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Know Someone Who Deserves to be Honored?

By Jennifer Castillo

OBA Awards 2017Think about the last time someone paid you a compliment, whether for a professional or personal accomplishment. Remember how good that compliment made you feel? Now imagine the amplified feeling of pride and accomplishment from recognition by your professional organization and peers. You would want to share that feeling with others, right? Of course, you would – especially if doing so only took a moment of your time.

Each year at its Annual Meeting, the Oklahoma Bar Association proudly bestows a series of awards to deserving lawyers and organizations for their significant achievement in leadership, public service and service to the profession. It truly only takes a moment to nominate someone, and it could mean the world to a bar colleague or organization that is making Oklahoma a better place.

The 2012 OBA award I received was a momentous occasion for me. In a very cogent way, the award validated my hard work and dedication to the legal profession and the OBA. It also gave me confidence and incentive to continue those efforts. As chair of the OBA Awards Committee, I have the pleasure of hearing about the wonderful work my colleagues and professional organizations are doing to help promote the rule of law and access to justice in Oklahoma. I can’t wait to tell you about them all when the OBA presents this year’s awards at Annual Meeting, Nov. 1 – 3 in Tulsa.

However, the Awards Committee is only as good as the nominations we receive. To encourage nominations, the Awards Committee has made the nomination process as streamlined as possible. I encourage you to take a look at the award categories below and to nominate at least one deserving colleague or professional organization for an award.




  • The deadline is Friday, July 28, but get your nomination in EARLY!
  • The entire nomination cannot exceed five single-sided, 81/2” x 11” pages. (This includes exhibits and support letters.) 
  • Nominations don’t have to be long; they can be as short as a one-page letter to the OBA Awards Committee. A nomination form is not required, but is available as a PDF. Also, see nominating tips from the Awards Committee Chairperson.
  • Make sure the name of the person being nominated and the person (or organization) making the nomination is on the nomination.
  • If you think someone qualifies for awards in several categories,pick one award and only do one nomination. The OBA Awards Committee may consider the nominee for an award in a category other than one in which you nominate that person.
  • You can mail, fax or email your nomination (pick one).
    Fax: 405-416-7089
    Mail: OBA Awards Committee, P.O. Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Individuals for Whom Awards are Named

  • Outstanding County Bar Association Award - for meritorious efforts and activities
  • Hicks Epton Law Day Award -for individuals or organizations for noteworthy Law Day activities
  • Golden Gavel Award - for OBA Committees and Sections performing with a high degree of excellence
  • Liberty Bell Award - for non-lawyers or lay organizations for promoting or publicizing matters regarding the legal system
  • Outstanding Young Lawyer Award- for a member of the OBA Young Lawyers Division for service to the profession
  • Earl Sneed Award - for outstanding continuing legal education contributions
  • Award of Judicial Excellence- for excellence of character, job performance or achievement while a judge and service to the bench, bar and community
  • Fern Holland Courageous Lawyer Award - to an OBA member who has courageously performed in a manner befitting the highest ideals of our profession
  • Outstanding Service to the Public Award - for significant community service by an OBA member or bar-related entity
  • Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service - by an OBA member or bar-related entity
  • Joe Stamper Distinguished Service Award - to an OBA member for long-term service to the bar association or contributions to the legal profession
  • Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award- to an OBA member practicing 10 years or more who for conduct, honesty,integrity and courtesy best represents the highest standards of the legal profession
  • John E. Shipp Award for Ethics- to an OBA member who has truly exemplified the ethics of the legal profession either by 1) acting in accordance with the highest ethical standards in the face of pressure to do otherwise or 2) by serving as a role model for ethics to the other members of the profession
  • Alma Wilson Award - for an OBA member who has made a significant contribution to improving the lives of Oklahoma children
  • Trailblazer Award - to an OBA member or members who by their significant, unique visionary efforts have had a profound impact upon our profession and /or community and in doing so have blazed a trail for others to follow