Jim Sandman has worked in private practice, in government, and as a public interest lawyer. He has been President of the Legal Services Corporation, the United States’ largest funder of civil legal aid programs, since 2011. LSC, created by Congress in 1974, has a budget of $415 million and supports 132 independent legal aid programs with more than 850 offices serving every state and the American territories.
Jim practiced with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm’s Managing Partner for a decade. He is a past President of the 100,000-member District of Columbia Bar and a former General Counsel of the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Jim is a member of American Law Institute, the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, and the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association’s Center for Innovation. He previous served on the ABA’s Commission on the Future of Legal Services (2014-16), on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and as Chair of the Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services of the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference.
Jim was one of the “Fastcase 50” innovators in 2013. In 2008, Legal Times named him one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years.” He has received the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Alumni Award of Merit and its Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award, as well as the District of Columbia Bar’s highest honor, the Justice William J. Brennan Award.
Jim is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as Executive Editor of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Max Rosenn of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.