2013 ACS Progressive Champions
One of the most important ingredients for the success of ACS is the support of committed individuals and organizations with the vision to appreciate our mission and potential. To honor such deserving visionaries, ACS presents an annual Progressive Champions Award – in recognition of extraordinary efforts to ensure that the law is a force to improve the lives of all people, protect our Constitution, and cultivate the next generation of legal leaders.
Congressman John Lewis
ACS is proud to honor Congressman John Lewis as a 2013 Progressive Champion. Often called "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced," John Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.
He has been called "the conscience of the U.S. Congress,” and Roll Call magazine has said, "John Lewis…is a genuine American hero and moral leader who commands widespread respect in the chamber.” Read more about his work here.
ACS is proud to honor Brad Smith as a 2013 Progressive Champion. Mr. Smith is Microsoft's general counsel and executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company's Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs, which has approximately 1,100 employees located in 55 countries and is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio and patent licensing business, and its government affairs and philanthropic work.
Mr. Smith serves as Microsoft's senior executive responsible for the company's corporate citizenship and philanthropic work, including a new multi-billion dollar, companywide commitment to creating opportunities for 300 million youth around the world during the next three years. Mr. Smith has also helped advance several significant diversity initiatives within the broader legal profession by using business incentives in the form of a bonus to law firms achieving various benchmarks, or by cutting law firms rates if they don’t meet standards. As an added commitment, Smith and other senior Microsoft leaders only receive their year-end merit bonus if at least 75 percent of utilized law firms receive their diversity bonus. Mr. Smith also co-chairs the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), is the chair-elect of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and has advanced several education and philanthropic initiatives.