MICROSOFT’S BRAD SMITH TO BE HONORED WITH 2011 NLADA EXEMPLAR AWARD
‘A Shining Example of Corporate Counsel Contributing to Pro Bono Service’
WASHINGTON, DC, July 12, 2011 — To honor his many years of service as a champion for pro bono assistance, his commitment to diversity and the contributions he has made to legal assistance for people unable to pay for a lawyer, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) will present its 2011 Exemplar Award to Brad Smith, general counsel and senior vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs, at Microsoft.
NLADA has presented the Exemplar Award annually since 1991, to pay tribute to those lawyers who set an example by their extraordinary vision, dedication, achievement and leadership in providing quality representation and access to justice for people unable to afford a lawyer. Smith will be honored during the NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at historic Union Station in Washington, DC.
“I am deeply gratified and honored to receive an award that recognizes the important civic role that lawyers can play in improving the lives of the nation’s most vulnerable population,” Smith said. “Pro bono services fill a critical need in our society, and I am proud to represent a company that understands the enormous responsibility of corporate and private citizenship – in the Seattle area and throughout the nation.”
Smith has helped advance several significant diversity and pro bono initiatives, both within Microsoft and in the broader legal profession. He currently co-chairs the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and serves as chair of the Pipeline Committee of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Smith has also played a central role in ensuring that Microsoft fulfills its corporate responsibilities. In recent years, Microsoft has consistently ranked in the top 2 percent of the S&P 500 for corporate governance scores. During Smith’s tenure, the company’s citizenship programs have reached almost 300 million people in 120 countries through technology training programs that help individuals develop skills needed to obtain jobs.
“We are extraordinarily proud to name Brad Smith the recipient of this prestigious award in NLADA’s centennial year,” said Jo-Ann Wallace, president and CEO of NLADA. “Brad is a shining example of corporate counsel contributing to better pro bono services in America. Along with Microsoft, he has demonstrated a sustained commitment to ensuring that disadvantaged individuals gain access to services they need.”
Smith leads Microsoft’s Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has just over 1,000 employees and is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio and patent licensing business, and its government affairs and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer.
Smith is also Microsoft’s senior executive responsible for the company’s corporate citizenship in Washington State. He has served as chair of the Washington Roundtable, a leading Washington state-based business organization. In 2010, he chaired for Washington Governor Christine Gregoire her Higher Education Funding Task Force, and in 2011 he helped advocate for the successful adoption by the legislature of the task force’s recommendations, including tuition-setting authority and increased accountability for the state’s public universities and for the nation’s first private-public funded endowment to enable more students to attend college. During the past year, Smith and his wife, Kathy Surace-Smith, co-chaired the annual campaign for the United Way King County, the country’s largest United Way campaign.
Before joining Microsoft in 1993, Smith was a partner at Covington & Burling, having worked in the firm's Washington, D.C., and London offices. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and received his law degree at the Columbia University School of Law. He also studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Smith has written numerous articles regarding international intellectual property and Internet policy issues, and has served as a lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law.
For more information on the 2011 Exemplar Award Dinner, please contact Deborah Dubois at (202) 452-0620, ext. 223 or email@example.com.
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National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. For 100 years, NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local level through the creation of our public defender system, development of nationally applicable standards for legal representation, groundbreaking legal legislation and the creation of important institutions such as the Legal Services Corporation. NLADA serves as the collective voice for our country’s civil legal aid and public defender services and provides advocacy, training, technical assistance and the NLADA Insurance Program to its members, who are comprised of legal professionals, institutions and the people they represent.