Lee Goodman Honored as 2019 Republican Lawyer of the Year

The Board of Governors of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) has named Lee Goodman of Virginia the 2019 Republican Lawyer of the Year.

Mr. Goodman was selected in recognition of his outstanding professional accomplishments and years of tireless dedication in service to the Republican Party. He will be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, November 13.

RNLA President David Warrington said of this year’s honoree:

“Lee is a great lawyer dedicated to defending the First Amendment and the rights of all Americans to participate fully and freely in the democratic process of our Republic. Lee led the fight to defend those rights during his tenure as a commissioner and chairman on the Federal Election Commission. He continues to lead this fight as a lawyer in private practice through the clients and cases he takes, writing thought-provoking commentary, and as a public spokesman for the First Amendment. Lee is also a mentor freely giving his time, advice, and encouragement to numerous lawyers. Many lawyers serving at very high levels in this administration were mentored by Lee and continue to seek his advice and guidance. I am proud to call Lee a colleague and even more proud to call him my friend. I can think of no one who is more deserving of the honor of being the Republican National Lawyers Association’s Lawyer of the Year.”

RNLA Chair Manny Iglesias agreed:

“For decades, Lee Goodman has served as one of the nation’s leading champions of liberty and justice. He is a strong defender of our First Amendment rights and is unwavering in his commitment to protect American’s sacred freedoms against constant threats by the left. Lee’s work for the FEC and the Republican Party continues to inspire lawyers from across the country and the RNLA is proud to honor him this year.”

RNLA Executive Director Michael Thielen stated:

“In addition to being a champion of free speech for all, Lee has also been a leader in Republican Party politics. He helped make the Virginia Republican Party a dominant force in politics years ago and helped make RNLA’s Virginia Chapter its largest. He has done literally everything from working with the smallest party units to resolve internal disputes to advising leaders at the highest levels on legislation. Lee is the embodiment of what a Republican Lawyer of the Year should be.”

Lee is a partner in the Election Law group of Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, DC.

Lee served as Chairman and Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), where he successfully led the rulemaking to conform the agency's regulations to the Supreme Court's Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions and championed free speech on the Internet and free press rights. He previously had served as legal counsel and policy advisor to the Governor of Virginia and Attorney General of Virginia, associate general counsel of the University of Virginia, and general counsel to numerous political organizations.

His experience covers a broad range of policy-oriented subjects, including federal and state campaign finance and ethics laws, First Amendment rights of political speech and association, political action on the Internet, taxation of the Internet, interstate regulation, and academic freedom. He has extensive experience in all aspects of election administration, having litigated state, local and congressional recounts, election contests, ballot access, voting rights, late poll openings, and delegate credentials.

He has been named a "Top Campaign & Elections Lawyer" by Washingtonian magazine. The Washington Examiner called Lee “a leading voice among conservative regulators in Washington” (2016) and “a tireless voice for First Amendment rights on the Internet” (2018).

He is a frequent lecturer at law schools, universities, civic organizations, and continuing legal education programs. He has authored numerous articles on election law and a chapter on regulation of political speech on the Internet in Law and Election Politics: The Rules of the Game (Routledge 2013), and his writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Politico and other publications. He has served on the boards of several educational, cultural, and political non-profit organizations.

Lee has served as the RNLA’s Virginia Chapter Chair, Treasurer and First Vice President prior to being confirmed as an FEC Commissioner. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the RNLA.

The RNLA is pleased to honor Lee Goodman with this prestigious award.

The Republican Lawyer of the Year Award has been presented annually since 2004, and winners in the past several years were Harmeet Dhillon (2018), Larry Levy (2017), John Ryder (2016), Bobby R. Burchfield (2015), and E. Mark Braden (2014).


The entire press release can be viewed and downloaded here.