WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 30, 2013) – The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) is delighted to announce the names of the 2013 Beacon of Justice Award winners. The 17 law firms that were honored, including Salt Lake City’s Zimmerman Jones Booher, have all devoted considerable time and resources to delivering on the mandate of Gideon v Wainwright, which 50 years ago established the right to counsel for people accused of a crime and facing a loss of liberty.
Troy Booher, a partner at the firm and visiting associate professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, commented, “Our firm has a deep commitment to providing pro bono representation in individual cases and to working for legal reform that will ensure competent representation for all who cannot afford it. We are honored and humbled to be a recipient of the Beacon of Justice Award.”
Each winner has been chosen for their accomplishments in advancing Gideon’s principles through law reform or individual representation. A small sample of these successes include the exoneration of innocent people; landmark appellate victories that promote effective representation; pardons or commutations that ameliorate the impact of unnecessarily harsh and disparate sentences; and the dedication of tens of thousands of pro bono hours that ensured that individuals received competent counsel and fair treatment under the law.
Zimmerman Jones Booher’s “practice extends to all aspects of the presentation of issues to appellate courts, in both civil and criminal matters,” according to the firm’s website. All of the firm’s attorneys are College of Law graduates, and partner Linda Jones is an adjunct professor at the College.
“These firms truly serve as beacons of justice.” stated Jo-Ann Wallace, NLADA President and CEO. “Their achievements in advancing the cause of equal justice through pro bono generosity provide the entire legal community with a powerful example. I am so proud to have private partners that consistently demonstrate exactly what we can achieve when we work together to secure justice under the law.”