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Awards

Beacon of Justice Award

Background/Criteria
The Beacon of Justice Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership in promoting and supporting equal access to justice, particularly as it relates to pro bono services in Mississippi.

Past Recipients
Dean Deborah Bell (2015).

Chairman of the Board's Torchbearer Award

The Chairman of the Board’s Torchbearer Award honors firms, organizations and individuals who have contributed financial resources, through signature programs, to accomplish MVLP’s mission of providing quality legal services to underserved Mississippians.

Past Recipients
Capital Area Bar Association and Jackson Young Lawyers (2015).

Curtis E. Coker Access to Justice Award

Background/Criteria
The Curtis E. Coker Access to Justice Award has annually been presented to an individual, law firm or other organization that has provided or helped to provide outstanding pro bono legal services during the previous year. The main purpose of this Award is to foster awareness of the need for involvement of the private bar in delivering legal services to the poor, particularly through MVLP.  The Award was originally established as the Pro Bono Project's President Award. However, in 2002 after the death of former Mississippi Bar President Curtis E. Coker, the name was changed in his honor.  Mr. Coker was a leading advocate in the cause of making legal services available to all without regard to need.  MVLP was established during Mr. Coker's term as Bar President.

Eligibility
Any Mississippi Bar member in good standing is eligible to be nominated.

Selection
Selection is made based upon the pro bono contribution through MVLP by an individual, law firm or other organization.

Past Recipients
Butler Snow, LLP and Kimberly Merchant and Jacqueline L. Smith (2015); Baker Donelson and the Mississippi Women Lawyers Association (2014); Kendra Lowrey (2013); J. Wesley Hisaw (2012), Debra Giles (2011); Brunini Law Firm (2011); Maura McLaughlin (2010); Anastasia Jones (2009); Edderek "Beau" Cole (2009); Melody McAnally (2008); Corey Hinshsaw (2007); Tanya Phillips (2007); Bradley Arant Boult & Cummings (2006); Susan C. Smith (2005); Madeline Richmond (2004); Honorable Carlton Reeves (2003); J. Angelo Damico (2003); Philip Thomas (2001); Jay Jacobus (2000); J. Randall Patterson (1999); L. Keith Parsons (1998); Sheldon G. Alston (1997); Robert H. Pedersen (1996); Dale Hubbard (1995); Sarah Springer (1994); Robert Bresnahan (1993); Terry Williamson (1992); Penny Alexander (1991); Cynthia Davis (1991); Thomas Price (1991); Billie Graham (1990); William Murray (1990); Charles Moore (1989); Carol Stone (1989); and Bruce Kuehnle (1988).

Pro Bono Awards

Background/Criteria
The Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project (MVLP) Pro Bono Awards recognize individual lawyers, law firms, law students, law schools and other institutions in the legal profession throughout Mississippi that were involved in significant pro bono efforts from June 1, 2014 through June 1, 2015.  The Awards are given to multiple recipients annually and will recognize those who have been involved in pro bono activities that benefited individuals or groups with civil matters.

Eligibility
Any legal professional or law student involved in significant pro bono efforts in the specified timeline is eligible to receive an Award. Law students must study in an ABA- accredited law school in the United States. Only legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of consideration are eligible for an Award. Potential candidates cannot be employed by an organization whose primary purpose is the provision of free legal services to the poor. MVLP encourages members of the bar to nominate candidates who have volunteered through their law firms and with other legal services organizations.

Selection
Award recipients will be selected by a panel of judges comprised of MVLP staff, Board of Directors and Advisory Board members and other members of the legal profession.  Decisions of the panel are final.

Beyond the Call of Duty Award

Background/Criteria

Each year, MVLP presents the Beyond the Call of Duty Award at the Mississippi Association for Justice Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Award is presented to an attorney who has provided outstanding pro bono legal services during the previous year.

Eligibility
Any Mississippi Association For Justice member in good standing is eligible to be nominated.

Selection
Selection is made by MVLP based on an individual's pro bono contributions.

Past Recipients
Jennie Eichelberger (2015); Greta Kemp (2014); Francis Springer (2013); George "Boo" Hollowell (2012); Jody Owens, II (2011); Cynthia Mitchell (2010); Brehm Bell (2009); John Cocke (2008); and Tanya Phillips (2007).