James Sandman, President of Legal Services Corporation, to Deliver Villanova University School of Law’s 2014 Commencement Address May 16

Commencement 2014 Sandman


Arthur Kania ’56, a member of the Law School’s inaugural graduating class, to receive honorary degree

Villanova University School of Law (VLS) Dean John Y. Gotanda announced that James Sandman, president of Legal Services Corporation (LSC), will address the Class of 2014 as the School’s commencement speaker and will also receive the Villanova Law Medallion Award in recognition of his achievements. Distinguished alumnus Arthur Kania ’56 will receive a Doctor of Laws (LLD) as part of the ceremony. Commencement will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 16, 2014, in The Pavilion on the campus of Villanova University.

Commencement Speaker:

James Sandman is President of the Legal Services Corporation, the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans in the nation. He assumed the role in 2011 following his four-year tenure as General Counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools. Sandman was previously with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years, serving as the firm’s managing partner from 1995 to 2005.

Sandman was president of the District of Columbia Bar (2006-07), served on its Board of Governors (2003-08) and is currently the chair of its Pro Bono Committee. He is also chair of the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and is a member of the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project Advisory Committee.

Throughout his career, Sandman has dedicated his time and talents to numerous public interest and philanthropic efforts. He is chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s District of Columbia State Advisory Committee, chairman of the board of the DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, vice chairman of the board of the Washington Performing Arts Society, and a member of the boards of the Meyer Foundation, Tahirih Justice Center and the Women’s Bar Association Foundation. From 2007 to 2008, Sandman served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

In 2008 Sandman was named one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” by the Legal Times. He is also the recipient of the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s “Star of the Bar” Award, D.C. Law Students in Court’s Celebration of Service Award, the Washington Council of Lawyers Presidents’ Award, the Council for Court Excellence’s Justice Potter Stewart Award and Tahirih Justice Center’s Wings of Justice Award. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the College of Saint Rose in 2013.

Sandman is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston College and received his law degree cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Max Rosenn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Honorary Degree Recipient:

Arthur J. Kania ’56 is Senior Partner at Kania, Lindner, Lasak & Feeney, a law firm specializing in corporate and real estate finance in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He is also a principal at Trikan Associates, a Kania family affiliate that manages various real estate holdings and is active in venture-capital investments in financial services, health care, technology and the leisure industry.

A member of the Law School’s inaugural graduating class of 1956, Kania has been an active alumnus throughout the years, having served as Vice Chairman of the Villanova University Board of Trustees, President of the Development Council and as a life member of the Law School’s Board of Consultors. Earlier this year, the Law School named its deanship position in his honor.

Kania has provided significant financial support to academic and financial aid initiatives at VLS, establishing numerous scholarships and helping to launch Villanova Law’s Matthew J. Ryan Law and Public Policy Forum. Kania was one of the largest benefactors and a member of the Steering Committee for the Campaign for Villanova Law, which helped fund the construction of the School of Law building. He was awarded the Villanova University School of Law Medallion Award and the Villanova Law Alumni Association Gerald Abraham Award for Service in recognition of his continued service and support.

A member of the Board of Directors of Franklin Security Bank, Kania previously served on the boards of Summit Bank, Prime Bank, PNC Bank and as a director and member of the Executive Committee of Mid-Atlantic Bancorporation and Continental Bank. In addition, he is active in numerous charitable and civic affairs. Kania is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital; a director of Piasecki Foundation; a past member of the Delaware Valley Hospital Council and the Chairman’s Advisory Committee of the Temple University Department of Health Administration (Graduate Division); and a past member of the Executive Board of the Philadelphia Art Museum Associates.

Kania, a graduate of the University of Scranton, was honored by his alma mater in 1998 when it named the Business School after him. A past Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Trustee Emeritus of the University of Scranton, he was the recipient of an honorary degree in 1989 and the University of Scranton’s President’s Medal in 2004.