James J. Sandman is Distinguished Lecturer and Senior Consultant to the Future of the Profession Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He is President Emeritus of the Legal Services Corporation and served as President of LSC from 2011 to 2020. He practiced law 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 for the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Sandman is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. He is Vice Chair of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission (by appointment of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals) and of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board. He is a member of the boards of Albany Law School, the College of Saint Rose, the Pro Bono Institute, and the International Senior Lawyers Project.
Sandman previously served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Legal Issues Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic and as a member of the ABA's Commission on the Future of Legal Services and its Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. He has chaired the Boards of the Meyer Foundation, Whitman-Walker Health, and the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. He has served as a member of the boards of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of the District of Columbia, the NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education, and Wilkes University.
Sandman is a recipient of American Lawyer's 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award. He was named one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” by Legal Times in 2008. The University of Pennsylvania Law School has honored him with its Alumni Award of Merit and its Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award. He has also received the Ameirican Bar Association's Presidential Citation, the District of Columbia Bar’s Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Award, the Wiley A. Branton Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Legal Rights and Urban Affairs, the Washington Council of Lawyers’ Presidents’ Award, the Council for Court’s Excellence’s Justice Potter Steward Award, Tahirih Justice Center’s Wings of Justice Award, and Legal Aid Society of Cleveland's Louis Stokes Paragon Award. He has been awarded honorart degrees by and given commencement addresses at he College of Saint Rose and Albany Law School. He has received Villanova University’s Medallion Award and been the commencement speaker at Villanova Law School. He has also delivered commencement speeches at Rutgers Law School and at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
Sandman is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received his law degree cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, 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 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.