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Dorsey Award

The Dorsey Award recognizes exceptional work by a public defender or legal aid lawyer. The Award was established as a tribute to the late Charles H. Dorsey, Jr., long-time Executive Director of Maryland's Legal Aid Bureau, Inc., a champion of the poor and underprivileged and, at the time of his death, the Chair-Elect of the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division. Eligible recipients are lawyers who serve indigent persons, in the employ of legal aid bureaus, indigent defense, or Legal Services Corporation funded legal organizations providing legal service to the disadvantaged. To be eligible, nominees must be employed by an entity that receives government funding.


Please email your nomination as a PDF document to [email protected]. Please put "Award Submission" in the subject line. Nominations are due by 5:00 pm Eastern on April 8, 2024.

Nominee Information Required*

  1. Full name, title, address, telephone number, e-mail address of nominee, and percentage of funding provided to the nominee's office by the government. Also, provide a complete list of the states/jurisdictions (including bar admission dates) in which the nominee is licensed to practice law.
  2. Summary of nominee's outstanding service and/or achievements (25 to 100 words).
  3. Detailed narrative explanation of the nominee's service including the following information: how the nominee's service is outstanding, significant and "above the call of duty”; the time frame of the service; and assessment of the impact of the extraordinary service. (600 to 800 words).
  4. Contact information for three references who are familiar with nominee's achievements.
  5. Specifically for the nominator: provide contact information and a brief statement about yourself including any information that would assist the Awards Committee in evaluating the nomination. 

* The Awards Committee is unable to review supplemental materials in addition to what is required above.

Past Dorsey Award Recipients

1996 Katharine Krause, Los Angeles, CA (presented posthumously)

Daniel T. Goyette, Louisville, KY and Archibald R. Murray, New York, NY

1998 Judy Clarke, Spokane, WA

1999 Robert Bensing, Atlanta, GA (presented posthumously)

Robert A. Bertisch, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

2001 Jonathan D. Asher, Denver, CO and Joseph W. DuRocher, Orlando, FL

2002 James A. Wayne, Sr., Baton Rouge, LA

2003 Robert C. Oberbillig, Des Moines, IA

2004 Martha B. Dicus, Charleston, SC

2005 Bryan D. Shaha, Greeley, CO

2006 Jeff Adachi, San Francisco, CA and Lawrence M. Sullivan, Wilmington, DE

2007 Lucien B. Campbell, San Antonio, TX

2008 Jeremy Lane, Minneapolis, MN and Julie Levin, Kansas City, MO

2009 Nicholas Chiarkas, Madison, WI

2010 Kenneth Babcock, Santa Ana, CA

2011 Toby J. Rothschild, Los Angeles, CA

2012 Seymour W. James, Jr., New York, NY

2013 Steven Gottlieb, Atlanta, GA

2014 Harrison D. McIver III, Memphis, TN

2015 Norman Metzger, Indianapolis, IN

2016 Kevin D. O'Connell, New York, NY

2017 Michael Barrett, Columbia, MO

2018 Deborah Katz Levi, Baltimore, MD

LaToya Bell, Houston County, GA

2020 Casey N. Payton, U.S. Virgin Islands

2021 Ann Marie Miller, Pablo, MT

2022  Alan Mills, Chicago, IL

2023 Lisa Schreibersdorf, NY