Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants' Awards

Harrison Tweed Award

Award Overview

Named for an outstanding leader in the promotion of free legal services to the poor, the Harrison Tweed Award was created in 1956 to recognize the extraordinary achievements of state and local bar associations that develop or significantly expand projects or programs to increase access to civil legal services to persons living in poverty or criminal defense services to indigents.

Award Criteria

Any local or state bar association in the United States may apply or be nominated that has:

  1. Developed or significantly expanded a project or program for providing access to legal services for persons living in poverty or
  2. Demonstrated long term excellence in maintaining projects or programs providing such access.

For the 2021 Award, we are particularly interested in nominees whose work during the award period has focused on addressing legal needs arising as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bar association is not eligible if it has been a recipient of the award for the same or a substantially similar program within the past 10 years. Nominations are particularly encouraged with respect to associations that have developed programs for joint involvement of the private bar with organized legal services or public defender programs.

Award Year

This Award will be presented at the August 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in Toronto, ON, in recognition of work accomplished during the period from April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2021.  Projects which began prior to April 1, 2019, will be considered if substantial services have been provided during the April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2021, period.

Award Resources