Nominations Open for the Legal Practice Hall of Fame

Ed, a white man with white hair and glasses, wears a white shirt and yellow tie.By E. D. Gaskins Jr.

For several years, I have served on the NCBA Law Practice Hall of Fame Selection Committee. It has been a privilege to do so, as the Committee reviews the nominating materials of some of the most outstanding attorneys in our state. It is inspiring to do so!

The primary purpose of this blog post is to urge you to nominate lawyers whom you admire and who have been exemplary practitioners and community leaders, displaying extraordinary standards of professionalism. But as part of that, I urge you to think comprehensively, to help us increase the depth of our nomination process and the breadth of our Hall of Fame.

In years past, membership in the Hall of Fame has been limited to general practice attorneys with 30 or more years of practice. That limitation made many exemplary attorneys ineligible if they had specialized rather than general practices. Several years ago, that limitation was removed, and eligibility was expanded to include all areas of practice. That change, however, has apparently not been widely recognized as the total number of nominations has not increased despite the new eligibility of many qualified candidates.

In addition, it is noteworthy and unfortunate that women and lawyers of color are underrepresented in the nominations the Committee has received and are therefore underrepresented in the membership of the Hall of Fame. There can be no question that outstanding lawyers are being missed who should be included. Our Hall of Fame serves not only to honor those who are outstanding but to provide models for new generations of lawyers. We need models who reflect, and can inspire, all the many faces of our profession. I urge you to think of qualified candidates, particularly those who will make our Hall of Fame more fully reflect the best face of our profession, and nominate them for consideration. The process is starting now and will end on March 17, 2023.

Please make the Committee’s job more difficult by submitting those nominations! View the criteria and nominate a deserving colleague.