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Nominate an attorney for a bar award today

Monday, March 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle ("The Valley of Fear")

Each year our profession takes time to honor attorneys who have made a difference in the practice of law. We recognize women and men who make extra effort to lead by example and show us professionalism, honor, sacrifice, and duty. This recognition takes the form of four awards administered by the State Bar, two selected by the Bar’s Past Presidents Committee and two by the bar’s Access to Justice stakeholders:

  • the William J. Jameson Award (recognizing an attorney with the State Bar’s highest award for attorney excellence).
  • the George L. Bousliman Professionalism Award (recognizing a reputation for and tradition of professionalism as defined by Dean Roscoe Pound: “Pursuit of a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service.”);
  • the Neil Haight Pro Bono Award, for someone who has provided pro bono services in aid of direct pro bono legal representation in Montana. This can be an attorney, but also can be a court employee, paralegal, psychologist, or social worker
  • the Karla M. Gray Equal Justice Award, which honors a judge from any court who has demonstrated dedication and significant efforts to improving access to the Montana justice system.

But these awards don’t simply happen. They require action — a nomination — by an attorney like YOU. Someone who will take a moment, and complete the nomination form located within this publication. It takes an hour or two of effort and a few telephone calls. The results usually are priceless and sincerely appreciated.

We all know an attorney who is worthy of at least one of the above awards. If you don’t, think harder! Take a moment to appreciate your profession and the people who work within it. Surely you have experienced a moment of grace given by an adversary, an encouraging word or act, mentorship by a veteran attorney, or help when you desperately needed it. This is your opportunity to highlight that conduct.

And so that your nomination receives favorable review, here are some suggestions from the Past Presidents Committee on what makes a good nomination package:

  1. A completed nomination form with the requisite contact information for the nominee and for you;
  2.  A statement describing the activities or qualities of the nominee that addresses the criteria for the award. Please tell the committee how the nominee has met the criteria and why the nominee is worthy of the award;
  3. A copy of the nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae (if available); and
  4. Letters of support for the nominee from one to two attorneys and, perhaps, a sitting judge.

Please show the committee that others share your esteem for the nominee and attest to the nominee’s qualification for the award. These letters may be forwarded separately from the nomination form, but should be postmarked by the nomination deadline.

Please, take the time to recognize a colleague. Submit a nomination today! Let’s celebrate the profession and find examples of attorneys we can emulate. Be the attorney who aspires to recognize genius!