Jefferson B. Fordham — First Section Chair
The Section of State and Local Government law elected Jefferson B. Fordham as the first Chair in 1949. During his years of outstanding service, the Section became the distinguished national resource for the advancement of State and Local Government Law practice.
His 1949 case book on Local Government Law revolutionized teaching and addressed dynamic legal issues such as planning and finance, housing and blight, transportation and congestion; in short, the entire range of urban problems whose solutions required a larger concept of community. He pioneered the concepts of home rule and the landmark decisions sustaining interdisciplinary studies under Bar sponsorship, and he was a visionary in teaching that the tough problems of local government did not lend themselves to simplistic solutions.
Jefferson B. Fordham Awards
In 1998, the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law was inspired to establish the Jefferson B. Fordham Awards to honor the accomplishments of practitioners and institutions active in the varied areas of practice associated with State and Local Government Law.
The Award may be presented in the following categories on an annual basis:
- Lifetime Achievement
Presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the practice of state and local government law by an individual over an entire career, for contributions over a number of years of service.
Presented in recognition of outstanding legal advocacy within the area of state and local government law, this award celebrates excellence in advocacy, both written and otherwise.
- Up & Comers
Presented to a young practitioner (36 or under) as defined by the ABA who, through their efforts and accomplishments, show great promise to continue these contributions for future achievements.
- Law Office Accomplishment
Presented in recognition of sustained outstanding performance or a specific extraordinary accomplishment by a State and Local Government Law Office. Eligible candidates include all State and Local Government Public Sector Law Offices, including departments or units within such offices.
Guidelines for Submission
Nominations for recipients in each of the four categories must be submitted in the following format with all the information requested:
- Nominee: Please submit as the coversheet for the nomination package the full name, addresses and telephone numbers of the nominee.
- Employer: The nomination package must include the name of law office’s director or manager for the Government Law Office Award, including size of office and mission of office.
- Accomplishment: Provide a detailed summary of the nominee’s or office’s achievements, brief explanation of outstanding or extraordinary public and/or professional services rendered (50 to 100 words).
- Service: Please include an explanation of the nominee’s performance and service; information regarding the time frame for the services described; accomplishments or superior contributions over a number of years; outstanding advocacy or legal writing; qualifications as a young lawyer for the Up & Comer’s Award whose past efforts and accomplishments show great promise to continue contributions for future achievement; assessment of the impact of the service for which you are nominating the individual or office (no more than two typed pages).
- References: The nomination package must also include names, titles and phone numbers of three other persons (including at least one lawyer or jurist), who are familiar with the nominee’s performance, achievements, etc.
- Nominator: To assist the Award Committee’s evaluation, please also include a brief statement about the nominator’s background.