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How do I submit a nomination 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: James R. May


Organization: Acequia Assistance Project


Individual: Dean B. Suagee (bestowed posthumously), formerly Of Counsel, Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP

Individual: Heather Tanana, Assistant Professor (Research) & Wallace Stegner Center Fellow, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law


Organization: The Environmental Law Institute’s “ELI at 50” Program


Individual: Robert Percival, Director, Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law


Individual: John Leshy, Emeritus Harry D. Sunderland and Distinguished Professor of Real Property Law, University of California Hastings College Of The Law

Individual: Nicholas A. Robinson, University Professor on the Environment and Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law Emeritus; Co-Director, Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University


Organization: Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Individual: Richard L. Ottinger


Organization: Stetson University College of Law's Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy


Individual: Edward L. Strohbehn, Jr.

Organization:  DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice


Individual: William M. Tam

Organization: The George Washington University Law School – The George Washington University Law School Environment and Energy Law Program


Individual: Leslie Carothers

Organization: National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition


Individual: Professor Svitlana Kravchenko, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Organization: University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic


Individual: Richard Lazarus

Organization: IUCN Academy of Environmental Law


Individual: Nicholas C. Yost, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, San Francisco, CA

Organization: Environmental Law Section – Los Angeles County Bar Association


Individual: Dinah Bear, Washington, DC

Organization: Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy


Individual: Daniel Barstow Magraw, Jr., President, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Washington, DC

Organization: Alliance for the Great Lakes


Individual: Ken Alex, Environment Section, California Office of the Attorney General, Sacramento, CA; and James R. Milkey, Environmental Protection Division Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Boston, MA

Organization: University of Denver Sturm College of Law - Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program


Individual: Professor Oliver A. Houck, Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, LA

Organization: University of Hawai’i William S. Richardson School of Law – Environmental Law Program


Individual: John R. Quarles, Morgan Lewis, Washington, DC

Organization: Pace University School of Law


Individual: J. William Futrell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Development Law Associates, Arlington, VA

Organization: New Mexico Environmental Law Center


Individual: Professor Edith Brown Weiss, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC

Organization: Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project of the California District Attorneys Association


Individual: Daniel C. Esty, Director, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, New Haven, CT

Organization: Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center


Individual: Barry E. Hill, Director, U.S. EPA Office of Environmental Justice, Washington, DC

Organization: Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College


Individual: Professor Louis B. Sohn, George Washington University National Law Center, Washington, DC

Organization: Tulane Environmental Law Clinic