Gary McPherson Award for Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year

The Gary McPherson Outstanding Young Lawyer award recognizes recognizes a young Colorado lawyer for his or her outstanding contributions to the legal profession and the community.   

The award is presented in honor of Gary McPherson, a Colorado state representative who was killed in a plane crash at the age of 37.  McPherson was a devoted public servant who was active in the bar association and the Young Lawyers Division.  A memorial published by the state house of representatives recognized that “Representative McPherson loved politics and serving this state, and he will be remembered as one of the General Assembly’s most highly regarded and popular members; . . . [he] was an honorable, hardworking public servant who was respected by both Republicans and Democrats.” Gary McPherson was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year in 1993.  After his death in 2000, the award was renamed in his honor.

Eligible persons are those who are members in good standing of the CBA, and who are 37 years or younger or who have been practicing law fewer than five years. Nominees should have an outstanding record of professional success, community service achievements, and a strong commitment to civic participation and inspiring others, whether within the legal profession or elsewhere.

Impact may be demonstrated in one or more of the following ways:

  • Programs & Projects: The individual designed or implemented one or more high-impact community or professional programs or projects that have been replicated or expanded.
  • Achievement in the Practice of Law: The individual has recognized excellence in advocacy, counseling, or litigation and community service/pro bono work.
  • Presentations & Publications: The individual has made meaningful contributions to the body of knowledge in their area of expertise through CLE presentations, articles, books, etc.
  • Service & Mentorship: The individual has contributed substantial time and expertise to help improve the legal community or profession (e.g. by leading legal community organizations or networks, serving on relevant boards or committees, and/or mentoring others.)

Applications for the 2020 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award will be accepted Jan. 15 through March 1, 2020. The awards will be presented at the 2020 Colorado Bar Foundation Dinner. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged.


Please include the following with your nomination:

  • A completed nomination form detailing the qualifications of the nominee and the ways in which the nominee has exhibited professional success, community service achievements, and a strong commitment to civic participation and the inspiring of others within their community.
  • A resume of detailing professional accomplishments, bar association, community service and relevant impact on the Colorado legal community. 
  • Please include up to three letters of recommendation. 
Questions? Contact Heather Folker.