March 06, 2012

Awards

Awards

The ABA/SEER Task Force on Policy & Coordination seeks nominations for the 2012 ABA Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy.

The Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) Task Force on Policy & Coordination of the American Bar Association invites ABA Sections, Committees, the House of Delegates and other sectors of the ABA, and ABA Members in good standing to respond to a Call for Nominations for the ABA Award for Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy. The Award will be presented at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, in August 2012.

Eligibility
: Individuals or organizations who have distinguished themselves in environmental law and policy, contributing significant leadership in improving the substance, process or understanding of environmental protection and sustainable development. Eligible individuals must be lawyers and may include academics, policymakers, legislators, and practitioners, members of the judiciary or journalists.

Nominated practitioners must be duly licensed members of a bar association in good standing. Eligible organizations may include non-profits, bar associations, law school clinical programs, legal services programs, tribal nations, and law firms. In its discretion, the ABA may carry over a nominee from a prior year, and also welcomes re-nomination of candidates who were previously proposed unsuccessfully. Current Section Council members, and ABA staff and entities, are ineligible. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Nominee Categories:
(1) Individual lawyers who, through an environmental law practice, scholarship or other significant career involvement with programs, services, regulatory systems, legal cases, journalism, education or legislation, have exerted leadership that directly resulted in significant improvements in the substance, process or understanding of environmental law or policy;
(2) Organizations/Programs – U.S. bar associations, law school clinical programs, non-profit institutions, non-profit legal services programs, law firms, government offices or programs, tribal programs, and law-related programs that provide representation, education or advocacy on environmental matters – that have exerted leadership that directly resulted in significant improvements in the substance, process or understanding of environmental law or policy.

Nomination Requirements:
Submit a nomination packet consisting of the following: (a) Nomination Form containing (i) name and contact information for candidate and nominating party; (ii) summary of accomplishment(s), with dates, that demonstrate the singular achievement for which the award is sought; (iii) names and contact information for up to three (3) professional references who will attest to the accomplishment(s) in question; and (iv) the nominating party’s familiarity with the nominee and the accomplishments in question; (b) nominee’s resume or similar summary document detailing professional and volunteer accomplishments; and (c) optional supplementary supporting documents not to exceed a total of 10 pages. Each party may nominate one candidate for the individual award and one candidate for the organizations/programs award. If ABA is asked to reconsider a prior year nominee by the party, the prior nomination package will be used unless new material is submitted.

Download the 2012 Nomination Form.

If you have questions, please contact the Task Force at scel@americanbar.org.

Optional Supplementary Supporting Documents:
Examples include papers published by the candidate; copies of media coverage of the accomplishment(s) in question; proof of past professional recognition; or other professional materials directly supporting the nomination. Up to three (3) letters of support will be accepted.

DEADLINE FOR ABA RECEIPT OF COMPLETED PACKETS: Friday, March 30, 2012.

Send via e-mail to: Elissa Lichtenstein, elissa.lichtenstein@americanbar.org or via fax: 202/638-3844.

ABA AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY AWARD RECIPIENTS – 2000 through 2010

Note: Award recipients are listed with their affiliation at the time of the Award.

2011
Individual: Richard J. Lazarus, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
Organization: IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, Ottawa, Canada

2010
Individual: Nicholas C. Yost, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, San Francisco, CA
Organization: Environmental Law Section – Los Angeles County Bar Association

2009
Individual: Dinah Bear, Former General Counsel, Council on Environmental Quality, The White House, Washington, DC
Organization: Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
(Chairman of the Board: Cecily Hines, Minneapolis, MN; Advocacy Director, and then Interim Executive Director: Paul Aasen, St. Paul, MN)

2008
Individual: Daniel Barstow Magraw, Jr., President, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Washington, DC
Organization: Alliance for the Great Lakes
(Chairman of the Board: Gary Ballesteros; President and Chief Executive Officer: Cameron Davis)

2007
Individual: Ken Alex, Environment Section, California Office of the Attorney General, Sacramento, CA; and James R. Milkey, Environmental Protection Division Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Boston, MA
Organization: University of Denver Sturm College of Law - Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program

2006
Individual: Professor Oliver A. Houck, Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, LA
Organization: University of Hawai’i William S. Richardson School of Law – Environmental Law Program

2005
Individual: John R. Quarles, Morgan Lewis, Washington, DC
Organization: Pace University School of Law

2004
Individual: J. William Futrell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Development Law Associates, Arlington, VA
Organization: New Mexico Environmental Law Center

2003
Individual: Professor Edith Brown Weiss, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
Organization: Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project of the California District Attorneys Association

2002
Individual: Daniel C. Esty, Director, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, New Haven, CT
Organization: Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center

2001
Individual: Barry E. Hill, Director, U.S. EPA Office of Environmental Justice, Washington, DC
Organization: Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College

2000
Individual: Professor Louis B. Sohn, George Washington University National Law Center, Washington, DC
Organization: Tulane Environmental Law Clinic

The following set of FAQs should help you navigate the nominations process.

The Awards Committee
Q:
Who makes up the Awards committee/reviewers?
A: The Awards committee is composed of representatives of Task Force on Policy and Coordination of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

Q: Do committee members submit nominations?
A: No, Awards committee members are not permitted to submit nominations.

Intent of Award

Q: Who is eligible to receive this Award?
A: There are two nominee categories: Individual and Organizational/Program. Individuals must be lawyers (including judges) who are duly licensed members of their bar association in good standing. Eligible organizations/programs include U.S. bar associations, law school clinical programs, non-profit institutions, tribal programs, non-profit legal services programs, law firms, government offices or programs, and law-related programs that offer representation, education or advocacy on environmental matters. Current Task Force members and Section Council members, ABA staff and ABA entities are ineligible to receive the Award. If you have a question about whether a proposed nomination would be appropriate, feel free to contact us at scel@americanbar.org.

Q: What attributes does the Awards Committee seek?
A: The Award was established to recognize outstanding accomplishments in environmental law or policy. Reviewers will weigh a number of factors including longevity, impact, and scope of accomplishments, looking for significant leadership in improving the substance, process or understanding of environmental or sustainable development law or policy. For individuals, the reviewers examine the record as reflected in an environmental law practice, scholarship, or other significant involvement with programs, services, regulatory systems, legal cases, journalism, education or legislation that have exerted leadership directly resulting in significant improvements in the substance, process of understanding of environmental law or policy. For organizations, the reviewers look for programs that have exerted leadership that directly resulted in significant improvements in the substance, process or understanding of environmental law or policy.

Application Process
Q:
Who may nominate a candidate?
A: You must be a member of the American Bar Association in order to nominate a candidate. If you have a candidate in mind but you are not an ABA member, we suggest that you ask an ABA member to cosponsor/co-sign the nomination.

Q: May I nominate myself?
A: No, self-nominations are not accepted.

Q: What about past candidates who were not selected?
A: While worthy candidates are nominated each year, generally only one award in each category is presented each year. Thus, we encourage nominators to re-submit past unsuccessful nominations along with updated information. Additionally, at its discretion, the Awards committee may carry over a nominee from a prior year and may seek updated information from the original nominator to complete the record.

Q: May I nominate a prior Award recipient if the identified accomplishments address this year’s thematic emphasis (in cases where a year’s theme is indicated by the ABA)?
A: No, prior Award recipients will not be considered.

Q: May I submit more than one nomination?
A: You may submit one nomination per category. Each nomination must appear on a separate form.

Q: What if my proposed candidate’s accomplishments do not fall within the year’s emphasis?
A: In some years, the Awards committee sets out an area of emphasis. Extra weight will be given to nominations that address the area of emphasis. However, nominations are not limited to the area of emphasis, so if you believe that your candidate has a distinguished record of accomplishment, by all means, submit a nomination.

Q: What documents should I submit?
A: Nominations should consist of a cover letter, the nomination form, and the nominee’s resume or similar document detailing professional and volunteer accomplishments. You also may include supplementary supporting documents, not to exceed 10 pages.

Q: When are nominations due?
A: In 2012, nominations are due at the ABA’s Washington Office no later than Friday, March 30.

Q: Where do I send my nomination(s)?
A: We prefer to receive nominations via e-mail. E-mailed nominations with relevant attachments must be sent to our office (elissa.lichtenstein@americanbar.org) by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the deadline date. If e-mail is not possible, please mail or fax to: Environmental Law Awards Committee, Attn: Elissa Lichtenstein, American Bar Association, 740 15th Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20005 (fax 202-638-3844). Mailed submissions must be postmarked by the deadline date and faxes must arrive in the ABA office by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the deadline date. Note: supplemental materials that accompany e-mailed submissions but that are difficult to e-mail themselves may be mailed or faxed even while the nomination itself is sent via e-mail. Your e-mail must indicate clearly that supplemental materials are on the way, and materials must arrive at our office within five business days from the submission deadline.

Q: I'm not sure how to complete the form. Can you offer assistance?
A: A model nomination form may be found here: http://www.abanet.org/publicserv/environmental/model_nomination_form.pdf. If you still have questions after reviewing the model form, please feel free to contact us at scel@americanbar.org.

Q: I don’t have candidates in mind, but my colleagues may wish to consider candidates.
A: That’s fine! In fact, whether or not you submit a nomination, we encourage you to circulate the “Call for Nominations” and this web address to any ABA member who may have an interest in submitting a nomination.

Q: By whom and when are final decisions made?
A: The Awards committee reviews all applications and then makes its recommendations to the full Task Force on Policy and Coordination. The Task Force will reach a decision at its spring business meeting in June 2012.

The Recognition
Q:
What form of recognition does the Award take?
A: The award is represented in a sculpted lead glass award object on a marble base. The glass is inscribed with the recipient’s name and the name and year of the Award.

Q: Is an event associated with the Award?
A: Yes, the ABA holds a reception and ceremony at its Annual Meeting, which usually takes place in August. Honorees receive their awards at the reception and have the opportunity to give brief presentations to the assembled crowd. The date and time of the event are publicized beforehand.

Q: May I attend this event if my candidate is selected as an honoree?
A: Yes, we encourage attendance by all nominators and their ABA colleagues.

Q: What if a candidate cannot attend? Does he or she become ineligible for the Award?
A: No. There have been occasions when an honoree was unable to attend. In that case, a representative appeared in his or her place and/or the Award object was mailed to the honoree. Further, the absent honoree’s accomplishments were communicated to the reception attendees. The ABA does provide some funding to help honorees attend the event.

Other questions? Please contact the Task Force at scel@americanbar.org.