About the Award
The Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award is named in honor of Michael Franck, late director of the State Bar of Michigan and long-time champion of improvements in lawyer regulation in the public interest. From the time of his first major undertaking in the name of legal professionalism—serving as reporter to the ABA Clark Commission investigating the state of lawyer discipline in America—to his final years speaking on the floor of the ABA House of Delegates to promote improvements in the Model Code of Judicial Conduct and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Michael Franck’s work stood as a benchmark for turning intellectual honesty, compassion, and uncompromising ethics to every aspect of the practice of law.
In an era when lawyers’ dedication to the public good is often questioned, the Michael Franck award brings deserved attention to individuals whose career commitments in areas such as legal ethics, disciplinary enforcement and lawyer professionalism demonstrate the best accomplishments of lawyers.
Although a nominee’s significant contributions to the work of the organized bar merit strong consideration by the selection committee, noteworthy scholarly contributions made in academic settings, creative judicial or legislative initiatives undertaken to advance the professionalism of lawyers, and other related accomplishments will also be given consideration.
In 2003 the Center for Professional Responsibility Coordinating Council voted to change the venue of the Michael Franck Award ceremony to the annual National Conference on Professional Responsibility held each June instead of during the ABA Annual Meeting each August. Due to this venue change, the Council did not select a 2004 award recipient.