The 1998 Wickersham Award for exceptional public service and dedication to the legal profession was recently presented to Jamie Gorelick. The award is given annually in connection with the main fund-raising event of LC's Friends of the Law Library, a dinner that traditionally takes place in the U.S. Supreme Court building.
"Jamie Gorelick has been a distinguished lawyer in private practice and government service. She combines outstanding professional accomplishments with a strong commitment to the public interest," said Abe Krash, president of the Friends, in his introduction. Ms. Gorelick served as general counsel of the Defense Department and subsequently as the deputy attorney general in the Justice Department in 1994-97 before assuming her present duties as vice chair of Fannie Mae, the congressionally chartered provider of home mortgages. She served as president of the D.C. Bar from 1992 to 1993, and was for many years a litigator with the Washington firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin. Ms. Gorelick currently also serves on the boards of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and America's Promise -- the Alliance for Youth.
In his welcoming remarks, Law Librarian Rubens Medina expressed his admiration for Ms. Gorelick's accomplishments and thanked the Friends for their loyal support in fostering a growing awareness of the Law Library's importance.
A panel of speakers who all had worked closely with the honoree gave tribute to Ms. Gorelick: Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Janet Reno, U.S. attorney general; Seth Waxman, U.S. solicitor general; and Herbert J. Miller Jr. of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin.
Prior to the award ceremony in the Supreme Court Chamber, some 200 distinguished friends of the honoree and of the Law Library of Congress had gathered for a candlelight dinner in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court. On hand were some of the past Wickersham Award honorees, Lloyd N. Cutler; Dwight Opperman; the widow of an honoree, the late Associate Justice William J. Brennan; and William T. Coleman III, son of last year's honoree, former Transportation Secretary William Coleman. Among the invited guests and sponsors were members of the press, major law firms, law libraries and legal publishers. The Library of Congress was represented by Deputy Librarian of Congress Donald Scott; Daniel P. Mulhollan, director of the Congressional Research Service; Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights; Winston Tabb, associate librarian for Library Services; and Librarian of Congress Emeritus Daniel J. Boorstin.