Nominate Someone Who Deserves to be Honored
By Jennifer Castillo
To some of you, spring
may bring to mind images
of shamrocks, leprechauns,
pastel colored eggs and chocolate
bunnies. For others, spring
may mean breaks from school
and family vacations. In my
mind, spring represents the
beginning of the OBA Awards
Committee’s work for the year.
It is the time when we plan our
year as a committee and begin to
publicize the nominations process.
As a working mom of two, I
understand how difficult it can
be to find a few extra minutes in
which to write and submit an OBA
award nomination. But consider
how a few minutes of your time
now can encourage and inspire
others to continue serving our
community through leadership,
public service and service to the
profession far into the future.
For example, Carolyn S.
Thompson received the Alma
Wilson Award in 2017 for her
work at Douglass High School
in Oklahoma City as chair of the
Law and Public Safety Career
Academy. In this role, Ms.
Thompson spends 20 to 25 hours
a week coordinating speakers,
arranging field trips and summer
internships as well as writing
grants for all the academy’s
funding. She believes the work
she does makes a difference in
the lives of Oklahoma students,
but the work also comes with
many obstacles and frustrations.
When asked about how receiving
the award impacted her, Ms.
Thompson told me that on the
days when she feels like beating her head against a wall to get
some small task accomplished,
having been recognized by the
OBA motivates her to keep going.
Judge Jill Weedon, who
received the Judicial Excellence
Award in 2017, similarly told me
how meaningful it is to her and
her family that someone noticed
her efforts. She said, “Writing
a nomination letter is an act of
kindness that will only cost you
a little time. You may surprise
someone with the gift of having
their achievement publicly
acknowledged.” Ms. Thompson
added, “I am sure there are many
Oklahoma lawyers who do pro
bono work who deserve to be
recognized but who receive little
recognition. It takes time and
effort to prepare and submit an
award nomination, but to those
being nominated that time and
effort will mean a lot and might
make a real difference in the
nominee’s life. I encourage OBA
members to take the time to seek
out and nominate our members
for the great work they are doing.”
To encourage nominations,
the Awards Committee has
made the nomination process as
streamlined as possible. Anyone
can submit an award nomination,
and anyone nominated can win. No specific form is required.
Nominations can be as short as
a one-page letter (however, the
entire nomination cannot exceed
five singled-sided 8 ½ x 11 pages
including exhibits and support
letters). No specific method of
delivery is required. Nominations
may be mailed, emailed or faxed
(but please pick just one).
I encourage you to take a
look at the award categories and
nominate at least one deserving
colleague or professional
organization for an award.
You never know what great
acts of service and kindness
you may inspire.
JUST A FEW RULES & TIPS
- The deadline is Friday, July 27, 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).
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