Frances Perkins Public Service Award

Frances Perkins Public Service Award

The need for pro bono services in the labor and employment area is acute. Questions relating to labor and employment law account for more than a quarter of the issues raised in many pro bono programs. The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law (Section) wishes to acknowledge the individuals, firms, corporate and union legal departments, government agencies, and other organizations that help meet this crucial need. As a result, the Section is seeking nominations for its annual Frances Perkins Public Service Award (Frances Perkins Award).

The Frances Perkins Award recognizes the individuals or organizations that demonstrate a significant commitment to providing pro bono legal services, primarily in the areas of labor and employment law, to people of limited means or to the nonprofit, governmental, civic, community or religious organizations that are engaged in addressing the needs of individuals with limited means.

Frances Perkins Public Service Award Criteria

To be eligible, a nominee must meet all of the following criteria:

Section Membership: An individual nominee must be a member of the Section. A firm, corporate or union legal department, government agency, or other organization that is nominated must have at least one Section member who is employed by or associated with the entity and actively involved in the pro bono project that is the subject of the nomination.

Rule 6.1: The pro bono services that were performed must meet the definition of pro bono services under Rule 6.1 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 6.1). Preference will be given to nominees who provide pro bono services in the labor and employment law area, although nominees may provide pro bono services in other areas . While the Section encourages all members to participate in pro bono activities, nominations should only include individuals, firms, corporate or union legal departments, government agencies, or other organizations that satisfy the “Significant Services” definition below.

Significant Services: The pro bono services provided must be significant. Examples of such significant services include:

  • Innovative Delivery: An innovative approach to the delivery of pro bono legal services to people of limited means or to nonprofit, governmental, civic, community or religious organizations designed primarily to address the needs of individuals with limited means.
  • New Policy/Outcome: A significant new policy or systemic outcome benefiting people of limited means or nonprofit, governmental, civic, community or religious organizations designed primarily to address the needs of individuals with limited means.
  • Expansion of Services: An expansion of pro bono services to a previously underserved community or segment of the population.

Nomination Requirements

To be considered, a complete nomination package must be received by the Section Office no later than July 7, 2014 and include the following information:

Nominee and Nominator Information: names, addresses, firm, company or other organization name, telephone and facsimile numbers, and e-mail addresses.

Nominee's Resume: Two to three pages of the nomination package should describe the candidate's background and other relevant activities. Information that would be helpful includes principal areas of practice, the number of years practicing law, other public service contributions, educational background, and other bar association activities.

Nomination Narrative: The nomination narrative should first describe the significant pro bono services provided, specify the nature of the pro bono contribution, and identify those who have benefited. Whenever possible, provide specific documentation or other materials that demonstrate the candidate's pro bono contribution, including articles, brochures and other documentation. Also, nominators may provide the names, addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, and e-mail addresses of no more than three other individuals who, if asked, could provide additional information.

Letters of Support: Letters of support from other individuals and organizations that are aware of the candidate's pro bono contribution may be included.

Selection Process: July 7, 2014 is the deadline for submitting nominations for the Award. Please contact the Section office at 312-988-5813 with any questions. Submit all materials to:

Judy Stofko
ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610

The Pro Bono Work Committee will review the nominations, and make recommendations to the Section Chair and Chair-Elect. Any successful nominee(s) and nominator(s) will be notified of their selection in October 1, 2014. The Award will be presented during the Eighth Annual Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference, which will be held November 5-8 in Los Angeles, California. The presentation will take place during the plenary session. The Award Recipient(s) will be asked to speak at the Pro Bono Committee’s workshop during the Conference.

The Section may not issue an Award every year.

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