About the National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award

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About the Award

In 2007 the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division established a new award, the ABA YLD National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.  The award is presented annually to a young lawyer who exhibits professional excellence, service to the profession and the bar, service to the community, and/or a reputation for the advancement of legal ethics and professional responsibility.

The Award was created to recognize the amazing accomplishments and skills of the ABA YLD’s members.  As evidenced by the inaugural nominations received for the Award, these young lawyers serve as leaders and role models.  Not only do they excel in the practice of law, they inspire other members of the profession to serve their communities through public service projects and pro bono legal service while achieving a work/life balance.  Young lawyers also lead thousands of young and not-so-young lawyers in bar associations and exemplify the best that lawyers have to offer. 

The world and profession need to learn of and from these outstanding members of the legal profession.  Through the creation of this Award, the ABA YLD hopes to shine light on some of our country’s most amazing young lawyers. 

To be eligible to receive the 2010 Award, a person must have been a member in good-standing of the ABA YLD during the 2009-2010 bar year (an ABA member born after August 31, 1973 or who was licensed to practice law for the first time after August 31, 2004).  Before being considered for the Award, a person must be nominated for the Award by:

  1. An organization affiliated with the ABA YLD, including national, state, local and specialty affiliates (approximately 300 organizations);
  2. A state or local bar association if it does not include a young lawyer section, division, committee or group and if no stand-alone young lawyer organization exists for its geographic area;
  3. The ABA YLD Executive Board;
  4. A section, division, commission, committee, or forum of the ABA; or
  5. The Board of the Fellows of the ABA YLD.

The Award recipient and any finalists for the Award are selected by a nine-person National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award Board.  Nominations are due August 31, 2010 and are reviewed by the Board in September and October. The Award is presented at the ABA Midyear Meeting in February.

Nominate a Young Lawyer for the Award