Young Lawyers Division Awards
YLD Pro Bono Award
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.
The completed online application is due by Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, at 5 p.m. Submission of the application will go to Awards Co-Chairs Masimba Mutamba at firstname.lastname@example.org and Maria Vigilante at email@example.com, with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pro Bono Award Recipients:
Belkis Plata (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 Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award
The completed application due Friday, March 19, 2021 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.
Outstanding Woman Lawyer of Achievement Award Recipients:
Hon. Elizabeth G. Rice (2020)
Marianne Curtis (2019)
Melanie Griffin (2018)
Katherine Yanes (2017)
Hilarie Bass (2016)
The Lynn Futch Most Productive Young Lawyer Award
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.
Lynn Futch Most Productive Young Lawyer Award Recipients:
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
This award recognizes the person or entity that, through humanitarian respect, advances balance and fulfillment in lawyers’ lives by redefining current work habits and schedules to provide more flexibility and a more meaningful existence. Quality of Life shall be defined as finding equilibrium between work and family and community involvement to maximize good health and minimize stress in one’s career.
Michael K. Reese Quality of Life Award Recipients:
Orr ǀ Cook (2020)
Rochelle Gapere (2019)
Michael Freed (2018)
Deborah Baker-Egozi (2017)
Alison Sausaman (2016)
Meenu T. Sasser Outstanding Jurist Award
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.
Meenu T. Sasser Outstanding Jurist Award Recipients:
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)
The 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.
Diversity Award Recipients:
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)
No nominations received so no winner declared (2010)
US District Court for the Middle District of Florida (2009)
Affiliate of the Year Award
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 2019 calendar year.
There are two Affiliate of the Year Awards:
Florida Young Lawyers Large Affiliate of the Year Award 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.
Florida Young Lawyers Small Affiliate of the Year Award 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.
Large Affiliate of the Year Award Recipients:
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)
Small Affiliate of the Year Award Recipients:
Polk County FAWL (2020)
Miami-Dade FAWL (2019)
Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association (2018)
Escambia Santa Rosa Bar Association (2017)
Affiliate Member Service Project of the Year Award
This award recognizes a member service project that an Affiliate has put on during the 2019 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.
Member Service Project of the Year Award Recipients:
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 Public Service Project of the Year Award
This award recognizes a public service project that an Affiliate has put on during the 2019 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.
Affiliate Public Service Project of the Year Award Recipients:
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)