Bet Tzedek to honor former Attorney General Eric Holder

Bet Tzedek will award its Luis Lainer Founder’s Award to former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. at the nonprofit law firm’s annual dinner gala on Jan. 26 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel.

Holder, the first African-American U.S. Attorney General, has long recognized the professional and moral obligation of attorneys to provide access to justice, according to Bet Tzedek. As the 82nd U.S. Attorney General, Holder implemented the Access to Justice Initiative in the Department of Justice, creating volunteer opportunities in federal agencies to promote accessibility, ensure fairness and improve efficiency in the civil and criminal justice system.

Holder served as attorney general from February 2009 to April 2015. He has rejoined Covington & Burling LLP as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office where he was also a member of the firm from 2001 until 2009.

Earlier in Holder’s career, President Bill Clinton appointed him to lead the national effort Lawyers for One America, which harnessed pro bono representation to drive progress and open doors to opportunity in underserved communities.

“Eric Holder has spent his career – in both public and private practice – working tirelessly to ensure our nation’s judicial system works for everyone,” said Bet Tzedek president and CEO Jessie Kornberg. “He has not only encouraged lawyers to provide pro bono service but he has created pathways to make that both possible and effective. He exemplifies our organization’s mission and is a most fitting recipient of our Luis Lainer Founder’s Award.”

Bet Tzedek provides free legal services to low-income individuals, focusing particularly on seniors and people with disabilities. Bet Tzedek was formerly headquartered in the Fairfax District and is now located at 3250 Wilshire Blvd. Established in 1999 in honor of the agency’s co-founder and first full-time executive director, the Luis Lainer Founder’s Award is the agency’s highest honor.

Bet Tzedek’s annual dinner gala will also recognize other organizations, including the UCLA School of Law, recipient of the Rose Schiff Commitment to Justice Award for its partnerships with Bet Tzedek. Sam Yebri, a founding member of the Bet Tzedek New Leadership Council, will receive the Rebecca Nichols Emerging Leader Award for his volunteerism. Akiko Nishino will receive the Jack H. Skirball Community Justice Award for her efforts as director of the agency’s Right to Health Project and her commitment to its clients.

For information, call Amy Peckner, Bet Tzedek’s senior development officer at (323)549-5860 or email

Please note: this article was originally published in Beverly Press