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Fellows Awards

Fellows Annual Awards

For a full list of all previous award winners click hereMore information on the 2018 Fellows Awards nomination process coming soon.   

Outstanding Service Award

The Fellows shall, on an annual basis, select a Fellow for the Outstanding Service Award, who has, in his or her professional career, adhered for more than thirty years* to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and to the service of the public.

*Prior to 2006, the Outstanding Service Award required fifty years of service.

Outstanding Scholar Award

The Fellows shall, on an annual basis, select a person, not necessarily a Fellow, for the Outstanding Scholar Award, who has engaged in outstanding scholarship in the law or in government.

Outstanding State Chair Award

The Fellows Officers shall, on an annual basis, select a current State Chair for the Outstanding State Chair Award, who has demonstrated a dedication to the work of the Foundation and the mission of The Fellows through exceptional efforts on behalf of The Fellows at the state level.

2017 AWARD RECIPIENTS

We are pleased to annouce the 2017 Fellows Awards honorees.  The 61st Annual Fellows Awards Reception and Banquet took place on February 4, 2017 at the Historic Alfred I. duPont Building in Miami, Florida. 

Outstanding Service Award-- Helaine M. Barnett, Esq.

Helaine M. Barnett has devoted her entire professional career to the provision of legal aid to the poor and in the pursuit of equal access to justice. She was appointed President of the Legal Services Corporation in January 2004, the first legal aid attorney to be appointed to that position where she served for six years. LSC is the largest single funder of civil legal aid programs in the United States. As President, she was responsible for providing federal grants and oversight to 137 legal aid programs with over 900 offices throughout the country. Under her leadership, LSC issued the groundbreaking Justice Gap Report documenting the unmet civil legal needs of lowincome Americans. Before joining LSC, Helaine Barnett spent 37 years with The Legal Aid Society in New York City and headed its multi-office Civil Division. Among her accomplishments, she created its Homeless Family Rights Project and mobilized its 9/11 disaster assistance response. Since returning from Washington D.C. in 2010, she was appointed by the Chief Judge of New York to Chair a statewide Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services, which has become the New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, which she continues to Chair. As a result of its work, New York has allocated annually $100 million of state funding for civil legal services, more than any other state in the country. She also has taught a seminar at NYU Law School on Access to the Civil Justice System. Helaine Barnett has held leadership positions in the American Bar Association, serving on its Board of Governors and its Executive Committee. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement, the NYU Law School Alumni Achievement, the New York Law Journal Lifetime Achievement, and the New York State Bar’s Gold Medal, and has published several law review articles on access to justice. She is a graduate of NYU Law School and Barnard College. 

Outstanding Scholar Award-- Professor Akhil Reed Amar, Yale Law School

After graduating from Yale College, summa cum laude, in 1980 and from Yale Law School in 1984, and clerking for then Judge (now Justice) Stephen Breyer, Akhil Reed Amar joined the Yale faculty in 1985 at the age of 26. He is currently Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale, and teaches constitutional law in both Yale College and Yale Law School. His work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society, and he has been favorably cited by Supreme Court justices across the spectrum in over 30 cases—tops in his generation. He has regularly testified before Congress at the invitation of both parties; and in various comprehensive surveys of judicial citations and/or scholarly citations, he invariably ranks among America’s five most-cited legal scholars under age sixty. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 he received the DeVane Medal—Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence. He has written widely for popular publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Slate. He was an informal consultant to the popular TV show, The West Wing, and his work has been showcased on more recent TV shows such as The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose, and The O’Reilly Factor. Professor Amar is the author of dozens of law review articles and several books, including The Constitution and Criminal Procedure: First Principles (Yale Univ. Press, 1997), The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction (Yale Univ. Press, 1998), America’s Constitution: A Biography (Random House, 2005), America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books, 2012), and The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic (Basic Books, 2015). His newest book, The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era, was published in September 2016..

Outstanding State Chair Award --  Washington State Fellows Co-Chairs

Honorable Eileen A. Kato (Ret.), King County District Court

Judge Eileen A. Kato (ret.) has served as co-chair of the Washington State Fellows since 2011.  She has been an active member of the ABA, having served in the House of Delegates, the Center on Racial & Ethnic Diversity, Judge Kennedy’s Commission on Sentencing, Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility/Judges’ Advisory Committee, Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice, Standing Committee on Minorities in the Judiciary, chair of the Conference of Specialized Court Judges in the Judicial Division, and as a Judicial Division liaison to the Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and the Commission on Ethnic and Diversity in the Legal Profession. Judge Kato was also a member of the Section of Litigation Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, and currently serves as the General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Judiciary Committee chair and Awards Committee co-chair.  She was a co-founder and former president of the NAPABA Judicial Council and board member of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and Justice at Stake.   She currently serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel, on the Executive Committee for the International Organization for Judicial Training, and as a consultant to the NCSC International Division.

Salvador A. Mungia, Esq., Gordon Thomas Honeywell

Salvador A. Mungia is a partner with the law firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell in their Tacoma, Washington office. Sal graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1984 with honors. He is a past president of the Washington State Bar Association, the Western States Bar Conference, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, and Legal Aid for Washington. Sal was appointed in 2016 by the Washington State Supreme Court to be a member of the Washington State Access to Justice Board of Directors. Sal also serves on the Washington State Endowment for Equal Justice Board of Directors and is in his second year as Chair of the Washington State Equal Justice Coalition. Sal served four years as one of Washington State Bar Association’s delegates to the ABA House of Delegates and is in his fifth year of serving as co-chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation for Washington State. He has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell for over ten years. Sal has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” since 2011 and for the latest edition he was named a “Best Lawyer” in the fields of personal injury litigation – plaintiffs, civil rights law, appellate practice, and commercial litigation. He has been designated as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law and Politics and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Washington State by The American Trial Lawyers Association and the American Society of Legal Advocates. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and Litigation Counsel of America. Sal has been recognized by various entities including the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, the King County Washington Women Lawyers, Appleseed Washington, Seattle University School of Law, and Pacific Lutheran University for his service to the legal community and the community at large. Sal represents a variety of individuals in personal injury litigation with an emphasis in medical malpractice including nursing home negligence, wrongful death claims, severe injuries and also represents businesses in commercial, contractual, and real property disputes.

Distinguished Life Fellow Award -- Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School

Born in Merced, CA in December 1952, Professor Ogletree began his life humbly. His trusted commitment to leadership and civil rights became evident early, when he ran and was elected as the first Black student body president in his predominantly white high school and later as co-President of the Associated Students of Stanford University. After graduating from Stanford he enrolled in Harvard Law School where his activism and fight for justice continued.

In 1985, Mr. Ogletree returned to Harvard Law School as a visitor. He was elevated to tenure track faculty in 1989. A few years later, in 1991, Charles received national attention for his representation of (now Professor) Anita Hill during the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas. Professor Ogletree received tenure at HLS in 1993. In September 2005, he founded the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. Most importantly, in his role as a law professor, Charles has been able to inspire successive generations of students, including the current President and First Lady, to pursue a life of public service and continue the struggle for racial justice. Although Professor Ogletree has come far from his humble childhood in Merced, California, he is a man who never forgets where he started. He provides annual college scholarships for students attending his public high school in Merced, California and always looks forward to visiting his hometown.

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