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Time to nominate noteworthy lawyers, firms

Yes, it’s awards season again. And no, we don’t mean those awards given to celebrities.

In an effort to shine a light on those less visible folks who work – often for years and decades – to perform legal services to those who need it the most, the State Bar has given the President’s Pro Bono and Loren Miller awards every year and encourages members of the legal industry to nominate one of their own.

Nominations are open for these and other State Bar awards, and this year, the nomination forms can be found and completed online.

Diversity and Education Pipeline Awards
Attorneys, law firms, bar associations and others who promote diversity and exemplary legal training can also be nominated for the Diversity and Education Pipeline Awards. Nomination forms and information about past winners are available on the State Bar website. For more information, contact Patricia Lee at 415-538-2240 or Email or send completed forms by the March 31 deadline to:

                          Patricia Lee
                          State Bar of California
                          180 Howard St. 10th Floor
                          San Francisco CA 94105

The awards come from the Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services (SCDLS), a 20-member State Bar committee whose aim is to promote legal services for poor and low-income people in California. They’re given annually during the State Bar’s Annual Meeting, scheduled this year in San Diego.

President’s Pro Bono Service awards

Up to nine Pro Bono Service awards are given to members of the bar, law firms, organizations and law students who delivered exceptional pro bono work during 2015.

The categories include individuals, law firms, corporate or government legal departments, law schools and those who’ve performed distinguished pro bono service. To be eligible, nominees must be California attorneys or belong to a team of California lawyers.

You can nominate law firms or the local offices of national and international law firms based in California, associations of California lawyers, law schools accredited by the American Bar Association or the State Bar or those studying law in California (provided they did not receive compensation or academic credit for the work). You can even nominate yourself.

Loren Miller Legal Services Award

The Loren Miller Legal Services Award honors those whose history of performing legal services for the poor can span years, if not decades. Named after the late Loren Miller, an African American lawyer and judge who was a leader in the civil rights movement, the award’s past winners include legal aid advocate Chris A. Schneider of Fresno and UCLA Law professor Gary Blasi.

The deadline for both awards is March 15. Nomination forms are online, but you can also request copies of the forms from awards coordinator Saréya Shorter. Contact her at or 415-538-2141.