chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
October 20, 2021

Montana attorney Bob Carlson receives 2021 Making a Difference Award

CHICAGO, Oct. 20, 2021 — Bob Carlson will receive a 2021 Difference Makers Award at 1 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Oct. 21, during the 2021 GPSolo Fall Meeting. The Making a Difference Through Service to the Profession Award, presented by the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, honors an attorney, living or deceased, who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession through service to the profession.

Carlson, a shareholder with the Butte, Montana, law firm of Corette Black Carlson and Mickelson P.C., has a civil trial and mediation practice that primarily involves insurance defense, products liability and insurance coverage. He was president of the American Bar Association from August 2018 to August 2019. While ABA president, Carlson focused on enhancing the benefits to members and marketing the value of membership to potential members. He spoke often on ABA initiatives to promote lawyer and law student wellness, advance diversity in the association and the profession, fight for access to justice for all, including those seeking refuge in the United States, and in defense of an independent judiciary.

Before entering private practice in 1981, Carlson was staff attorney for the Montana Department of Business Regulation and a law clerk for the Montana Supreme Court.

Carlson has a long record of service to the ABA. From 2012-14, he was chair of the ABA House of Delegates, and he currently serves as chair of the House of Delegates’ working group on policy and operations. He served three terms on the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee, chairing its executive compensation committee. Carlson has also served in the ABA House of Delegates as both Montana’s state bar delegate and state delegate and as a delegate at large. He is a life patron fellow and past state chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Carlson also served as president of the State Bar of Montana from 1993-94 and chaired its Board of Trustees from 1990 to 1992. He also was a member of the Montana Supreme Court’s Character and Fitness Commission. Since 1994, he has been a member of the University of Montana Law School’s clinical board of visitors. He has served as lawyer representative to the Federal District of Montana, as Montana co-chair of the Ninth Circuit’s lawyer representatives coordinating committee and as chair of the state bar’s ad hoc committee on discipline. In 2016, Carlson received the William J. Jameson Award, the State Bar of Montana’s highest honor. In 2019, he received the President’s Award from the Hispanic National Bar Association and in 2021, he received the National Conference of Bar President’s Fellows Award.

Carlson earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Montana in 1976 and a J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law in 1979. Click here for a photo of Bob Carlson.

With more than 20,000 members, the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GPSolo) is committed to providing unique resources exclusively for solo, small-firm and general practitioners, who represent half of the nation’s lawyers.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.