Young Lawyers Division Awards

Questions? Please contact YLD Award Co-Chairs Reno Pierre (rpierr19@gmail.com) and Brittany Dix (bbird@usf.edu), as well as Program Administrator, Tom Miller (tmiller@floridabar.org).

CLOSED APPLICATION WINDOWS

YLD Pro Bono Award

Application window is closed.

The YLD Pro Bono Award recognizes the public service or legal aid performed by a young lawyer (younger than 36 or who has not practiced for more than five years in any jurisdiction) who provides outstanding contributions to those in need of legal services. A nominee must be admitted to practice in Florida.

The term Pro Bono is derived from the phrase pro bono publico meaning “for the good of the public.” The purpose of this award is to encourage more Florida young lawyers to freely contribute their time and expertise in providing legal services to people in their community who cannot otherwise afford those services. In some instances, this will include legal services to charitable organizations that serve the poor. The emphasis of this award is on legal service to the poor.

Attachments: It is mandatory to attach a letter or statement from the nominator explaining why the nominee deserves this award. It is optional to attach materials from third parties, such as photographs, articles, or additional letters in support; however, all submissions shall be limited to five (5) attachments accompanying the nomination, and all nominations shall not exceed a total of ten (10) pages.

—–

Pro Bono Award Recipients:
Irena Shabetayev (2023)
Tremaine L. Hemans (2022)
Fay O. Pappas (2021)
Belkis Plata (2020)
Tori Simmons (2019)
Allison M. Stocker, Jacksonville (2018)
Jennifer Edwards, Largo (2017)
Elisa J. D’Amico, Miami (2016)
Sara Alpert, Tampa (2015)
Laura E. Ward, Tampa (2014)
Rebecca Lauren Sosa, Miami (2013)
Timothy Allen Moran, Oviedo (2012)
Rachel May Zysk, Tampa (2011)
Monica Miller Evans, Tallahassee (2010)
Carin Manders Constantine, St. Petersburg (2009)
Heather Pinder Rodriguez, Orlando (2008)
Mac Richard McCoy, Tampa (2007)
Joseph F. Summonte, Jr., Sarasota (2006)
Melanie Emmons Damian, Miami (2005)
Thomas Alan Zehnder, Orlando (2004)
Laurel Francis Moore, Tampa (2003)
Lawrence Howard Kolin, Orlando (2002)
Jacqueline Hogan Scola, Miami (2001)
Steven H. Malone, West Palm Beach (2000)
Scott Edmonds Ray, Miami (1999)
Karen Josefsberg Ladis, Miami (1998)
Michelle Anchors, Tallahasssee (1997)
Robert Lowery Hamilton, Orlando (1996)
Cheryl Ada Elizabeth Little, Miami (1995)
A. Bryant Applegate, Orlando (1994)
Robert Alan Williams, Tallahassee (1993)

YLD Mentor of the Year Award

Application window is closed.

The YLD Mentor of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding Florida-licensed attorney who has shown remarkable achievements in the area of mentorship to young lawyers and/or law students in the state of Florida. This prestigious award will be given to an attorney who has contributed significant time and efforts toward mentoring young lawyers and/or law students. The purpose of this award is to recognize that very deserving individual for above-and-beyond efforts in achieving a high standard of mentorship.

Attachments: It is mandatory to attach a letter or statement from the nominator explaining why the nominee deserves this award. It is optional to attach materials from third parties, such as photographs, articles, or additional letters in support; however, all submissions shall be limited to five (5) attachments accompanying the nomination, and all nominations shall not exceed a total of ten (10) pages.

—–

Award Recipients:

36 Under Thirty-Six Professionalism Awards

The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division is looking for young lawyers who display the highest standards of professionalism and ethics, whose character and integrity remain unwavering even in the most trying times, and whose dedication to raising the bar in the legal profession is unmatched. While the term “professionalism” is broad enough to defy a singular, concise definition, if you know a young lawyer who has created a professional reputation worthy of recognition, we want to hear from you!

+ Learn More

Winter 2024: Affiliate Outreach Conference (AOC)

Application Deadlines: Friday, December 1, 2023

Best Joint Event Award

The completed application due Friday, December 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

This award recognizes any event in which two or more Affiliates participated together, by way of planning, funding, and/or execution, with a short description of each Affiliates’ contributions.

+ Online Application

———–

Award Recipients:
Jacksonville Bar Association YLS and D.W. Perkins Bar Association (2023)
Jacksonville Bar Association YLS and D.W. Perkins Bar Association (2022)

Affiliate Public Service Project of the Year Award

The completed application due Friday, December 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

This award recognizes a public service project that an Affiliate has put on during the calendar year. The project must serve the public and community, enhance the relationship of young lawyers to the public and community, and be innovative. In addition to direct service, social events that are primarily fundraisers for a project may be considered for this award. Affiliates of all sizes are encouraged to apply for this award.

+ Online Application

———–

Award Recipients:
Broward County Hispanic Bar Association (2023)
T.J. Reddick Bar Association (2022)
Palm Beach County Bar Association YLS (2021)
Broward County Bar YLS (2020)
Dade County Bar Young Lawyers Division (2019)
Manatee County Bar Association (2018)
Brevard County Bar Association (2017)
Jacksonville Bar Association (2016)

Affiliate Member Service Project of the Year Award

The completed application due Friday, December 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

This award recognizes a member service project that an Affiliate has put on during the calendar year. The project should serve the Affiliate’s young lawyers, provide for membership enrichment, and be innovative. Social and educational events that enhance the lives of young lawyers may be considered for this award. Affiliates of all sizes are encouraged to apply for this award.

+ Online Application

———–

Award Recipients:
Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers (2023)
Florida Government Bar Association (2022)
Hillsborough County Bar Association YLD (2021)
Gwen S. Cherry Women Lawyers Association (2020)
Manatee County Bar Young Lawyers Association (2019)
Palm Beach County Bar Association (2018)
Broward County Bar Association (2017)
Clearwater Bar Association (2016)

Affiliate of the Year Award

The completed application due Friday, December 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

This award recognizes a young lawyer Affiliate in the State of Florida for excellence in public service, member service, and creative use of resources for activities and programing in the calendar year.

There are three (3) Affiliate of the Year Awards:

Florida Young Lawyers Small Affiliate of the Year Award (up to 100 members) recognizes Affiliates whose work is outstanding, even with fewer members or resources. This award recognizes a young lawyer Affiliate in the State of Florida with a smaller number of members that has shown excellence in public service, member service and creative use of resources.

+ Online Application

Florida Young Lawyers Mid-Sized Affiliate of the Year Award (101-250 members) recognizes a young lawyer Affiliate in the State of Florida with a mid-size number of members that has demonstrated excellence in public service, member service and creative use of resources.

+ Online Application

Florida Young Lawyers Large Affiliate of the Year Award (more than 250 members) recognizes a young lawyer Affiliate in the State of Florida with a large number of members that has demonstrated excellence in public service, member service and creative use of resources.

+ Online Application

———–

Large Affiliate of the Year Award Recipients:
Orange County Bar Association (2023)
Hillsborough County Bar Association – Young Lawyers Division (2022)
Jacksonville Bar Association YLS (2021)
Palm Beach County Bar (2020)
Orange County Bar Young Lawyers Section (2019)
Broward County Bar Association (2018)
Broward County Bar Association (2017)
Broward County Bar Association (2016)

Mid-Sized Affiliate of the Year Award Recipients:
Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association (2023)
Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers (2022)

Small Affiliate of the Year Award Recipients:
Polk Association for Women Lawyers (2023)
T.J. Reddick Bar Association (2022)
Caribbean Bar Association (2021)
Polk County FAWL (2020)
Miami-Dade FAWL (2019)
Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association (2018)
Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association (2017)

Spirit of Excellence Award

The completed application due Friday, December 1, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

The Spirit of Excellence Award recognizes the overall efforts and accomplishments of a lawyer and/or community leader who has excelled in their professional settings and personifies a spirit of excellence in practice. This award should focus on distinguished leaders who have made a great impact on the legal profession over the last calendar year.

+ Online Application

———–

Award Recipients:

Spring 2023

Application Deadlines: Friday, April 5, 2024

YLD Outstanding Government Lawyer Award

The completed application due Friday, April 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.  

Outstanding Government Lawyer Award recognizes and celebrates the achievements of a government lawyer who excels in their field, possesses an excellent reputation for integrity, exhibits dedication to their community and their profession through bar-related or similar activities, and who demonstrates a commitment to the success and advancement of young government lawyers.

+ Online Application

Outstanding Government Lawyer Award Recipients:
Harold Pryor (2023)
Lyndsey Siara  (2022)
LaTesha M. Campbell (2021)

Lynn Futch Most Productive Young Lawyer Award

The completed application due Friday, April 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

This award is given to a young lawyer who is not a member of the Florida Bar YLD Board of Governors, who has worked most diligently in the past year in Bar activities or law related public activities and who has an excellent reputation for legal abilities and integrity.

+ Online Application

——

Lynn Futch Most Productive Young Lawyer Award Recipients:
Alexis Dion Deveaux (2023)
Valeria Obi (2022)
G.C. Murray II (2021)
Alessandro Apolito (2020)
Traci Koster (2019)
Amber Kornreich (2018)
Alexandria Hill (2017) – + Download Nomination Packet
Jaime Rich Vining (2016)

Michael K. Reese Quality of Life Award

The completed application due Friday, April 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

The Michael K. Reese Quality of Life Award recognizes (a) a person who by example or (b) an entity who through initiatives has made a positive impact in young lawyers’ lives by encouraging healthy practices. Such healthy practices include, but are not limited to: prioritizing mental and physical healthcare; balancing work, family and community involvement; minimizing and managing stress in one’s career; and/or redefining work habits and schedules to achieve more flexibility and fulfillment in life.

+ Online Application

Michael K. Reese Quality of Life Award Recipients:
Jason Imler (2023)
Hillsborough County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (2022)
Hon. Senator Lori Berman; the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (“FAWL”) (2021)
Orr ǀ Cook (2020)
Rochelle Gapere (2019)
Michael Freed (2018)
Deborah Baker-Egozi (2017)
Alison Sausaman (2016)

Meenu T. Sasser Outstanding Jurist Award

The completed application due Friday, April 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

This award is given to a jurist with an excellent reputation for sound judicial decisions and an unblemished record of integrity as a lawyer and judge, is generally recognized by Bar members as highly qualified, is active in Bar-related activities open to the judiciary, and demonstrates concern for and willingness to assist young lawyers and respects their abilities.

+ Online Application

Meenu T. Sasser Outstanding Jurist Award Recipients:
Judge Nina Ashenafi-Richardson(2023)
Judge Tatiana Salvador (2022)
The Honorable Chief Judge Donald A. Myers, Jr. (2021)
The Honorable Brian J. Davis (2020)
The Honorable Meenu Sasser (2019)
The Honorable Lisa Walsh (2018)
The Honorable Claudia Isom (2017)
The Honorable Gill Freeman (2016)

YLD Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award

The completed application due Friday, April 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

This award recognizes and celebrates the achievements of a woman lawyer or judge who excels in her field, possesses an excellent reputation for integrity, exhibits dedication to her community and her profession through bar-related or similar activities, and who demonstrates a commitment to the success and advancement of young women lawyers.

+ Online Application

——

Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award Recipients:
Sia Baker Barnes (2023)
The Honorable Samantha Ward (2022)
The Honorable Rhonda Denise Peoples-Waters (2021)
The Honorable Elizabeth G. Rice (2020)
Marianne Curtis (2019)
Melanie Griffin (2018)
Katherine Yanes (2017)
Hilarie Bass (2016)

Cynthia Henry Duval Diversity Award

The completed application due Friday, April 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

The Cynthia Henry Duval Diversity Award is given to a person or entity that respects and promotes diversity in the profession. The Award recognizes those who encourage more gender, racial, ethnic, religious, and other minority participation in law schools and the practice of law—in all areas of the law including private, corporate and public or government practices.  Individuals, law firms, and government offices are among past award recipients.

+ Online Application

—-

Award Recipients:
Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter, National Bar Association (2023)
Daniela Mendez (2022)
Vivian Cortes Hodz (2021)
State Attorney’s Office – 4th Judicial Circuit (2020)
Joseline Hardwick (2019)
Orange County Bar Association (2018)
Javier Lopez (2017)
Larry Smith (2016)
Cynthia Henry Duval (2015)
Janeia Daniels Ingram (2014)
Hinshaw, Culbertson (2013)
2012
2011
No nominations received so no winner declared (2010)
US District Court for the Middle District of Florida (2009)