DBA Awards and Nominations

Nominations are accepted from November through January each year. 

The DBA Awards Committee needs your nominations for the DBA awards. Nominate an attorney by submitting a statement of why the nominee deserves the honor. The committee will consider the following criteria: involvement with the DBA; involvement with the CBA; community contributions outside the bar associations and legal career/accomplishments. The statement need not be a complete essay; just provide a few salient points and the committee will follow up with the nominator and nominee for complete details. The Denver Bar Association is committed to tirelessly advancing and advocating for equity in the practice of law. The DBA recognizes the importance of promoting diversity and inclusivity in advancing equity. The DBA also believes that it is necessary for lawyers to actively oppose, confront, and dismantle systemic and institutionalized inequality by:

  • Seeking out and uplifting the voices and ideas of marginalized groups in all contexts;
  • Recruiting and retaining volunteers in leadership roles from such marginalized groups in order to greater advocate for equity throughout the DBA; Promoting anti-bias education that spotlights the history of systematic oppression, including racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and ableism, specifically in the context of the legal system; and
  • Challenging notions that elevate the dominant majority culture above others.

For a list of past honorees click here

Contact Elizabeth Akalin


Submit a Nomination


DBA Award of Merit: Recognizes outstanding leadership, competency, ethics, professionalism, community service and contributions to the DBA and the legal profession. Acknowledges outstanding service rendered in the interest of the improvement of the administration of justice.

Criteria: Candidate must be a lawyer, judge or law professor who is a regular member of the DBA. Candidate must also be able to demonstrate a career focused on outstanding service, including substantive contributions to the DBA and/or legal community far beyond regular membership and attendance. 

Judicial Excellence: Honors a DBA member of the judiciary for extraordinary service as defined by outstanding contributions to the legal community and who reflects the highest ideals of the judiciary in ethics, professionalism and judicial temperament, and community service. Recognizes exceptional contributions to the improvement of the judicial system.

Criteria: Candidate must be a Denver Judge who has illustrated excellence on and off the bench. This candidate must show a dedication to improving the judicial process in Colorado and a commitment to his or her community. 

DBA Young Lawyer of the Year: Recognizes outstanding service as defined by ethics, professionalism and contributions to the DBA, legal profession and community.

Criteria: Candidate must be a member of the DBA who is younger than age 37 or has been in practice less than three years. Candidate must also illustrate an outstanding record of service and contribution to the Bar Association and the Denver legal community. 

DBA Volunteer of the Year: Honors a DBA member who in the last year has performed extraordinary pro bono legal representation or provided exceptional voluntary service to cultural, civic, educational or charitable causes.

Education in the Legal System: Honors teachers, programs and/or schools that exhibit outstanding dedication to teaching students about civics, the American legal system and the Rule of Law. The DBA will provide a monetary gift to either the honoree teacher’s school, the program being honored or the school being honored, in an amount and allocation to be determined by the DBA Board of Trustees. The gift will be used for educational purposes in the above described areas.

Criteria: Candidate must be a teacher in a Denver school, a program conducted in a Denver school (whether or not sponsored by the school) and/or a Denver school educating students from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

Outstanding Program or Project: Acknowledges those programs or projects that uphold the highest traditions of the legal profession, such as ethics, professionalism, education, access to justice, community service or promoting charitable causes. Recognizes exceptional collaboration between members of the Bar.

Criteria: The chosen program or project must be affiliated with the DBA and must uphold the highest traditions of the legal profession such as ethics, professionalism, education, access to justice, community service, or promoting charitable causes. The ideal program will show exceptional collaboration between members of the bar. 


The Denver Bar Association advances professionalism with the legal community and promotes justice in the broader community.