New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

Award Solicitation Letter

Dear Colleague:

The New Jersey State Bar Association recognizes members of the legal community, law firms and legal organizations who exhibit exemplary pro bono service with the NJSBA Annual Pro Bono Award.

The NJSBA Pro Bono Committee is accepting nominations for this award and the deadline is Friday, May 22nd.

This year, there are some exciting changes to the pro bono award criteria and categories.

The following criteria will be considered for all award categories:

  • Demonstrated commitment to and passion for helping the underserved in New Jersey.
  • Pro bono work primarily benefits people in need residing in New Jersey.
  • Pro bono work satisfies needs of clients or communities that have been underserved.  
  • Pro bono work shows significant effort by the nominee, particularly in the past year. The Committee will consider the number of hours of pro bono service provided, number of cases handled, and number of clients impacted. 

Award Categories. Listed below are the available award categories. The New Jersey State Bar Association Pro Bono Committee will choose award recipients from the nominees submitted. Awards may or may not be presented in all award categories each year.

Individual Lawyer. This award recognizes the exemplary pro bono efforts of an individual attorney. In addition to the general criteria listed above, nominees in this category are evaluated on the scope of the individual lawyer’s pro bono involvement and his or her promotion of pro bono service by others. 

Nominees for this award fall into one of three categories:

  • Small---recognizing the efforts of a solo practitioner or a lawyer in a law firm, corporate legal department or government office with 1-5 lawyers
  • Medium---- recognizing the efforts of a lawyer in a law firm, corporate legal department or government office with 6-25 lawyers
  • Large--- recognizing the efforts of a lawyer in a law firm, corporate legal department or government office with 26 or more lawyers

Law Firm/Corporate Legal Department. This award recognizes the exemplary pro bono efforts of a law firm or corporate legal department that is not an organization that has its primary purpose the provision of free legal services. In addition to the general criteria listed above, nominees in this category are evaluated based on the breadth and scope of the law firm’s/corporate legal department’s pro bono involvement and its promotion of pro bono service by its lawyers.

Nominees for this award fall into one of two categories: 

  • Small---law firms or corporate legal departments with 2-25 lawyers
  • Large---law firms or corporate legal departments with 26 or more lawyers

New Lawyer. This award recognizes the exemplary pro bono efforts of a new lawyer who has been in the practice of law for ten years or less. In addition to the general criteria listed above , nominees in this category are evaluated on the scope of the individual lawyer’s pro bono involvement and his or her promotion of pro bono service by others.

Lifetime Achievement. This award recognizes the exemplary pro bono efforts of an attorney with a long history of work in the pro bono arena. In addition to the general criteria listed above, nominees in this category are evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • A career spanning at least 25 years with an established history of pro bono work
  • Leadership and inspiration to others; service as a role model and/or mentor
  • A lasting contribution to a field of law that impacts the underserved
  • Influence on the pro bono arena

Persons interested in submitting nominations are encouraged to complete a nomination form – click here.

The deadline for submission of nominations is May 22, 2015. You will be notified of the Association’s decision in June. Award winners will be recognized during the 8th Annual Pro Bono Conference on Tues., Oct. 27.

Should you have any questions about the award or the nomination form, please feel free to call Lisa Spiegel, Senior Director of CLE Programming at 732-214-8554 or email lspiegel@njsba.com.

Since 2003, twelve attorneys (from solo practitioners to large firm partners) and ten institutions (from law firms and corporations to law school programs) have received this prestigious award. Read about recent winners and think about nominating someone you know this year. Click here for a list of recent winners.