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October 23, 2023 Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

2023 Difference Makers Award recipients honored

Five lawyers and a nonprofit group received 2023 GPSolo Difference Makers Awards at a luncheon during the GPSolo Fall Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

Difference Makers Awards recognize lawyers and providers who ‘make a difference’ through their work.

Difference Makers Awards recognize lawyers and providers who ‘make a difference’ through their work.

“The Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division salutes the 2023 Difference Makers Award winners. By enhancing the legal profession, providing pro bono legal assistance or providing community service, these honorees showcase the very best of the profession,” GPSolo Awards Committee Chair Stephen Curley said.

Difference Maker Award: Barbara Glesner Fines is dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1986.  She helped create the UMKC School of Law Child and Family Law Program and is a founding faculty member of the Entrepreneurial Lawyering: Solo & Small Firm Practice Program. She also helped launch the Self-Help Legal Clinic in collaboration with Legal Aid of Western Missouri.

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award: David S. Walker and Russell E. Lovell II served as dean and associate dean (respectively) of the Drake University Law School where they collaborated on Drake’s clinical programs for many years.

Making a Difference Through Community Service Award: Judge Odell G. McGhee was named a senior district court judge in 2020 after serving as a Polk County associate district court judge for 23 years. He has worked with the Iowa Commission on the Aging, the Iowa Department of Environmental Quality and the Polk County Attorney’s Office.

Making a Difference Through Pro Bono Work Award: The Iowa-Nebraska NAACP Legal Redress Committee recruits volunteer lawyers to assist the Des Moines community in obtaining legal resources.

Making a Difference Through Service to the Profession Award: Kelly J. Adams of Alpha Omega Law Firm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, has served on the GPSolo Diversity Board since 2015. She also has written for GPSolo Magazine and served on the GPSolo Publications Board.

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