Did you know the legal profession has its own version of the Academy Awards? The Academy gives out a Gold Oscar; we give out a Silver Gavel.
For the last 60 years, the Silver Gavel Awards, put on by the American Bar Association’s Division for Public Education, has been honoring a wide array of media and arts that educate the public about the American legal system. Each year, recipients go above and beyond informing the public about current practices, policies, and issues prevalent within our nation’s justice system.
The Silver Gavel Awards recognize winners in eight different categories that can include TV programs, documentaries, books, radio, commentary, magazines, commentary, drama and literature, and other media on a wide array of subject matters associated with the legal profession. The winners are selected by the ABA Standing Committee on Silver Gavel Awards, made up of 20 people, including the Commission’s Diversity and Education Director – Michelle Silverthorn for the second year in a row.
From the 19 finalists, Michelle and the other members of the Standing Committee on Silver Gavel Awards selected four submissions to earn Silver Gavels and an additional two entries to receive honorable mentions.
The 2017 Silver Gavel Award winners are:
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, a book written by Matthew Desmond;
- Do Not Resist, a documentary produced by VANISH Films;
- More Perfect, a radio mini-series produced by WNYC Studios; and
- Trapped, a television documentary produced by Trilogy Films.
The 2017 Honorable Mentions are:
- Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, a book written by Heather Ann Thompson; and
- “Forsaken: Florida’s Broken Mental Health System,” an investigative journalism series featured in the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Silver Gavels award ceremony will be held July 18 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Interested in learning more about the winners? We’ve written about a few of them here.