2020 Annual Conference: Awards

 Nominations for this year's awards are now closed. Thanks to everyone who sumbitted a nomination! 

Award Descriptions

Mary Ellen Hamilton Award

AWARD STATEMENT

The Mary Ellen Hamilton Award honors a legal services client or low-income community leader who, on a compensated or volunteer basis, has provided extraordinary support to the delivery of legal assistance to low-income people, to increase involvement of low-income people in the fight for equal justice, or to enhance the involvement of low-income people in their cases. The award commemorates Mary Ellen Hamilton, one of the founders of the National Clients Council and the Alliance for Legal Rights, who served on NLADA’s Board of Directors and remained an active Alliance member until her death in 1985.

AWARD ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA

A person is eligible to be recognized for service in a volunteer or paid capacity as a client, a client board member, or a community advocate and who meets one or more of the following criteria:

⬥ Providing extraordinary service to or support for the goal of achieving equal justice for low-income people.

⬥ Demonstrating leadership in a local, state, or national role to enhance the involvement of clients as decision makers in their individual cases and in the legal aid programs that advocate on their behalf.

⬥ Promoting or exemplifying the effective engagement of clients and other representatives of low-income communities in the delivery of legal assistance in those communities.

Arthur von Briesen Award

AWARD STATEMENT

The Arthur von Briesen Award honors a private attorney who has made substantial volunteer contributions in support of the delivery of civil legal aid or indigent defense representation. The award is named for Arthur von Briesen, the first and very accomplished president of NLADA.

AWARD ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA

A person is eligible to be recognized for service in a volunteer capacity as a private attorney, and must meet one or more of the following criteria:

⬥ The attorney has provided extraordinary and successful legal advocacy on behalf of clients who could not otherwise afford counsel.

⬥ The attorney has significantly advanced the cause of equal justice for individual clients or low-income communities.

⬥ The attorney exemplifies, through his or her record of exceptional advocacy, leadership, and dedication, the very best the private bar has to offer in pro bono service to the cause of justice for all.

Denison Ray Award

AWARD STATEMENT

The Denison Ray Award honors an individual who has provided exceptional service to the civil legal aid community as a staff member, client board member, or volunteer of a provider program. Nominees may be, but do not have to be, attorneys. The “Denny” is named for a career legal aid activist who served as executive director of legal services programs in Missouri, Maine, North Carolina, and New York and was a long-time leader of the Project Advisory Group.

AWARD ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA

A person who has provided at least five years of service to the civil legal aid community as a staff member, a client board member, or a volunteer of a civil legal aid program will be eligible for the “Denny” award. The person must meet one or more of the following criteria:

⬥ The individual has made extraordinary contributions to the goal of achieving equal justice for low-income people.

⬥ The individual has demonstrated leadership in a local, state, or national role and has acted as a mentor for others.

⬥ The individual has set an inspirational example of industriousness, creativity, and determination in his/her legal aid work.

⬥ The individual exhibits a passionate quest for fairness and equality and a history of commitment to equal justice.

Emery A. Brownell Award

AWARD STATEMENT

The Emery A. Brownell Award gives national recognition to newspapers, magazines, online/digital publications, filmmakers, and television and radio stations that have informed the public about the crucial role played by civil legal aid or defender organizations in advancing equal justice for those who cannot afford counsel. This award is named for Emery Brownell, who served as NLADA’s executive director from 1940 until his death in 1961.

AWARD ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA

Entries of media coverage, including print, audio, and audiovisual coverage, will be eligible if they have appeared during the two years preceding the award nomination deadline and meet one or more of the following criteria:

⬥ Informing and educating the public about the need for legal services to persons who have traditionally been denied such assistance.

⬥ Fostering a greater understanding of the lawyer’s role in the resolution of disputes, particularly those involving persons who traditionally have been denied access to justice.

⬥ Bringing attention to the importance of the constitutional right to counsel in criminal proceedings.

⬥ Bringing attention to the need for civil legal assistance for low-income people and communities.

ADDITIONAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

For print publications, the nomination packet must include a photocopy of the publication. For audio or audiovisual coverage, include an electronic recording file along with a written transcript of the entry. For online/digital publications, a web-link and printed copy must be provided.

Certain media outlets do not allow their employees to accept awards such as this. Nominators should ensure that their nominees may accept this award before submitting a nomination.

New Leaders in Advocacy Award

AWARD STATEMENT

The New Leaders in Advocacy Award honors rising attorneys who exhibit extraordinary leadership early in their careers as civil legal aid or indigent defense advocates. Recipients will also be invited to participate in NLADA’s Beacon of Justice selection process in the following year.

AWARD ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA

Nominees must be attorneys employed by, or affiliated with, organizations serving persons who cannot afford to pay for legal representation in either civil or criminal matters. They must have practiced law for at least three but not more than eight years. Factors that will be considered in the selection process include:

⬥ Achieving favorable results for clients while employing creative approaches to legal work.

⬥ Demonstrating a personal commitment to the mission of the work.

⬥ Demonstrating extraordinary leadership skills and talents.

⬥ Gaining support for his or her work from non-traditional partners.

ADDITIONAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Nominations must include a statement of no more than 600 words showing how the person has met the award’s criteria. Include the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three people who have agreed to verify the nominee’s accomplishments.

Reginald Heber Smith Award

AWARD STATEMENT

The Reginald Heber Smith Award recognizes the dedicated service and outstanding achievements of a civil legal aid or indigent defense attorney while employed by an organization supporting such services. This award is for an attorney, either civil or defender, who provides direct services to clients. The “Reggie” is named for a former counsel at the Boston Legal Aid Society who was author of Justice and the Poor, published by the Carnegie Foundation in 1919.

AWARD ELIGIBILITY AND CRITERIA

A person is eligible to be recognized for service as a civil legal aid or indigent defense attorney while employed by an organization supporting such service. The award may be given up to two years after the attorney’s termination of employment with the organization. The nominee must be an attorney and meet one or more of the following criteria:

⬥ Providing extraordinary and successful legal advocacy on behalf of clients who could not otherwise afford counsel.

⬥ Advancing significantly the cause of equal justice for individual clients or low-income communities.

⬥ Exemplifying, through his or her record of exceptional advocacy, leadership, dedication, and the very best the equal justice community has to offer.

 

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