Awards

Honoring the Public Sector's Finest at the General E. E. Anderson Awards Reception

The Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division's annual awards program recognizes the extraordinary achievements of government lawyers and informs the general public about their outstanding work and the positive impact they make to our communities.

Our reception is named in honor of one of the founders of our division, the late General E.E. Anderson, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired. General Anderson was the youngest active duty Marine ever promoted to the rank of General. General Anderson served as GPSLD chair, GPSLD delegate and was a division leader until his death in 2015. In 2014, he was awarded the ABA’s highest honor, the ABA Medal. In accepting the award, he said that he believes “with all my heart that the American Bar Association keeps the ligament of justice strong. The ABA is an organization that works tirelessly for freedom and justice and whose moral compass is pointed always to true north.”

The 2019 National Awards were presented at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County District Attorney, gave inspiring remarks about the importance of public service. The reception was generously sponsored by Thomson Reuters. Thank you to Thomson Reuters and all the GPSLD members and friends who came out to support these wonderful public lawyers.
Read more about the 2019 winners!

Nominations for our 2020 awards are due by 5:00 pm Eastern on April 6, 2020. Please see below for nomination requirements.

L-R: Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney, Alameda County, CA; James Williams, County Counsel, Santa Clara County, CA; Greta Hansen, Chief Assistant County Counsel, Santa Clara County, CA; LaToya Bell, Assistant Public Defender, Houston County, GA; James M. Durant III, Colonel, USAF (Ret.), Chief Counsel, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy; Hon. Susan N. Burke, District Court Judge, Hennepin County, MN

2019 Award Winners

Dorsey Award
LaToya Bell
Assistant Public Defender, Houston Judicial Circuit, Georgia

Hodson Award
County of Santa Clara (California), Office of the County Counsel

Nelson Award
James M. Durant III, SES, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Chief Counsel, Office of Science
U.S. Department of Energy, Chicago

Nomination Information

Dorsey Award
The Dorsey Award honors an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer. The Award was named for the late Charles H. Dorsey, Jr., long-time Executive Director of Maryland's Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. and a champion of the poor and underprivileged.

Hodson Award
The Hodson Award recognizes sustained outstanding service or a specific extraordinary accomplishment by a government or public sector law office. (This is not an award for an individual). The award is named in honor of the distinguished public service career of the late Major General Kenneth J. Hodson, a former Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army.

Nelson Award
The Nelson Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the ABA by an individual government or public sector lawyer. The Award was established as a tribute to the late L. Clair Nelson, who contributed his loyalty, time and extraordinary talent to the ABA.