Isabelle A. Kirshner to be Honored by New York Council of Defense Lawyers

Kirshner to receive the Norman S. Ostrow Award for outstanding commitment to further the goals of criminal justice.

Clayman & Rosenberg partner Isabelle Kirshner will be the 2020 recipient of the Norman S. Ostrow award from the New York Council of Defense Lawyers (NYCDL). Kirshner will receive the honor at the NYCDL Annual Luncheon in Manhattan on March 4.

The award, named after a NYCDL founding member, recognizes jurists and legal practitioners who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to further the goals of criminal justice. Considered one of the most prestigious legal organizations of its kind, the NYCDL supports and advances the ideals of criminal defense by enhancing the quality of defense representation, taking positions on important defense issues, fostering understanding and consensus in areas of mutual concern to defense lawyers and prosecutors, and promoting collegiality among lawyers on both sides and the bench.

Past recipients of the Ostrow award include Elkan Abramowitz, Benjamin Brafman, Ronald Fischetti, James LaRossa, Gerald Lefcourt, Robert Morvillo, Barry C. Scheck, Gerald Shargel, and Mary Jo White.

“Isabelle Kirshner has dedicated her professional life to the ideals of justice for all and truly embodies the spirit of the Ostrow Award,” said Jonathan P. Bach, president of the NYCDL. “The officers and board of the NYCDL join me in honoring Isabelle for her efforts to ensure that everyone, regardless of their station in life, receive a fair and open hearing before the court.”

Kirshner has more than 35 years of experience defending individuals in a wide range of criminal matters, including one of the largest criminal tax shelter cases ever brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. She has been involved with investigations and prosecutions relating to securities fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, tax fraud, drug trafficking and violent crimes.

“For more than 15 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside Isabelle and observing the passion and dedication she brings to the practice of criminal defense,” said Charles Clayman, managing partner of Clayman & Rosenberg LLP. “At a time when the concept of justice is being challenged every day, Isabelle has been steadfast in her approach to the spirit of the law and I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”

Kirshner served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office from 1982 to 1986, working alongside lawyers including Sonia Sotomayor, who would later be appointed to the Supreme Court, and Cyrus Vance Jr., who would go on to hold the post of Manhattan District Attorney. She then entered the private sector as a criminal defense attorney and has been practicing with Clayman & Rosenberg LLP since 2005. She is also a long time faculty member of the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Kirshner has been appointed to the Criminal Justice Act Committee and the Criminal Justice Advocacy Board for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is a member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL), the New York State Criminal Bar Association, the New York City Criminal Bar Association, and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Kirshner is the recipient of the NYSACDL Thurgood Marshall practitioner of the year award (2019), and Gideon’s Promise Equalizer Award (2018).

About The New York Council of Defense Lawyers (NYCDL).

The New York Council of Defense Lawyers (“NYCDL”), established in 1986 as a not-for-profit professional association, has a membership of about 250 very experienced lawyers whose principal area of practice is the defense of criminal cases, particularly in the federal courts in New York. Many of the members are former Assistant United States Attorneys, including a number of former Chiefs of the Criminal Division in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. The membership also includes lawyers from the Federal Defender offices in these two districts, including the Executive Director and Attorney-in-Chief of the Federal Defenders of New York. The members also include lawyers from the Federal Defender offices in these two districts. The NYCDL’s mission includes protecting and ensuring individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution by rule of law through education; supporting the criminal defense function by enhancing the quality of defense representation; taking positions on important defense issues; promoting study and research of the criminal justice system; and promoting the proper administration of criminal justice.