Meet Our Honorees

2016 Celebration of Service Honorees

Michele Roberts pix

Michele Roberts, Celebration of Service Award


Michele Roberts rose from a childhood in a Bronx public-housing development to attend Wesleyan University and UC Berkeley School of Law. She began her career at the Washington, D.C. Public Defender Service in 1980, where she immediately distinguished herself as a formidable litigator with a knack for persuading juries.
After ascending to Chief of the Trial Division, she opened her own practice, where she continued to work with low-income individuals, but also became involved in high-profile cases. Ms. Roberts further cemented her reputation as one of the most respected litigators in the country during tenures at Shea & Gardner, Akin Gump, and Skadden.

On describing what she learned as one of the only black students in her high school class, Roberts said, “It was actually some of the best training for my professional life,” Roberts said. “Once I realized that being different does not mean being inferior — I scoff at that nonsense if I see it.”

In 2014, Ms. Roberts was elected as the NBPA executive director, becoming the first female union leader in major North American professional sports. Ms. Roberts is an adjunct professor at Harvard Law and was named one of ESPNW’s Impact 25 in 2014.


MMM Headshot 2007 finalMarc  H. Morial, Distinguished Alumnus Award


Marc Morial is one of the most accomplished servant-leaders in the nation. As leader of the National Urban League since 2003, he has been the primary catalyst for an era of change—a transformation for the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization. His energetic and skilled leadership has expanded the League’s work around an Empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century.

As Mayor of New Orleans, Mr. Morial was a popular chief executive with a broad multi-racial coalition who led New Orleans’ 1990’s renaissance, and left office with a 70% approval rating. As a lawyer, Mr. Morial won the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for his legal service to the poor and disadvantaged. As a Louisiana state senator, he authored laws on a wide range of important subjects.

Morial states, “The Law Students in Court Clinic was one of the most important, and rewarding, experiences of my time at Georgetown University Law Center.  Through LSIC, I was able to pursue my childhood dream of being a litigator for the first time, with my first client, who was facing eviction from her home in Southwest Washington.  With the help of the talented LSIC lawyers, we helped her remain in her house.  Working on behalf of people was cemented as my life’s calling.”

Mr. Morial attended the University of Pennsylvania and the Georgetown University Law Center. He holds numerous honorary degrees and has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the Top 50 Nonprofit Executives by the Nonprofit Times, and one of the Top 100 Black Lawyers in America.


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