Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service

2015 Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service

Created in 1989, the Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service honors the memory of Mary Lawton, a distinguished career government lawyer who served on the Council of the Administrative Law Section from 1983-1986, and as Chair of the Section’s Judicial Review Committee from 1986 to 1988.  A graduate of Georgetown Law School where she was first in her class and on the Board of Editors of the Law Journal, Mary began her career in the Office of the Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice.  At DOJ, she rose through the ranks to become a Deputy Assistant Attorney General.  She received numerous awards from the Department of Justice.  After a brief stint as General Counsel of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and service as Administrative Law Officer at the White House, Mary returned to the Justice Department as Counsel for Intelligence Policy.   


The Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service is presented annually by the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. 

The nomination should be based on outstanding contributions to the development, implementation, or improvement of administrative law and regulatory practice that reflects sustained excellence in performance.  This is an extremely prestigious award, and we hope that you will give thoughtful consideration to this request for nominees.  There are relatively few honors for government attorneys that recognize them for the “body of their work.”   Past recipients of the Award have spoken of this recognition as being a career capstone, and we are privileged to recognize their service. 

All government attorneys active in the fields of administrative law and regulatory practice are eligible.  While career officials generally will be favored, exceptional political appointees also will be considered.  Nominations are being solicited from federal government agency general counsels, state attorneys general, and other officials, as well as from members of our Section and the ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division.


Submissions must be in Microsoft Word format and electronically submitted.  Include 2 files:

File 1- Contact Information - Name, title, agency, address, telephone number and email address must be provided for the Nominator, as well as for the individual who is being nominated.

File 2- Nomination Letter & Support Letters - should include the name and period of government service of the nominee, the departments or agencies in which he or she has served and is currently serving, and the specific contributions of the nominee that you think warrant his or her selection including mentoring activities in the administrative law and regulatory practice area; length of professional service; level of responsibility in positions held; discrete, significant accomplishments; teaching experience; scholarship; participation in professional activities; and other awards or recognition. In addition, a minimum of 3 letters of support for the nominee  must be included.

Email your submission to by 7 pm ET on June 15, 2015.  Direct inquiries to Anne Kiefer, Section Director, 202-662-1690.

ALL submissions must be received by June 15, 2015!


The award will be presented at the Section’s Fall Conference Annual Awards Luncheon or Dinner on October 29 or 30, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.  The Awards are part of the Section’s Annual Administrative Law Conference, which attracts more than 600 attorneys, judges, and academicians interested in administrative law and regulatory practice.

Download PDF of the 2015 Mary C. Lawton Outstanding Government Service Award Information