Professionalism Committee Highlights



The Standing Committee on Professionalism met twice via teleconference to discuss and develop comments regarding two drafts of a Resolution circulated by the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. The draft Resolution seeks to amend Model Rule 1.8 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to create an exception that would permit lawyers to provide financial assistance to indigent clients.  The Professionalism Committee submitted to the Chair of the Ethics Committee two letters outlining its comments and concerns regarding both drafts of the Resolution.

The deadline to submit a nomination for the 2020 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards was April 20, 2020. The Committee will select up to three innovative professionalism programs to receive the Gambrell Award along with a cash prize of $3,500.  For additional information about the Awards visit website.


The Standing Committee on Professionalism is accepting nominations for the 2020 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards. The deadline for submitting a nomination is March 31, 2020.  Professionalism programs developed by law schools, bar associations, law firms, state court programs and other law-related organizations are eligible for the award. Up to three innovative programs that contribute to the understanding and advancement of the highest principles of professionalism are selected to each receive the Gambrell Award along with a $3,500 check. 

CoLAP joined the ABA Law Student Division in offering for sale exclusive contest-winning apparel designed to raise awareness for mental health of lawyers and law students across the country.  Law Student Mary Maerz from the University of Virginia School of Law submitted the winning design.  All proceeds from sales will be donated to CoLAP. For  website for additional information and to purchase the merchandise. 



The Standing Committee on Professionalism submitted comments to the Center for Innovation regarding the Center’s draft Resolution and Report urging states to consider regulatory innovations as an approach to enhance access to justice and collect data regarding such innovations.

The Committee also met via teleconference this month to discuss its work plan and projects, including a discussion about enhancing the nomination application and eligibility requirements of the E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards, administered by the Professionalism Committee annually.

The Gambrell Awards recognize and reward, with a $3,500 cash prize, up to three exemplary lawyer or law student professionalism programs developed and maintained by bar associations, courts, law schools and other legal organizations for excellent and innovative programs to improve lawyer professionalism. The nomination process for the 2020 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards will open the first week of January 2020.

In continuing its successful outreach and education program to provide guidance and resource materials on issues relating to professionalism, including lawyer competence, civility, mentorship, and well-being, the Professionalism Committee also discussed developing a series of CLE webinars on related professionalism topics.  


The Standing Committee on Professionalism was a co-sponsor of Resolution 107 adopted by the ABA House of Delegates at the 2019 Annual Meeting. Resolution 107 urges states and courts to study and adopt Proactive Management-Based Regulation programs, adopted by the ABA House of Delegates at the 2019 Annual Meeting.

Standing Committee Chair Josh Camson presented the 2019 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards at the NABE/NCBP/NCBF Joint Awards Luncheon held in conjunction with the ABA 2019 Annual Meeting in San Francisco to representatives of the following three exemplary professionalism programs: The Dallas Bar Association Day of Civility; Stetson University College of Law Professional Development Conference: Campus to Career; and Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society Pathways and Pipelines to Success. The Gambrell Awards are bestowed annually to honor excellence and innovation in professionalism programs offered by law schools, bar associations, professionalism commissions and other law-related organizations. Each award is accompanied by a $3,500 prize supported by the E. Smythe Gambrell Fund for Professionalism.

Chair Josh Camson was interviewed for an article on #Me Too Law and Model Rule 8.4 featured in the August/September 2019 Louisiana Bar Journal, Focus on Professionalism column.