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Achievement award nominations sought
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Achievement award nominations sought
Nominations due July 8

New this year, the State Bar's 2016 Awards Luncheon will be held on Friday, Sept. 9, separate from the ISBA Annual Meeting on Sept. 28-30. To nominate a deserving superstar, click on one of the awards below and complete the online nomination form.

The following awards will be presented at the Awards Luncheon:

Sponsored by the Litigation Section
The ISBA Litigation Section’s Civility Awards recognize an attorney and judge for outstanding civility and professionalism in their dealings with fellow judges, attorneys, parties, witnesses and the public.

Contact: Melanie Zoeller |

Sponsored by the Family & Juvenile Law Section
The Gale M. Phelps Award is named in memory of Gale M. Phelps, a former chair of the ISBA Family & Juvenile Law Section and one of the most active members of the section, who passed away in 2003. Factors considered in the selection of the recipient reflect Gale’s contributions to the family law legal community and include:
  • Exceptional service to the profession: unsolicited mentoring to new attorneys, reaching out to other lawyers, and working with attorneys on an individualized basis;
  • Highest level of competence/ improving the profession: reviewing legislation and shaping family law policies, contributing to educational seminars, serving in leadership positions for legal and nonlegal organizations;
  • Raising the level of professionalism and civility in domestic relations matters: going beyond the client’s basic needs, maintaining respect for the court system and its participants; and
  • High moral character and ethical standards

Contact: Maryann Williams |

Sponsored by the Diversity Committee
The Rabb Emison Awards, named for its first recipient in the individual category, recognize an individual and an organization that have demonstrated a commitment to promote diversity and/or equality in the legal profession and in the membership of the Indiana State Bar Association.

Contact: Whitney Ruffin |


Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section
The ISBA Young Lawyers Section is accepting nominations for this year’s Outstanding Judge Award. The criteria for the award are as follows:
  1. The nominee provides substantial education or mentoring to young lawyers.
  2. The nominee fosters civility among those attorneys who practice before the bench.
  3. The nominee epitomizes the core values of our profession – honesty, competence and respect for the judicial system.
  4. The nominee has a recognized reputation for providing service to the local community.

Note: The names of those submitting nominations for consideration shall be kept confidential to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Only current judges are eligible for this award.

Contact: Whitney Ruffin |

Sponsored by the Women in the Law Committee
State Bar members are invited to nominate an attorney for the Women in the Law Recognition Award, which is presented to an individual who has assisted in the advancement of women in the legal profession, served as a role model or mentor or has influenced women to pursue a career in law or for contributions to the legal profession as a whole or to a particular area of practice. The nominee must be an attorney licensed in the state. Those making nominations are encouraged to submit letters of support.

Contact: Melanie Zoeller |


Sponsored by the Latino Affairs Committee
The Latino Affairs Committee’s Trailblazer/Abriendo Caminos Award recognizes the outstanding achievements, commitment and leadership of a lawyer who has paved the way for the advancement of other Latino attorneys and/or the Latino community. This award recipient will personify excellence in the profession, especially by his/her steadfast commitment, vision, courage and tenacity, which have resulted in substantial and lasting contributions to the Latino legal profession as well as the broader Latino community. The nominee must be a current ISBA member.

Contact: Melanie Zoeller |


Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section
The Liberty Bell Award celebrates community service that strengthens our system of freedom under law. This is your opportunity to focus on a local community leader who may not receive public recognition of his or her accomplishments. Traditionally this award has been presented to nonlawyers who have rendered outstanding service to their communities in any of the following areas:
  • promoting a better understanding of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights;
  • encouraging greater respect for the law and the courts;
  • stimulating a deeper sense of responsibility so that citizens recognize their duties as well as their rights;
  • contributing to the effective functioning of our institutions of government;
  • fostering a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law. 

Contact: Whitney Ruffin |

Sponsored by the Committee on Civil Rights of Children
The Committee on Civil Rights of Children annually honors an individual who best exemplifies Judge Taliaferro’s courageous leadership in addressing the unmet legal needs of children and in raising the public’s awareness of these needs. Nominations for this award may be for an individual who is living or deceased.


Contact: Melanie Zoeller |


Sponsored by the Service Committee
The Community Service Award was established by the ISBA Service Committee, a project of the first ISBA Leadership Development Academy class. The Service Committee was formed by the class with an interest in advancing the nonlegal service work of lawyers in their communities and state. Factors considered in the selection of the recipient reflect the core values the Service Committee wishes to promote and include:
  1. exceptional nonlegal service work in their respective community – this does not include pro bono work, which is recognized separately;
  2. an embodiment of the core values of our legal profession;
  3. promoting community involvement; and
  4. helping in underserved areas – this includes providing service in lower-income areas, youth initiatives, the elderly and infirm, schools, and similar areas.

Contact: Catheryne Pully |


Sponsored by the Affiliate Membership Committee
This award recognizes an affiliate member of the Indiana State Bar Association who has contributed to the legal profession. The selection committee will give primary consideration to nominees whose efforts offer evidence of distinctive service to the legal profession in the areas of paralegalism, legal administration, law librarianship or court administration. The selection committee may also consider:
  • a nominee’s contributions in the areas of leadership, professional development and promotion of paralegals, legal administrators, law librarians or court administrators;
  • commitment to the Indiana State Bar Association; and
  • service not only to the legal community, but compassion and dedication to others by involvement and volunteer service to the community.

Contact: Susan Jacobs |

Sponsored by the Appellate Practice Section
The criteria for this award are as follows: high moral character and ethical standards; service to the community; peacemaking qualities; person not necessarily a lawyer; award not gender specific. Any lawyer or nonlawyer may be nominated. 


Contact: Melanie Zoeller |


Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section
Nominated candidates will exemplify the virtues embodied in the oath required of all Indiana attorneys when admitted to the bar. To nominate a young lawyer, complete the nomination form and attach a letter explaining why you believe your nominee should be considered for the award. An attorney qualifies as a young lawyer if he or she is under 36 years of age or has less than six years of legal experience. If you prefer that your nomination remain anonymous, please advise, and we will honor your request.


Contact: Whitney Ruffin |


Sponsored by the Federal Judiciary Committee
The Federal Judiciary Committee is seeking nominations from federal judges, the public, attorneys practicing in Indiana’s federal courts, and a candidate’s peers for the Henry Hurst Judicial Assistance Award, which is named in memory of Henry Hurst, the first federal clerk of the district court of Indiana, who was sworn in on May 5, 1817, and served the entire state until 1835. Henry Hurst exemplified the importance of having highly skilled personnel assisting the federal judiciary in order to promote justice and efficiency in the courts.

This year nominees for the Hurst Award shall be from the Southern District of Indiana and serve as a member of the district court clerk’s office or the district bankruptcy court clerk’s office, as a staff member to a district court judge or a district bankruptcy court judge, or as a member of the administrative personnel. Please identify the nominee’s job title and provide a description of the candidate’s qualifications for the award. 


Contact: Paje Felts |

Legal Ethics Essay Contest

Sponsored by the Legal Ethics Committee

Award Nomination Deadline: July 15


The State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee, in coordination with the Young Lawyers Section and the Written Publications Committee, is once again sponsoring the Legal Ethics Essay Contest, aimed at promoting the study of ethics within the legal community. The contest is open to Indiana law students, new lawyers and paralegals. The top entry will receive a cash prize and be eligible for publication in Res Gestae, the ISBA's bar journal. Click here for complete contest rules and guidelines.


Donald R. Lundberg Writing Award

Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section


The Donald R. Lundberg Writing Award is presented to the top article published in The Network, the official newsletter of the Young Lawyers Section.


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