News Release: Law

Jan. 26,  2011

EPIC Honors Public Interest Attorneys at Inspiration Awards

Three attorneys whose careers exemplify a commitment to public service will be honored by the Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) at its 15th annual Inspiration Awards Ceremony and Reception at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in Emory Law’s Tull Auditorium.

Frank B. Strickland, partner with Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP; William E. Hoffmann Jr., pro bono partner with King & Spalding; and Karen Worthington, founding director of Emory Law’s Barton Child Law and Policy Center, are this year’s honorees. Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

Strickland, a 1966 graduate of Emory Law, is receiving the Lifetime Commitment to Public Service Award. From 2003 to 2010, he served as chair of the board of directors of the Legal Services Corp., the largest provider of civil legal aid for low-income Americans.

He previously served on the boards of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and the Federal Defender Program and as vice president and member of the executive committee of the Georgia Legal Services Program.

Strickland also has served as president of the Atlanta Bar Association. His award will be presented by Steve Gottlieb, executive director of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

Hoffmann is receiving the Outstanding Leadership in the Public Interest Award, presented by Monica Modi Khant, executive director of the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network.

After more than 20 years of litigation practice with King & Spalding, Hoffmann has spent his last three years as the firm’s full-time pro bono partner, handling international human rights, asylum, death penalty and civil rights cases.

Hoffmann has served as pro bono counsel to the prosecution in the U.N. Assisted Khmer Rouge Tribunal since 2008 and has obtained political asylum or other relief for Afghan, Ugandan, Iranian, Liberian, Ethiopian and Malawian refugees. Additionally, Hoffmann has represented asylum seekers from Kenya, Somalia, Liberia, Sudan and from persecution by Rwandan Tutsis.

Hoffmann serves on the board of the directors for the Southern Center for Human Rights and has been honored by the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network and the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence.

Worthington, a 1994 graduate of Emory Law, is receiving the Unsung Devotion to Those Most in Need Award.

A nationally recognized expert in children’s law, Worthington was the founding director of Emory Law’s Barton Child Law and Policy Center, which helps promote and protect the well-being of neglected, abused and court-involved children in the state of Georgia.

Worthington has served on the boards of the Georgia Association of Counsel for Children, Voices for Georgia’s Children, Interfaith Children’s Movement and Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates. In 2009, she was recognized with the Outstanding Legal Advocacy Award from the National Association of Counsel for Children.

Prior to joining Emory, Worthington worked with Fulton County Juvenile Court, the Juvenile Advocacy Division of the Georgia Indigent Defense Council and with the Georgia Supreme Court Child Placement Project.

Worthington currently serves as an independent child welfare and juvenile justice consultant in Kula, Hawaii. Her award will be presented by Amy V. Howell, deputy commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

EPIC, a student-run organization promoting public interest law at Emory Law, supports students pursuing public interest legal jobs and acknowledges the professional responsibility of lawyers and law students to make legal services more accessible.

The annual Inspiration Awards is EPIC’s primary fundraiser. In 2010, EPIC raised more than $142,000, providing 36 summer grants for students volunteering in public sector jobs. Grant recipients worked at a variety of local, national and international organizations, including the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and the U.S. Department of State, Office of International Religious Freedom.

Donations to EPIC are accepted at various levels with a minimum $35 donation to attend the Inspiration Awards. For more information about contributing to EPIC or attending this year’s event, contact Sue McAvoy at 404.727.5503 or smcavoy@law.emory.edu.

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