Awards are relevant within the legal community. Legal awards recognize the efforts of an often difficult job, while also contributing to establishing the reputation of the lawyer or law firm. With an ever-increasing rise in competition within the legal industry, awards allow an opportunity for law firms to discern themselves from their competitors.
There are quite a few awards that can be won within the legal community; Some of them given by the American Bar Association themselves, and others paid for by recipient lawyers through various organizations. What’s important is seeking out and giving merit to the ones that hold the most substantial meaning within the legal industry. For the purpose of this article, we’ve compiled a list of the most prestigious top awards you can receive as a lawyer within the United States.
American Bar Association (ABA) Awards
- The Golden Hammer - This award recognizes the work of lawyers and law firms that promote women and others in the ABA, the Division, and within the profession.
- Samuel L. Smith Award - This award recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in law practice and is the highest achievement given by the law practice division of the ABA.
- Robert P. Wilkins Award - This award offers achievement recognition regarding the Law Practice, Law Technology Today, and Law Practice Today publications.
- John H. Pickering Achievement Award - This award recognizes those who advocate for pro bono service and who are dedicated to equal justice while promoting high ethics and professionalism within the law.
- James I. Keane Award - This award is specific to law offices and lawyers that deliver innovative legal services over the internet.
- Charles R. English Award - This award identifies and is awarded to prosecutors, academics, and judges that do great work in criminal justice.
- Robert W. Meserve Award - This is a national award that recognizes senior lawyers for achievement in vision, leadership, and innovation.
- Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award - This award is given to lawyers, law firms, and other organizations that go above and beyond in representing crime victims.
- Norm Maleng Minister of Justice Award - This award is given to those prosecutors that it’s felt go above and beyond to seek justice.
- The Silver Gavel Award - This award is presented to those who help make comprehension of jurisprudence within the U.S. better.
- Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award - This award is given to lawyers who spend a large amount of time and resources in helping children.
- Elizabeth Clark Young Lawyers Fellowship - This award is given to young lawyers who show promise of excellence in law.
- Raeder - Taslitz Award - This award is specifically for law professors who understand and promote criminal justice and fairness within the legal system.
- Jefferson B. Fordham Awards - This category includes the Law Office Accomplishment Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Advocacy Award, and the Up & Comers Award; These awards address the work of promising young lawyers, accomplishments by state and local government offices, advocacy, and career achievements.
- Making a Difference Through Pro-Bono Work Award - This award goes to lawyers, law firms, government attorneys, and institutions that make a difference through pro bono work efforts.
- Difference Maker Award - This award is given to lawyers who make a difference within the community.
- Making a Difference Through Breaking Barriers Award - This award is given to attorneys who make a difference regarding gender, disabilities, and sexual orientation.
- Making a Difference through Community Service Award - This award is given to lawyers who make meaningful and significant efforts within the community.
- Making a Difference Through Service to the Profession Award - This award is given to those attorneys who make a difference through contribution via activities, services, and various committees.
- Jean Crowe Pro Bono Award - This award is given to those who have made a difference through extensive pro bono work.
- Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest Award - This is a Family Law award recognizing significant effort.
- Access to Justice Fellowship Award - This award is given to family lawyers who display excellence in providing cost-effective legal services.
American Association for Justice (AAJ) Awards
- Harry M. Philo Award - This award is given to lawyers who make substantial contributions within the legal and civil justice system.
- Lifetime Achievement Award - This award is given to AAJ members of at least 20 years and who have made significant impacts with the wrongfully injured community.
- Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award - This award is given to those lawyers and plaintiffs who have cases that are important in telling the ever-important story of the justice system in the U.S.
- Howard Twiggs Award - This award is given to AAJ members of at least 10 years who set and display high standards.
- David S. Shrager President’s Award - This award is given to AAJ members who display a strong passion for the law matching that of former AAJ president David S. Shrager.
- Wiedemann & Wysocki Award - This award is for AAJ members who display outstanding efforts within AAJ PAC and other political priorities of the AAJ.
- Distinguished Service Award - This award is given to members of the AAJ Board of Governors who have worked closely with and assisted the President of AAJ.
- Certificate of Recognition - This award is for individuals who have made strides and offered substantial support through fundraising, education, and membership.
- Pro Bono Award - This award is given to those who have made substantial pro bono efforts within the legal community.
- Heavy Lifting Award - This is an award given to individuals who make substantial efforts with regard to fundraising.
- AAJ Partnership Award - This award is given to those who have been determined to strengthen the civil justice system through their efforts.
- Above and Beyond Award - This award is given to those members who have made substantial efforts to strengthen, grow, and sustain the AAJ.
- Hall of Fame Award - This award is given posthumously to those members who have made outstanding and significant efforts and contributions within the legal system.
- Leonard Ring Champion of Justice Award - This award is given to AAJ members of at least 10 years who have demonstrated integrity and strength of character.
- National Law Journal Legal Awards - This award and title is given Nationally to lawyers who are considered the ‘best of the best’
- Who’s Who Legal Awards - This award is presented to individuals and law firms that have demonstrated excellence in performance within their legal fields of practice.
- Lawyers of Distinction Award - This is an award given by a well-recognized private marketing company within 20 different areas of legal practice.
- Brandeis Award - This award is given by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to recognize litigators who are considered outstanding in their field.
- Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award - This award is given to federal state judges who display integrity, humanity, and compassion.
- William J. Brennan Award - This award is given to individuals who display a passion for and dedication with the public interest.