ABA seeks nominees for service awards

Issue March 2004

The American Bar Association Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division is seeking nominations for three awards that recognize outstanding achievements of public lawyers.

The awards, which will be presented at the ABA annual meeting in August, include:

•  The Hodson Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments by a government or public sector office. The 2003 award went to California's Administrative Office of the Courts' Center for Families, Children and the Courts for its dedication to improving services for children, families and pro se litigants.

•  The Dorsey Award honors an outstanding public defender or legal aid lawyer. The 2003 award was presented to Robert C. Oberbillig, retired executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Polk County, Iowa, for his 35 years of working to effect wide-scale improvement in the lives of disadvantaged people.

•  The Nelson Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the ABA by an individual government or public sector lawyer. U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim received the 2003 award for his role in the creation and stewardship of the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division and his volunteer work for ABA Standing Committee on Election Law and ABA Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative.

Nominations for the three awards are due April 9.

Several events on the docket at Southern New England School of Law
Don't miss several events coming up soon at Southern New England School of Law in North Dartmouth in March, April and May.

The school will sponsor a Career Expo on Thursday, March 25 from 1:30-3:30 p.m., which is open to members of the bar and students. Following the expo, former MBA President Edward P. Ryan Jr. will speak about problems facing lawyers today.

Then on Wednesday, April 21, Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree, who has been appointed to head the American Bar Association's Brown v. Board of Education Commission, will speak about his new book, "All Deliberate Speed: Reflections on the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education."

Following the discussion, Ogletree will sign copies of the book. The event takes place from 4-6 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom.

In addition, Southern New England School of Law in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth is sponsoring a mediation training.

The comprehensive, hands-on skill building training program is designed to prepare participants to become effective mediators. Participants must attend all sessions to be certified. Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, Friday, April 30, Thursday, May 6, Friday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 12.

The training sessions, which cost $800, are open to all members of the bar.

For more information call, Mediation Works Inc. at (800) 348-4888, ext. 22 or visit

In attendance will be trainers and role play coaches from the business, court and academic mediation community.

Fiction writing contest accepting entries
Have a novel idea that you've always wanted to put down on paper? This may be your chance. SEAK Inc. is sponsoring the nation's third annual National Legal Fiction Writing Competition for Lawyers to encourage lawyers to become more interested in and adept at writing legal fiction.

Attorneys may submit by Sept. 15, 2004, a typed short story or novel excerpt in the legal fiction genre that does not exceed 2,500 words. Submissions may be sent to SEAK Inc., ATTN: Steven Babitsky, Esq., President, P.O. Box 729, Falmouth, MA 02541.

The competition is open to any licensed attorney in the United States and its territories. The attorney's name, address, phone number and e-mail address should be contained in the submission. Only entries received by SEAK Inc. on or before Sept. 15, 2004, will be considered. And only one entry per attorney may be submitted.

There is no charge for entering the competion. SEAK Inc. also sponsors the annual National Legal Fiction Writing Workshop for Lawyers, which will be held Oct. 15-17 on Cape Cod.