National Legal Aid & Defender Association/TimeBanks USA 2018 Client Contribution Awards

NLADA and TimeBanks USA are seeking nominations of client advocates for the 2018 Client Contribution Awards in honor of the tremendous strides clients have made in addressing injustice in their communities and in in supporting legal aid efforts around the country. 

TimeBanks USA joins with the Client Policy Group of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) to make three awards at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association 2018 Annual Conference. The awards are premised on the assumption that this nation’s founding purpose: to Establish Justice -- can best be established if driven by a sustained commitment to maximum feasible participation as outlined in the law authorizing the Legal Services Corporation, by clients in every form and every forum.

Clients are more than people with a legal problem. However serious, that problem is only a small part of the whole person. Clients are a resource to their families, their communities, this nation. A celebration is long overdue of the contribution that clients – individuals or groups – have made to addressing injustice, to transforming the lives of others in their community, to restoring faith in communities in the rule of law, and to battling for Legal Service programs survival, integrity and growth. 

The awards will be announced at the Client Section Meeting of the 2018 NLADA Annual Conference.

The deadline for nominations is September 21, 2018. Each award will include $500 in recognition, and may be presented either to an individual or a group of individuals working together (in which case the $500 would be shared.) Individuals and groups may nominate themselves or be nominated by others.

Awards will be for past contributions with demonstrated impact. One of the three awards will be in recognition of efforts that have successfully supported and promoted legal services (civil or criminal) undertaken by legal service programs serving the indigent. That may be at the local, regional, state or national level.  A second award will be for contributions by a client or clients that have changed the lives of others in the community.  The third award will be for promoting client involvement and client leadership. 

In addition, each and every entry will receive recognition by the award of a certificate of contribution to legal services. 

Nominations should spell out what specifically the nominees did, and what happened as a result of their actions. Kinds of action taken and/or results of those actions can be wide-ranging.

Here are just a few examples: collaboration that led to changed policies; efforts that led to funding or other kinds of support for the program; newsletters that have had a demonstrated impact; day-to-day volunteering that helps shape the client experience of legal services; public forums or public demonstrations that have led to legislative action or other kinds of changes that were more fair and just; training and workshops that have provided members of the community with the knowledge they need to take informed action on their own behalf. 

Nominations should provide details - who, what, when, where, and how - that tell the story clearly and plainly, citing verifiable facts. Two or more references are also requested. References may be from members of Legal Services board members or community members. They should come from individuals with firsthand experience of what was achieved.

Nominations should indicate which of the three awards they are seeking. A nominee may have different submissions for more than one of the three awards – but in each case there should be an explanation as to why that particular award is a good fit. Please also submit 1-3 photos of the individual or of the group being nominated and contact information for both the nominating party and the nominee.

Judging will go through multiple steps. In the first round, law student volunteers from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law will read and rank the submissions. They will be provided with guidelines and will work in teams. They will follow through by contacting references.

The student ratings and comments will be provided by Professor Edgar Cahn to a Client Award Task Force. Task Force composition will consist of client members from the Client Policy Council, Julie Reiskin (client representative on the Board of the Legal Services Corporation) and possibly additional client representatives. That Task Force will make the final choice.

For questions, please contact:

Professor Edgar Cahn
Subject line: Inquiry Client Awards
Phone: 202-362-5605

Nominations should be submitted either:

By mail to: 

2018 Client Contribution Awards
CoProduction Initiative
TimeBanks USA
5500 39th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20015

or by email to:

Subject line: 2018 Client Contribution Awards

Download Nomination Form

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