Awards & Recognition

Elevate ALA Award

The Elevate ALA Award will recognize up to three chapters whose efforts in professional development, networking and visibility demonstrate advancement in the areas of educational content, member-to-member and member-to-business partner relationships, and ALA's prominence in the legal community. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

View the complete list of Elevate ALA Award recipients.

Review program details.

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IDEA Awards

The IDEA (Innovation, Development, Engagement and Advancement) Awards recognize new practices that deliver 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 offers the IDEA Awards. Law firms, business partners and other organizations — as well as ALA chapters, committees and individual members — are eligible. Recipients will be selected based on their development of unique and innovative programs, services and events that improve the legal community and advance the business of law. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

View the 2020 IDEA Award recipients.

Review 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 the Association of Legal Administrators. 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 2020 NextGen Leader Award recipients.

Review program details.

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60 Seconds of Fame! Video Contest

The 60 Seconds of Fame! video contest encourages members, chapters and business partners to let their creativity and personality shine as they inform and entertain with a video testimonial telling us why they value ALA and the relationships they've forged in the Association.

View past entries, submission criteria and guidelines, and how to enter.

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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 2020 recipients:

  • DeAnna L. Lopez, CLM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
  • DeAnna L. Ouderkirk, CLM, MBA, SHRM-SCP
  • Mark S. Tallent

View the complete list of recipients.

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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].

2020 Presidents’ Award of Excellence recipients

2021 GUIDELINES (revised 10/1/2020) — Use these guidelines as a checklist to chart your chapter’s progress from January 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021.


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Spirit of ALA Award

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.

View the complete list of previous recipients.

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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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Founders Award
(Award retired in 2019)

This award was named for and honored 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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