Oklahoma Bar Journal

Make Time to Submit a Nomination

By Kara I. Smith

The time of the year is upon us to again take the time to recognize deserving individuals and groups who serve our community through their leadership, their service to the public and their service to the legal profession. This is the real beginning of the OBA Awards year, and the real work of the OBA Awards Committee starts now with publicizing the nomination process.

As you reflect on those deserving to be recognized, I also ask you to reflect on how such service and leadership impacts our community, the people in your lives, you personally and reflect on the void that would exist without such commitments to service and leadership.

I ask you to help the OBA Awards Committee find those deserving to be honored and those who make us all want to do better. It is understandable that despite our appreciation and desire to acknowledge deserving individuals and groups, finding that time can just be a challenge.

So, for this very reason, we have made the nomination process as painless and the least time consuming as possible. We encourage you to reflect on this year’s list of awards and to take the time to nominate someone, so we may have the opportunity to say thank you.

In addition, I solicit you to encourage your colleagues and friends to submit a nomination and share with them that their time and effort means so much to this organization, and their nomination could very well turn out to be what an honoree needed to reinvigorate their passion for service and leadership.

Past president and OBA Awards Committee member Joe Crosthwait said, “While most lawyers contribute to the good of society and the profession, many are particularly conspicuous by their contributions. It is only appropriate that those persons be recognized who have given selflessly of their time, talent and treasure for us all. Those who witness or benefit from those contributions need to nominate them. Honoring those special people makes us all that much prouder to be lawyers.”

Access to Justice Committee Chair Rod Ring said, “I don’t know who nominated the committee for the Golden Gavel Award last year and can’t thank them enough. Committee members worked on several projects – giving their time to help Oklahoma meet the promise of justice for all regardless of economic ability or location. Receiving the award reinforced for all committee members that our efforts are worthwhile, and I hope encouraged OBA members to learn more about access to justice.”

The deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, July 1, but get your nomination in EARLY! Nominations, complete with all supporting materials, MUST be received by the deadline. Submissions or supporting material received after the deadline will not be considered.

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 qualified 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. 

Submission options (pick one):
1) email awards@okbar.org ( you will receive a confirmation reply)
2) fax: 405-416-7089

3) mail: OBA Awards Committee, P.O. Box 53036, Oklahoma City, OK 73152

Visit www.okbar.org/awards for the nomination form if you want to use one (not required), history of previous winners, tips for writing nominations and for more information. 


Kara Smith is the chief assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Enforcement Unit of the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General. She serves as Awards Committee chairperson.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- OBJ 90 pg. 35 (May 2019)