National Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching Professionalism
Co-sponsored by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism
and the Conference of Chief Justices
Supported by the W. Lee Burge Endowment for Law & Ethics, Georgia State University
Web site:

First Prize: $2,000
Honorable Mention: $500

This national competition was initiated in 2003 to :
● increase incentives to law teachers and law schools to give a higher priority to the teaching of professional values
● reward and support those teachers and schools who have done innovative and effective work in this area
● create a national clearinghouse and data bank for methods to teach and assess professionalism
● increase collaboration among the many organizations in the bench, bar and legal academy working to promote professionalism
● prompt academic research and publications on professionalism and
● develop standards for assessing effectiveness in the teaching of professionalism

The competition took place under the direction of a three member steering committee appointed by the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism, the Conference of Chief Justices, and the W. Lee Burge Endowment for Law & Ethics at Georgia State University. Any program developed and implemented by a full-time law teacher was eligible for consideration; the competition was not limited to for-credit courses. Prize money was awarded directly to law teachers. This competition and the associated academic conferences prompted the creation in 2005 of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism (NIFTEP) which selects Fellows from both the academic community and law practice to participate in national workshops. For more information about NIFTEP click here. This award program is currently inactive.

To receive email notification of future competitions and other information about the National Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching Professionalism, send an email containing your contact information with "Award Mailing List" in the subject line to Professor Clark D. Cunningham at

2006 Awards:
The 2006 award ceremony was held on Friday, August 4, 2006 in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association in Honolulu.
First Prize: $2,000:
Sharisse O'Carroll (Tulsa): "Lawyers Helping Students; Students Teaching Lawyers: Bridging the Gap Through Popular Media to Improve Professionalism in the American Legal System." 
Honorable Mention: $500:

Judith Maute (Oklahoma): "Students For Access to Justice"
Joan Vestrand (Cooley): "Law Firm Model for Teaching Professional Responsibility"

Click here to view all the applications.
Click here to see the members of the preliminary selection committee.
Click here to see the members of the final selection committee.

2005 Awards:
The 2005 award ceremony was held April 15, 2005 in conjunction with a conference on Professional Challenges in Large Firm Practices at Fordham University Law School in New York City; the keynote speaker was ABA President-Elect Michael Greco.
First Prize: $2,000:
Patrick Emery Longan ( Mercer University): First Year Legal Profession Course
Honorable Mention: $500:

Lisa Brabbit & Neil Hamilton (University of St. Thomas): Mentor Externship Program

Lois R. Lupica (University of Maine): Professional Responsibility Re-designed

--view all 14 applications and supporting materials for the 2005 award
--2005 Award Selection Committee

Inaugural Awards (2004):
The inaugural awards were given on January 30, 2004 in conjunction with a Conference on Teaching Professionalism held at the Georgia State University College of Law. See letter from ABA President Dennis Archer.
First Prize: $2,000:
--Sophie Sparrow (Franklin Pierce Law Center): Professional Conduct in a 1st Year Research and Writing Course
Honorable Mention: $500:
--Leary Davis (Campbell University School of Law): Year-Long Required Professionalism Course in the First Year
--James E. Moliterno (William & Mary Law School): Integrating Legal Ethics and Professional Norms into a Four Semester Required Course on Legal Skills

-- View all 19 Applications and Supporting Materials received by the Selection Committee

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