Two members of the Michigan Law family, John M. Nannes ’73 and Susan M. Liss, received the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award from the committee’s Washington chapter on March 12.
The chapter presents the award annually to leaders in the legal profession who exemplify the principles of Learned Hand (1872-1961), an influential and much-quoted Federal judge and judicial philosopher.
Nannes is the benefactor of the Nannes Third-Year Challenge, a student-led fundraising initiative that encourages students to learn about supporting Michigan Law before they graduate. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Dean Evan Caminker spoke in tribute to Nannes at the awards dinner, applauding Nannes’ extensive service to Michigan, where he sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council and was a member of the steering committee for the Law School’s successful fundraising campaign.
Nannes also was cited for his longtime service on the D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Committee and on the Board of Trustees of the Legal Aid Society. Nannes serves as a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society and recently was appointed to the Board of Directors of the D.C. Bar Foundation. He is an active member of Washington Hebrew Congregation and has served the congregation in several capacities, including president and chair of the congregation’s successful 150th anniversary campaign.
Nannes joined Skadden following clerkships for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been with the firm throughout his career, except for three years at the U.S. Justice Department from 1998-2001, when he worked in the Antitrust Division as Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General. He earned his undergraduate degree in business at Michigan.
Liss, a public interest lawyer and advocate since 1977, currently directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. She has worked for a number of constitutional, women’s rights, and civil rights organizations. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Georgetown University Law Center.
She has held several government posts including service as chief of staff to Tipper Gore and special counsel to the Vice President during the Clinton-Gore administration, and several senior Justice Department positions. An active board member for several non-profit organizations, Liss is vice president for North America of the New Israel Fund, the founding advisory committee chair for the University of Michigan’s Washington residential seminar program, and an advisor to New Perimeter, the international pro bono project of DLA Piper, LLP.
Liss is the widow of Jeffrey F. Liss ’75, who was a 2004 recipient of the Learned Hand Award from the Washington chapter. Among those congratulating her at the awards dinner was David M. Uhlmann, the Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice.