Awards & Recognition

Chapter Awards (New!)Ambassador Excellence Award (New!)Elevate ALA Award
NextGen Leader Award
Outstanding Association Volunteer Award
Presidents’ Award of Excellence
Spirit of ALA Award  

The IDEA Awards, Quest Award, Founders Award and 60 Seconds of Fame! contest have been retired. Information below.

Guidelines for a Great ALA Awards Submission

Our nomination window for all awards except the President's Award of Excellence has ended. The deadline for the President's Award of Excellence is February 29, 2024. Recipients will be announced at the awards reception of the 2024 Annual Conference & Expo in Aurora, Colorado.


Chapter Awards

Chapter Awards are designed to recognize chapters that have created innovative initiatives and experienced success by the chapter (or one of its committees) in various areas.  These awards will highlight innovative ideas, events or initiatives at work.  Chapters may apply for one or more chapter awards.  Applicants must submit a 500-word essay that includes idea, event or initiative details and highlights successes and how the idea, event or initiative ties into ALA’s strategic direction. Questions can be directed to  [email protected]

As of 2024, each Chapter Award will be broken up into two categories: Large Chapter (for chapters with over 75+ members) and Small Chapter (chapters under 75 members). For more information, review the program details.

Congratulations to our 2023 Recipients:

Chapter Award in Business Partner Relations

  • Chicago Chapter
  • Houston Chapter

Chapter Award in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

  • Houston Chapter
  • New York City Chapter

Chapter Award in Member Value

  • Boston Chapter
  • New York City Chapter

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Ambassador Excellence Award

New in 2024! If you're a mentee who has grown under your ambassador's leadership, we want to hear from you! Mentees can nominate their ambassador for the Ambassador Excellence Award. This award recognizes members who have provided an exceptional mentorship experience to an ALA member through the Membership Ambassador Program.

Nominations must be made by a mentee and can be submitted in essay or video form. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

For more information, review the program details.

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Elevate ALA Award

The Elevate ALA Award recognizes 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.

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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].

View the 2023 NexGen Leader Award recipients here. For more information, review the program details.


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 2023 recipient Melissa Hirst, MSLA.

View the complete list of recipients.

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Presidents’ Award of Excellence

DEADLINE: February 29, 2024

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].

2024 Presidents Award of Excellence Guidelines — Use these guidelines as a checklist to chart your chapter’s progress from January 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024.

View the list of 2023 Presidents’ Award of Excellence recipients here.

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Laura J. Broomell, CLM, received the Spirit of ALA award in 2023. View the complete list of previous recipients.

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Retired Awards

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.

Past entries can be viewed on ALA's YouTube channel.

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Founders Award
(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.

Previous recipients:

  • 2017: Donald S. Akins
  • 2010: John J. Michalik
  • 2007: Robert S. Yegge
  • 2006: Mary Ann Altman, Bradford W. Hildebrandt, Robert I. Weil (founding recipients)

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IDEA Awards
(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.

View the 2021 IDEA Award recipients here.

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Quest Award
(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.

View the complete list of previous recipients.

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