Sidley mourns the passing of Mark Herzog, our valued colleague and dear friend. Mark passed away on November 13, 2021, after more than a year-long struggle with glioblastoma. Mark joined the firm’s Washington, D.C. office as pro bono counsel in March 2017 after having a distinguished career with the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center where he served as associate director for almost two decades.
Mark had a tremendous impact at Sidley. Mark led Sidley’s participation in the D.C. Bar’s Housing Right to Counsel Project, and, in 2018, Sidley earned the Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award for the firm’s high-quality client representation and standout commitment to the Project. Under Mark’s leadership, the D.C. Bar awarded Sidley the Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year in 2019. When the COVID-19 pandemic posed a serious threat to vulnerable individuals with underlying health conditions in the criminal justice system, Mark helped launch the Compassionate Release Clearinghouse COVID-19 Project. Mark spearheaded this national undertaking in collaboration with advocacy organizations, devoting long hours to help lead a cross-office Sidley team of 140 lawyers, paralegals, summer associates, and secretaries to screen over 5,500 applications for compassionate release applications.
Even more important than the awards and accolades that Mark garnered for the firm, Mark forged numerous close relationships with his colleagues at Sidley. Our grief in Mark’s passing is matched only by our affection for him. His infectious energy and passion for serving the community were virtues that he sought tirelessly to share and instill in his Sidley colleagues. By doing so, Mark inspired and mentored a new generation of lawyers to pursue pro bono service.
Mark was a highly regarded advocate in the D.C. pro bono community with numerous honors and awards. Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed him commissioner of the D.C. Commission on Human Rights, and Mark also served on multiple boards, including the D.C. Access to Justice Commission, Whitman-Walker Health, Inc., the LGBT Bar Association of D.C., and Washington Council of Lawyers. Mark was a loving and dedicated husband and father who always prioritized his family and inspired those around him to devote their lives and legal careers to the communities they were serving.
A memorial service is planned for the spring, and details will be shared when they become available.