2023 Event

The Twenty-Fourth Anniversary Celebration

The 24th anniversary awards program was held on Monday, June 12th, 2023, at the stunning National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

The program began with a moving tribute to the life and career of retired Justice Stephen Breyer. First, Chief Legal Officer for Meta, Jennifer Newstead, spoke about her experience as Justice Breyer’s law clerk. Followed by his successor, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Finally, a riveting interview with Justice Breyer was conducted by political commentator and the Burton Awards’ Master of Ceremonies, Bill Press.

The inaugural “Robert A. Katzmann Award for Academic Excellence,” was presented to Dean of Georgetown University Law Center, William Treanor. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was unable to join in person, delivered her heartfelt remarks via video about the award, appropriately named in honor of her late and great friend, the Honorable Robert A. Katzmann. Followed by, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, Gene Sperling.

Deborah Enix-Ross, President of the American Bar Association; Linda Klein, former President of the American Bar Association and Senior Managing Shareholder at Baker Donelson; and Elizabeth Andersen, Executive Director of the World Justice Project were among the distinguished speakers at the event.

Jean Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) spoke in honor of Tom Sager who was awarded the inaugural “Diversification in Law” award.

Jane Sullivan Roberts, Managing Partner of Macrae, presented awards to the Public Service Award Winners.  Colonel Todd Pennington, Staff Judge Advocate of the United States Space Command was honored for his public service in the military; Elizabeth Pugh, retired General Counsel for the Library of Congress received the Public Service Award in Government at the Executive Level; Thomas W. Krause, Solicitor of the United States Patent and Trademark Office was recognized for his Public Service in the Government at the Management Level.

Finally, H. Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell presented the Law Firm Leadership Award to Presiding Partner of Cravath, Faiza Saeed.

Following the awards ceremony, the audience entered the Kogod Courtyard for a cocktail reception and dinner while a full orchestra played.  The beautiful evening was capped with a laugh out loud performance by Seth Meyers, comedian and talk show host.

The program sponsors were Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Williams & Connolly LLP.