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How do I nominate someone for this award?

Please visit to submit a nomination. Nominations are due by May 31.

Who is eligible for this award?

Eligible individuals who may be nominated include academics, policymakers, legislators, practitioners, members of the judiciary, or journalists within the United States. Nominated practitioners must also be in good standing with the attorney licensing authority in the jurisdiction in which they practice.

Eligible organizations include law-related entities or organizations such as non-profits, bar associations, law school clinical programs, legal services programs, tribal nations, law firms, private, public, or corporate entities within the United States.

Individuals who have been Section Council members, officers, or ABA staff within two years of the year of nomination and their immediate families and household members, are not eligible to receive the Award. Self-nominations are not accepted. Individuals must be at least 18 years old at the time of nomination.

What is the award process?

Nominations will be made through an online survey system. You will provide brief information about your nominee. The Section's awards committee will review your nomination and let you know if they need additinal information. Once the nomination period closes, the Awards Committee will review all nominations and make a recommendation to the Section's Council for its final approval. You will be notified either way if your nominee was selected.

When are the awards bestowed?

This award is bestowed in the fall each year.

Past Recipients


  • Individual Award Recipient: Veronica Eady


  • Organizational Award Recipient: Black Millennials for Flint


  • Individual Award Recipient: Rebecca M. Bratspies, Law Professor, City University of New York School of Law
  • Individual Award Recipient: Charles Lee, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Environmental Justice, Office of Policy, United States Environmental Protection Agency


  • Individual Award Recipient: Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director, The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
  • Organizational Award Recipient: The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy


  • Individual Award Recipient: Eileen Gauna, Emeritus Professor of Law, The University of New Mexico


  • Individual Award Recipient: John E. Echohawk, Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund
  • Individual Award Recipient: Leslie G. Fields, Director, Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships, Sierra Club


The award was not bestowed in 2017.


The award was not bestowed in 2016.


  • Individual Award Recipients (For Environment and Energy Justice):  Professor Benjamin K. Sovacool, Vermont Law School
  • Organizational Award Recipient (For Diversity):  Exelon Legal


The award  was not bestowed in 2014.


  • Individual Award Recipients: Quentin Pair, Nicholas W. Targ, and Benjamin F. Wilson
  • Organization Award Recipient: Golden Gate University School of Law Environmental Law and Justice Clinic