2012 Recipients

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Where presented : 
Exemplar Award Dinner
Recipient(s) name: 
Abigal Turner, Legal Aid Justice Center, VA, and Kim Dvorchak, Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition
Reason for selection of recipient(s): 

Abigail Turner has spent 35 years focused on civil rights and redressing poverty. As a newly minted attorney in 1975, Turner joined the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC, working as counsel in national litigation concerning race discrimination in the expenditure of federal revenue sharing funds. She continued her civil rights focus as a staff attorney with the Legal Services Corporation of Alabama and in 1989 assumed the position of litigation director at New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Since then, Turner has racked up victories on behalf of civil rights groups and low-income clients in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Charlottesville, VA, earning her a bevy of awards along the way. She has provided testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights during Oversight Hearing on Civil Rights Enforcement of the Department of Agriculture; the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution on the Extension of the Voting Rights Act (1982); and the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights.

Kim Dvorchak began her legal career in 1996 as Colorado’s deputy state public defender, where she represented adults and juveniles accused of misdemeanors and felonies in county court, juvenile court, and district court. Prior to that, Dvorchak had already built an impressive pro bono resume while in law school at City University of New York School of Law, Queens, NY, where she spent a significant amount of time working on the ACLU National Prison Project, the Legal Aid Society of New York Prisoner’s Rights Project and Prisoner Legal Services. Dvorchak also spent five years in New York in the criminal defense division of the Legal Aid Society, where she provided indigent defense in felony cases in trial court; was a member of the Juvenile Offender Unit representing 13-15 year old youth in adult court; and was a member of the hospital arraignment team representing injured and mentally ill clients at Bellevue Hospital. In 2010, Dvorchak founded the Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition (CJDC) where she is currently the executive director.