U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. has been honored with the New York State Bar Association's highest honor, the Gold Medal.

State Bar President Vincent E. Doyle III of Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo) presented the 2012 award to the Queens native on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the President's Dinner during the Annual Meeting in New York City.

"Throughout his distinguished career as a federal prosecutor, judge, deputy attorney general and attorney general, Eric Holder has been a passionate advocate for the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution," said Doyle. "As the nation's top legal representative as well as its chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Holder is a role model for the legal profession, embodying those qualities demonstrated by the best attorneys: acumen, independence and integrity."

Holder, appointed by President Barack Obama, was sworn in as the 82nd U.S. Attorney General on Feb. 3, 2009 by Vice President Joseph Biden. He is the first African-American to hold the position.

In 1997, President Clinton named Holder as Deputy U.S. Attorney General, serving under Attorney General Janet Reno. He previously served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1988, Holder was nominated by President Reagan to become an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

While attending Columbia Law School, Holder clerked at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Upon graduating, he moved to Washington, D.C. and joined the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the Attorney General's Honors Program.

A former litigation partner at Covington & Burling in Washington, he has served on the boards of Columbia University, the Save the Children Foundation and Concerned Black Men, an organization that provides positive male role models to children in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.


Contact: Brandon Vogel
Media Writer