2023 ABA Harrison Tweed Award
Nomination Criteria and Application Requirements
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.
Any local or state bar association in the United States may apply or be nominated that has:
- Developed or significantly expanded a project or program for providing access to legal services for persons living in poverty; or
- Demonstrated long term excellence in maintaining projects or programs providing such access.
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.
This Award will be presented at the August 2023 Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in Denver, CO, in recognition of work accomplished during the period from April 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023. Projects which began prior to April 1, 2022, will be considered if substantial services have been provided during the April 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023, period.
Nomination Application Requirements
Pro bono programs, legal services offices, public defender programs, individual lawyers and the public are encouraged to nominate state or local bar associations for the award. Such bar associations may also submit their own applications. To ensure completeness of your nomination packet, it should include:
- Nomination Information Sheet: Complete and submit the Online Nomination Form (Nominations for 2023 are closed now)
- Nomination Narrative: In no more than five single-spaced pages, provide specific, concrete examples of the nominee's performance of as many of the following criteria as apply:
- a detailed description of the project, the date the project began, and specific, quantifiable data regarding project accomplishments;
- a description of the types and the names of staff hired and the amount of time they devote to the project. If no staff is utilized by the project, a detailed description of the amount of time devoted to the project by volunteers;
- if the project provides direct services to clients, a description of the rules of eligibility for the services, including the types of cases handled and courts in which counsel appeared;
- a description of the relationship between the bar project and any existing legal services or public defender offices;
- any information regarding the impact the bar project has had upon the client community, the community in general, or the development of law in the jurisdiction; and
- a description of the specific role of the organized bar in the development and operation of the project.
- Supporting Materials: You may submit up to 10 news articles written by or about the project or program and no more than 5 letters of support from individuals or organizations.
- The nomination information sheet and your supporting materials constitute the sole basis for the nomination.
- The limitation on articles and letters of support will be observed. If more than 10 articles or 5 letters of support are submitted, the Committee staff will determine which will be included with the final nomination packet under consideration by Committee members.
- Nominations must be submitted via email.
- Submit the nomination using the Online Nomination Form (Nominations for 2023 are closed now) and send all supporting materials to Margie Bruynseels
- When sending any supporting materials, include the nominee's name in the subject line. Format: 2023 HT Award Nomination for Nominee's Name. One document with narrative first followed by all supporting materials is preferred.
- Articles can be submitted via live URL links or PDF files.
- Please Note: Only bar associations are eligible for this award. A separate award sponsored by the National Conference of Bar Foundations exists for bar foundations. For more information on that award go to: https://ncbf.org/ncbf-excellence-award/.
Nominations will be judged by a joint committee appointed by the Chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense and the President of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, co‑sponsors of the award. All decisions of the joint committee will be final and binding.
Nominations for 2023 are now closed.
If you have any questions, please contact Margie Bruynseels at (312) 988-5749 or by email at [email protected]