Nominate Your Legal Professionalism Program for the ABA Gambrell Professionalism Awards

The ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism is looking for “innovative, exemplary, and on-going projects, initiatives, and programs contributing to the understanding and advancement of the highest principles of professionalism in the legal profession.”

Through its E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards, the Standing Committee will award $3,500 prizes to three professionalism programs established by law schools, bar associations, courts, or other legal organizations, that are helping to “ensure the maintenance of the highest principles of integrity and dedication to the legal profession and the public.”

Programs including those that enhance civility, access to justice, well-being, and diversity, equity, and inclusion are eligible for the awards.

Nominations are open now until March 31, 2022.

What are the Gambrell Professionalism Awards?

Named for E. Smythe Gambrell, ABA and American Bar Foundation president from 1955 to 1956 and founder of the Legal Aid Society in Atlanta, the Gambrell Professionalism Awards have honored recipients for more than 30 years.

“Each year, the Gambrell Professionalism Awards are an opportunity to highlight the great work being done to advance professionalism in the law,” said Stephanie Villinski, Deputy Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism. “We look forward to honoring three outstanding programs this year.”

Recent recipients include The Chicago Bar Foundation’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project (JEP), Florida International University College of Law’s Well-Being at FIU Law, and Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law’s LRW Student Outreach Program.

How to apply

To qualify, the program must be ongoing, easily replicated, and operational for at least a year prior to the submission deadline. Previous winners are ineligible.

Nominations must include the following:

  • Program/Project Description
  • Assessment of Program/Project
  • Program/Project Continuation To-Do Kit
  • Additional Information

For more information on what to include in these documents, visit the ABA website.

How are winners selected?

The Gambrell Professionalism Awards include “integrity, civility, competence, fairness, diversity, inclusion, independence, courage, respect, and dedication to the legal profession and to public service” among the principles of professionalism.

The ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism will consider the following criteria when judging submissions:

  • Overall quality of the program
  • Ease with which other interested groups throughout the country can replicate the program
  • Established history and success of the program
  • Likelihood of continuation of the program
  • Breadth of the program for all experience levels of law students and/or lawyers
  • Proactive nature of the programs
  • Effectiveness of the program

If you know of a notable program or initiative that qualifies for this award, download the nomination form here.

Please contact ABA Senior Counsel Theresa Gronkiewicz at (312) 988- 5299 or via email with any questions.

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