. (Fin) Fogg

President of The Legal Aid Society

Janet Sabel

Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society


This Year's Honorees


Michele Roberts

Executive Director
National Basketball Players Association

Roberts began her career in 1980 at Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She served in that role for eight years, rising to the chief of the trial division. She was mentored by attorney Charles Ogletree. Roberts built her reputation as a trial lawyer. She worked for Akin Gump from 2004 to 2011. In 2011 she was hired by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Roberts was named executive director of the National Basketball Players Association in July 2014.She succeeded Billy Hunter in the position. She received 32 of 36 votes. In 2014 she was named one of ESPNW's Impact 25. Roberts is an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The Washingtonian once referred to her as the "finest pure trial lawyer in Washington."

Jeffery Kessler

Co-Executive Chairman
Winston & Strawn LLP

Jeffrey L. Kessler focuses his practice on all aspects of antitrust/competition, sports law, intellectual property (IP), complex litigation, and government criminal and civil investigations. He has been lead counsel in some of the most complex antitrust, sports law, and intellectual property law cases in the country, including major jury trials, and has represented a number of U.S. and international companies in criminal and civil investigations in the antitrust, trade, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) areas. He successfully defended Matsushita and JVC against claims of a worldwide conspiracy in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Zenith v. Matsushita and is regarded as a leading commentator on international antitrust law. He has also been the lead counsel in numerous IP cases involving frontier issues of IP law and lead counsel in numerous government criminal and civil investigations.

Honorary Chair:
Harvey Kurzweil

Winston & Strawn LLP

About Us

The Legal Aid Society exists for one simple yet powerful reason: to ensure that no New Yorker is denied their right to equal justice because of poverty. For over 140 years, we have protected, defended, and advocated for those that have struggled in silence for far too long – working on the frontlines and behind-the-scenes to offer our clients the exceptional legal services they deserve. Through our Civil, Criminal Defense, and Juvenile Rights Practices, we provide an unmatched depth and breadth of expertise to vulnerable New Yorkers, no matter what challenges they may face.

Justice In Every Borough

Our country was built on the principle of equal justice under law. Unfortunately, this system often favors those with power and privilege – leaving millions of families and individuals, trapped by unfair and indifferent policies and practices, to fend for themselves. Thankfully, The Legal Aid Society stands for these New Yorkers. As the largest social justice law firm in the country, we are proud advocates for those who have struggled in silence for far too long. We go beyond any one case to tackle some of the most damaging inequities of our social welfare and justice systems.


Last Year's Photos

A Message from Joe Biden

During the 41st Annual Awards Dinner, guests were treated to a special video message from Vice President Joe Biden. In his remarks, Mr. Biden applauded the staff and partners of The Legal Aid Society for their commitment to the pursuit of equal access to justice.


Cipriani 42nd Street
110 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017


Justice In Every Borough

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