News Release

Leesburg, Va., Attorney Bonnie H. Hoffman Receives 2013 Heeney Award from Nation's Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC­ (July 29, 2013) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is pleased to announce that Virginia criminal defense lawyer Bonnie Hoffman was chosen as this year’s Robert C. Heeney Award recipient. NACDL’s most prestigious recognition, the Heeney Award is given annually to the member who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Hoffman received the award on Saturday, July 27, 2013, at NACDL’s annual membership and board meeting in San Francisco, California.

NACDL's Immediate Past President Steven D. Benjamin said: “Apart from her public defender duties and her substantial work for NACDL, Bonnie Hoffman has a commitment to public and pro bono service that makes her extraordinary. I am honored to present the Robert C. Heeney Award to Bonnie for her commitment to NACDL and to the legal profession through her work to ensure justice and due process for all.” He also noted that Ms. Hoffman’s dedication to her long-time career as a public defender makes her selection as this year’s Heeney Award recipient especially meaningful as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gideon v Wainwright.

Leesburg, Va., Deputy Public Defender Bonnie H. Hoffman is certified in Misdemeanor, Felony, Juvenile and Death Penalty representation by the Virginia State Bar, and has been a member of NACDL since 1997. Hoffman joined the Office of the Public Defender, 20th Judicial Circuit, Leesburg, Va. in 1995 as an Assistant Public Defender. A 1999 recipient of the Phillip Sadler Award for Excellence in Public Defense, Hoffman went on to become Deputy Public Defender for the 20th Judicial Circuit in 2001 and serves in that role to this day.

Hoffman is a frequent faculty member and lecturer on a variety of topics relating to criminal defense, trial skills and indigent defense issues. She currently serves on NACDL’s Board of Directors, as a board representative to NACDL’s Executive Committee, and as co-chair of NACDL’s Indigent Defense Committee. She also serves on the Juvenile Justice Collaborative, the governing body of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) in her county, and she chairs the JDAI Disproportionate Minority Contact Subcommittee.

Hoffman also spends an extraordinary amount of her personal time leading and participating in extensive public service projects. She co-founded and co-chairs her county’s chapter of the Beat the Odds Scholarship Program that recognizes youth who have overcome significant life obstacles. She also founded the Give 10 for 10 charity (, which recently led a significant relief effort for students and families who were victims of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York, providing thousands of books and essential supplies.

Hoffman received her B.A. with distinction in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia in 1991 and her J.D., also with distinction, from George Mason University School of Law in 1994. She is also a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia.

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Please contact Ivan J. Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or for more information.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.