NLADA to Honor David A. Zapolsky, SVP, Global Public Policy & General Counsel, Amazon

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Release Date: 
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Washington (February 29, 2024) – The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce that David Zapolsky, SVP of Global Public Policy and General Counsel at Amazon, will be honored with the 2024 NLADA Exemplar Award.  

“I am excited to present one of NLADA’s most prestigious awards to David. David supports our mission of advancing equal access to justice in America. Amazon’s legal teams have volunteered over 52,000 hours to help underserved communities and models the way for others in the pro bono space,” said NLADA President & CEO April Frazier Camara. “I am proud to honor him with the NLADA Exemplar Award.”   

Zapolsky is being honored for his extraordinary leadership in promoting access to justice and racial equity in the legal profession. Zapolsky founded the Amazon legal department’s pro bono initiative, also known as the Amazon Justice League, which encourages and enables Amazon attorneys and legal professionals around the world to donate thousands of hours of pro bono legal work each year.     

“I’ve always been passionate about pro bono work and giving back to the communities where we live and work. I started Amazon’s pro bono program over a decade ago with the vision of empowering Amazon attorneys and legal professionals worldwide to take advantage of a wide variety of opportunities to help individuals and organizations who lack meaningful access to justice,” said Zapolsky. “NLADA is committed to justice for all and has positively affected the lives of so many people across the country.  It’s an honor to receive this award.”  

Zapolsky is an active member of NLADA’s Corporate Advisory Committee, which engages the corporate legal community to expand the availability of quality representation to those who cannot otherwise afford counsel. He brings that same passion to his support of NLADA’s mission of equal access to justice and racial equity.  

As Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy and General Counsel, Zapolsky manages a broad range of domestic and international legal, public policy, government relations, compliance, and regulatory affairs for the company. Before assuming his current position, he served for more than 23 years in a variety of legal and policy roles at Amazon, including as General Counsel since 2012.   

Prior to joining Amazon in 1999, Zapolsky was a litigation partner in the Seattle offices of Dorsey & Whitney and Bogle & Gates. He moved to Seattle in 1994 from New York, where he served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, focusing primarily on sex crimes, child abuse, and domestic violence prosecutions, and an associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he practiced securities litigation and white-collar defense. He is a graduate of Berkeley Law and Columbia College.      

In addition to his work at Amazon, Zapolsky has taught law school seminars in Technology Law and Public Policy at Berkeley, the University of Washington, and Seattle University. He is also active in several civic, educational, and legal organizations that, among other things, seek to promote diversity and pro bono work in the legal profession. He has served as a Trustee of the King County Bar Foundation, a member of the Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Washington State Advisory Committee, a corporate advisory member of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, a member of the Leaders Council for the Legal Services Corporation, and a Director of Seattle’s Alliance for Education, the Berkeley Law Alumni Association, and the University of Washington Foundation.    

The 2024 award will be presented at the organization’s annual Exemplar Awards Gala on Thursday, June 6, in Washington, D.C.   

For more information about our Exemplar Award Gala please reach out to Rabiah Alicia Burks, Vice President of Communications, by email at [email protected].  




The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local levels, playing a leadership role in the creation of public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation. A leader in the development of national standards for civil legal aid and public defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.