Awards & Recognition
Elevate ALA Award
As of the 2022 awards season, the Elevate ALA Award will recognize up to three recipients whose efforts in professional development, networking, visibility and inclusion are exemplary. These efforts should demonstrate advancement in the following areas:
- Professional development content
- Relationships between legal management professionals and their peers, as well as legal management professionals and business partners
- ALA’s prominence in the legal community
- Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA)
This award is now open to chapters, individuals, law firms, legal departments, business partners and other organizations in the legal community. Questions can be directed to [email protected].
View the complete list of Elevate ALA Award recipients here. For more information, review the program details.
NextGen Leader Award
The NextGen Leader Award recognizes members who embody the essence of the
ALA Code of Ethics with their accomplishments, leadership qualities and the impact they are making within their legal organization, the legal industry, and the Association. These individuals demonstrate conviction, dedication
and relentless pursuit of personal and professional excellence through their engagement, advancement and influence in early interactions with ALA. Examples of this impact may include volunteering to support an initiative, activity or event-related
program or project at the chapter or international level; joining a committee or task force; serving as a chapter officer; recruiting new members; or introducing innovative new ideas to elevate ALA’s visibility and relevancy at the chapter and/or
international levels. Up to 40 awards can be presented in a given year. Questions can be directed to [email protected].
Outstanding Association Volunteer Award
Many think of this as a "Volunteer of the Year" award, but the basis for the award is not limited to service an individual has provided during the prior year. Recipients have been recognized for either service on particular projects or continuous/ongoing volunteer efforts, and generally such service or efforts are at the international level. There are no specific criteria for this award beyond what's stated here.
Congratulations to the 2022 recipients:
- Brian P. Gilman, CLM
- Stephanie A. Hood
- Rita R. Nielsen, CLM, PHR, SHRM-CP
Presidents’ Award of Excellence
This award, named in honor of ALA’s Past Presidents, recognizes chapters for their efforts in effective chapter leadership. Members of your Chapter Resource Team and ALA headquarters staff are available to assist at any time. Questions can be directed to [email protected].
2023 Presidents’ Award of Excellence guidelines — Use these guidelines as a checklist to chart your chapter’s progress from January 1, 2022, to February 28, 2023.
Spirit of ALA Award
Criteria: Presented to those whose commitment to professionalism, dedication to the advancement of the legal management profession and record of long-term service to the Association of Legal Administrators sets the standard for all who aspire to achievement, excellence and success.
While many ALA members contribute tremendous amounts of time and effort to the growth of the legal management profession and the success of ALA, recipients of the Spirit of ALA Award are individuals who have in their careers demonstrated all of the following in extraordinary, consistent and significant measure:
- An unswerving commitment to professionalism. This is defined through a career exemplifying the highest standards of personal conduct; a record of fairness, equality and courage in dealing with employees, lawyers and other legal management professionals; and a clear recognition by one’s peers as being a model for others and a standard-setter in the profession.
- Exceptional dedication to the advancement of law firm administration as demonstrated by teaching and writing activities; mentoring and counseling of others; participation in activities promoting the credibility of the profession; community and civic service; development of new approaches and techniques; or other activities contributing to the knowledge, skills and abilities of individual legal management professionals and/or to the profession as a whole.
- A record of service to the Association of Legal Administrators that far exceeds normal expectations and also provides a model and inspiration for participation and involvement by others. Such a record will be demonstrated by successful leadership and service (a) over an extended period of time in (b) a number of different positions or capacities at (c) various local, national or international levels.
Past President Paula K. Barnes received the Spirit of ALA Award posthumously in 2021. View the complete list of previous recipients.
60 Seconds of Fame! Video Contest
(Award retired in 2021)
The 60 Seconds of Fame! video contest encouraged members, chapters and business partners to let their creativity and personality shine as they informed and entertained with a video testimonial telling us why they value ALA and the relationships they’ve forged in the Association.
(Award retired in 2019)
This award was named for ALA founders Mary Ann Altman, Bradford W. Hildebrandt and Robert I. Weil. It was presented to select individuals for their exceptional contributions to the legal management profession.
- 2017: Donald S. Akins
- 2010: John J. Michalik
- 2007: Robert S. Yegge
- 2006: Mary Ann Altman, Bradford W. Hildebrandt, Robert I. Weil (founding recipients)
(Award retired in 2021)
The IDEA (Innovation, Development, Engagement and Advancement) Awards recognized new practices that delivered great value and transformational impact through innovative achievement. ALA members and chapters are encouraged to strive for excellence and, in order to recognize those efforts, ALA offered the IDEA Awards. Law firms, business partners and other organizations — as well as ALA chapters, committees and individual members — were eligible. Recipients were selected based on their development of unique and innovative programs, services and events that improved the legal community and advanced the business of law.
(Transitioned to the NextGen Leader Award in 2019)
The Quest Award recognized a new member who was involved in a number of Association activities and demonstrated conviction, dedication and relentless pursuit of personal and professional excellence. Chapter presidents were given the opportunity to nominate one eligible member from a list provided by ALA.