Colorado Bar Association Awards

CBA Award of Merit 

Sponsored by the Awards Committee

Based on feedback from our members, the Awards Committee is pausing the 2022 Award of Merit to review our selection protocols and eligibility guidelines to ensure a more equitable and inclusive process in alignment with the CBA’s Mission and Values. Please contact the Awards Committee for additional information

Gary McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award

Sponsored by the CBA YLD
The Gary L. McPherson Outstanding Lawyer of the Year award is given annually to a young lawyer with an outstanding record of professional success, community service achievements, a strong commitment to civic participation and inspiring others. McPherson was honored with the award in 1993; he went on to serve three terms in the state legislature. The award was renamed in his honor following his death in 2000.
Nomination Deadline: March 15
Contact the CBA Young Lawyers for additional information

The Cathy Stricklin Krendl Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by the Business Law Section
The Cathy Stricklin Krendl Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize a lawyer who, over an extended period of time, has manifested intellectual and professional excellence in the practice of or scholarship on Colorado business law; the recipient's generosity of spirit as reflected in the recipient's participation in and contribution to the advancement of Colorado business law; the recipient's efforts to enhance the general quality of business law practice by Colorado lawyers; and the recipient's devotion to the principles of legal professionalism.
Contact the Business Law Section for additional information

Icon Award

The Icon Award is presented to practitioners who have made a significant contribution and improvement to the practice of family law, have demonstrated leadership with demonstrable accomplishments, are recognized and respected by the bench and bar as a leader in the practice of family law, and are a person of the highest ethical standards.
Sponsored by the Family Law Section
Contact the Family Law Section for additional information

James Bye Award

Sponsored by the Tax Section
The James E. Bye Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded annually by the Tax Section of the Colorado Bar to a Colorado tax attorney who has adhered to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession in the practice of tax law, and who has distinguished himself or herself in areas such as the practice of tax law in the State of Colorado, the improvement of the quality of the tax law, legal education, service to the Tax Bar, and community involvement.
Contact the Tax Section for additional information

R. Sterling Ambler Award

Sponsored by the Trust and Estates Section
The R. Sterling Ambler Award is given to an individual who has contributed substantially to furtherance of Colorado law, education of others and the Trust and Estate Section of the Colorado Bar Association.
Contact the Trust and Estate Section for additional information.


1st Judicial District Bar Association Awards

George Holley Young Lawyer Award

This is given to an attorney under the age of 37 or in practice for less than 5 years who is a member of the First J.D. Bar and is deserving of recognition for her or his activities with the Bar, the community and in the practice of law. The recipient should be someone who reflects a strong commitment to the legal profession and to community service. The general deadline is August 1 of each year.

Linda T. Palmieri Annual Award For Outstanding Service to Children 

This is given in recognition of an individual’s demonstration of a superior degree of professionalism and commitment to children, and who has worked actively to advance the welfare of children. The individual need not be an attorney, but shall have made significant contribution to the children of the First Judicial District, and the legal system as a whole. The general deadline is August 1 of each year.

Liberty Bell Award

This award is given to a non-lawyer who has furthered the interaction of the community and the legal system and provided an uncommon contribution to the system or government as a whole. The general deadline is August 1 of each year.

Award of Merit 

This award is given to a non-lawyer who has furthered the interaction of the community and the legal system and provided an uncommon contribution to the system or government as a whole. The general deadline is August 1 of each year.

Lisa Harness Memorial Award

This person demonstrates a superior degree of professionalism, knowledge and dedication to the position of a Clerk of the Court and has worked in the judicial system for a least one year. Persons who have consistently demonstrated their commitment to going above and beyond to assure that the judicial system and the public are served with an exceptional degree of service are appropriate nominees. The general deadline is August 1 of each year.

Peripatetic Jurist Award 

Periodically, a judge or lawyer who serves two or more communities or boards in a judicial or quasi-judicial role comes to the 1st Judicial District Bar Association's attention. They recognize her/him for the service he/she provides to the communities and the legal system as a whole. At least some jurisdictions should be or meet in this District, or the lawyer or judge should be based in this district.

Special Service Awards 

Periodic recognition of a member of the First Judicial District Bar Association for activities in the judicial system, the practice or the community at large that are deserving of recognition.


Arapahoe County Bar Association Awards

Tommy Drinkwine Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award

In recognition of commitment to the improvement of the community, as well as enthusiastic service to clients, the public, and the ACBA. This award was named posthumously for Tommy D. Drinkwine, the 1983 Recipient.

Raymond Frenchmor Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Juvenile System

Honors outstanding service to the Juvenile Justice System. Nominees may be any individual or organization.

Charles Dillion Award for Outstanding Public Service

Honors extraordinary service in public interest. Nominees may be any individual or organization.

Charles Dillion Award for Outstanding Public Service

Honors extraordinary service in public interest. Nominees may be any individual or organization.

For more information on any of the awards listed above, please contact the ACBA at 303-797-2227.

Denver Bar Association Awards

For more information on DBA Awards and Nominations, click here


The DBA Award of Merit

Rercognizes outstanding leadership, competency, ethics, professionalism, community service and contributions to the DBA and the legal profession. Acknowledges outstanding service rendered in the interest of the improvement of the administration of justice.

DBA Young Lawyer of the Year

Recognizes outstanding service as defined by ethics, professionalism and contributions to the DBA, legal profession and community.

Judicial Excellence

Honors a DBA member of the judiciary for extraordinary service or exceptional contributions to the improvement of the judicial system

DBA Volunteer of the Year

Honors a DBA member who in the last year has performed extraordinary pro bono legal representation or provided exceptional voluntary service to cultural, civic, educational or charitable causes.

Education in the Legal System

Honors teachers, programs and/or schools that exhibit outstanding dedication to teaching students about civics, the American legal system and the Rule of Law. The DBA will provide a monetary gift to either the honoree teacher’s school, the program being honored or the school being honored, in an amount and allocation to be determined by the DBA Board of Trustees. The gift will be used for educational purposes in the above described areas.

Outstanding Program or Project

Acknowledges those programs or projects that uphold the highest traditions of the legal profession, such as ethics, professionalism, education, access to justice, community service or promoting charitable causes. Recognizes exceptional collaboration between members of the Bar.

Four Corners Bar Association Professionalism Award

Four Corners Bar Association's Professionalism Award

Nominations from Four Corners Bar Association members must be sent by Friday, September 27. There are three criteria to determine the award recipient, being that the attorney: (1) Adheres to ethical and procedural rules, and acts as a model for others; (2) Is respectful of the courts and other attorneys, as shown through preparedness and demeanor; and (3) Is active in the Bar, Bar activities, or other legal activities in the community. Email nominations to Jeremy Botkins.

Larimer County Bar Association Professionalism Award

Professionalism Award

Honors a Larimer County attorney who has demonstrated a history of high ethics and professionalism. Candidates will be considered for recommendation on the following standards:

  • Must be a member of the Larimer County Bar Association for not less than five years.
  • Demonstrated positive involvement in the legal profession.
  • Courteous and prompt in conducting business.
  • Adheres to the Principles of Professionalism in both attitude and actions.
  • Complies with the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct including treating all individuals with respect and dignity regardless of their sex, race, national origin or sexual preference.
  • Performs pro bono public service by participating in improving the community or by providing legal services to clients of limited means without charge or in a manner that allows the client to participate in the legal process.
  • Committed to improving the profession when possible and to practicing law in a manner consistent with a commitment to providing quality legal services to the client.
  • In representing a client and rendering advice considers not only the law but other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors relevant to the situation.

Please send nominations and supporting information no later than February 10 to Donna Hochberg.

Southwestern Colorado Bar Association - Professionalism Award

Professionalism Award

This award recognizes someone that has exhibited grace and civility in the advancement of the legal profession or provision of legal services. The award may be given either to lawyers or non-lawyers. The deadline is in the month of September.The contact person for this award is the Southwestern Colorado Bar Association secretary/treasure.

Sam Carey Bar Association Awards

Warrior for Justice: 

SCBA Awards Committee Seeks Nominees Warrior for Justice
Deadline—Friday, August 16th
In August 2013, the Board of the Sam Cary Bar Association adopted the Warrior for Justice Award.
The criteria for this award are:

  • A person who provides, ideas, creativity or strong leadership on matters involving justice for all
  • Demonstrated dedicated service benefitting the African American community
  • A person of integrity and honesty
  • Selflessly, stood up front on issues of importance to rights of others
  • Need not be a member of the SCBA or the legal profession


King Trimble Lifetime Achievement Award: 

In September 2006, the Board of the Sam Cary Bar Association voted unanimously to establish this award. The award is to be given to a SCBA member who has contributed to the SCBA above and beyond the call of duty.
Other criteria for this award are:


  • Provides consistent leadership to the SCBA
  • Is a model attorney or jurist, not only to SCBA but to other bar member<
  • Demonstrated achievement in the legal profession
  • Service to the community
  • Selflessly, assists his/her African American colleagues

Send nominations to Nicole Gorham at [email protected]. Nominations need not be formal, but should present why the nominee qualifies for consideration for the award. Based upon the response and nominations by the membership, the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors will determine if it is fitting to present the Award at the Gala.

Asian Pasific American Bar Association Awards

Minoru Yasui Community Service Award

Each year at the APABA annual Banquet, APABA and the APABA Foundation award the Minoru Yasui Community Service Award. The award goes to an individual or group whose community service exemplifies the achievement of Mr. Yasui, who challenged the laws applied to Japanese-Americans during World War II and advocated for civil rights and liberties for American citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity. Find more information here. 

Ralph Carr Award/Scholarship

The Governor Ralph Carr Award is awarded to a young APABA attorney, defined as an attorney in 10 years of practice or less, who has exhibited a commitment to public service through public sector work or a substantial commitment to community service.
When the Government decided to resettle Japanese-Americans from the West Coast in a camp at Amache near Granada, Colorado, Governor Carr went against popular anti-Japanese sentiment by urging Coloradans to welcome the evacuees. In a speech defending the rights of the displaced Japanese-Americans, Carr said:

"If you harm them, you must harm me. I was brought up in a small town where I knew the shame and dishonor of race hatred. I grew to despise it because it threatened the happiness of you and you and you."

Carr's urgings for racial tolerance and for protection of the basic rights of the Japanese-Americans are generally thought to have cost him his political career, including his ambition for election to the United States Senate.

The award winner will be directed to spend the stipend toward CLE or repaying law school loans. Find more information here

Colorado Women's Bar Association Awards

CWBA Judicial Award

Each year, the CWBA is proud to honor all members of the Colorado judiciary at the Annual CWBA Judicial Reception, and honor specific judicial official(s) for their meaningful work. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 1. Click here to contact the CWBA for submissions or questions.

Mary Lathrop Award

The Mary Lathrop Award recognizes the tradition begun by Mary Lathrop, an early woman lawyer in Colorado, who blazed many trails for other women in the legal profession. Award recipients are selected based on their contributions to the community through their legal and civic achievements. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 1. Click here to contact the CWBA for submissions or questions.

“Raising the Bar”

Each year, the CWBA Foundation’s “Raising the Bar” Dinner honors a select category of women attorneys who have “raised the bar” in distinctive ways.Deadline for submissions is Jan. 1. Click here to contact the CWBA for submissions or questions.

Colorado Judicial Institute

In recognition and support of excellence in Colorado courts, the Colorado Judicial Institute annually acknowledges the efforts of three outstanding judges - one each for the district courts, county courts, and magistrates. The three Judicial Excellence Awards are presented at the Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner. For more information click here.

Colorado Hispanic Bar Association Awards

The awardees will be recognized at the CHBA Annual Banquet and Fundraiser to be held in January.


Chris Miranda Outstanding Hispanic Lawyer

 Presented to an outstanding Hispanic attorney in practice more than five years who has shown a continual commitment to the Hispanic community and the principals of the legal profession.

Outstanding New Hispanic Lawyer

Presented to an outstanding Hispanic attorney, in practice for five years or less, who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Hispanic community and the principals of the legal profession.

Outstanding Corporate Commitment Award

Presented to a company that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the Hispanic community and that promote diversity in corporate policies and activities.

Community Service Award

Presented to a nonprofit organization or individual committed to providing services benefitting the Hispanic community.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented to an attorney over 55 who has made significant contributions to the Hispanic community. The recipient of this award must receive an affirmative vote from two-thirds of the entire CHBA board.

All nominations must be in writing and explain how the nominee meets the award criteria. Please send your nominations to Cynthia Mares