Nominations Open for the 2013 Kutak-Dodds Prizes

Nominations are now open for the 2013 Kutak-Dodds Prizes. The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) presents the prestigious award annually at its Exemplar Dinner to honor the accomplishments of civil legal aid attorneys, public defenders, assigned counsel or public interest lawyers who, through the practice of law, are significantly contributing to the enhancement of human dignity and quality of life of those individuals who are unable to afford legal representation. The Prizes are intended to showcase the work of practicing attorneys who are engaged for most, if not all, of their practice of civil or criminal law in reinforcing the principle and reality of justice for all under the law

The 2013 Kutak-Dodds Prizes will honor two legal advocates for equal justice, one from the civil legal aid community and another from the public defense community. Each Prize carries a cash award of $10,000.

The Kutak-Dodds Prizes, established in 1989, are jointly sponsored by the Robert J. Kutak Foundation and NLADA and bestowed in memory of Robert J. Kutak and Kenneth R. Dodds. Both men were former partners in the Omaha, Nebraska Office of Kutak-Rock, and practitioners and advocates of public service, legal education and high ethical standards throughout their lives. In addition to legal services for the poor, the Kutak Foundation supports education in professional ethics, minority scholarships and a variety of other public interest projects. The Foundation is maintained by Mr. Kutak’s former friends and associates.

For a list of previous Kutak-Dodds Prize winners, please follow this link.

DEADLINE: Thursday, August 15, 2013


To qualify for consideration, the nominee must be an attorney employed by—or affiliated with—an organization serving persons who cannot afford to pay for legal representation in either civil or criminal matters. The nominee also may be an attorney working for a public interest, non-profit organization. Nominees must have at least ten years of legal practice in legal services or public interest work and must be currently so engaged.

Factors that will be considered by the NLADA Selection Committee include:

  • Personal vision and commitment;

  • Nature of the need(s) addressed by the nominee’s advocacy;

  • Innovation in the nominee’s work;

  • Impact of successes achieved through effective advocacy; and

  • Difficulty of circumstances surrounding the achievement.

The Kutak-Dodds Prizes are given to nominees who are not primarily managers or directors, but are currently involved in legal advocacy and/or active representation of clients on a daily basis in the judicial, legislative, administrative, or public policy arena. The prizes honor a history of accomplishments and are not intended to fund specific future endeavors. No conditions are imposed on the recipient’s expenditure of the cash prize.


To nominate a distinguished colleague for the 2013 Kutak-Dodds Prizes:

  1. Prepare a statement of no more than five (5) double-spaced pages containing the highlights, accomplishments and impact of the nominee’s career, as well as additional reasons you feel he/she deserves the award.
  2. Attach the nominee’s resume and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three (3) persons who have agreed to verify the nominee’s accomplishments.
  3. Forward eight (8) copies of the nomination package to:
    Helen Katz
    Kutak-Dodds Selection Committee
    1140 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 900
    Washington, DC 20036

Nominations must be received by Thursday, August 15, 2013. Nomination packets received after the deadline will not be considered.

The winners will be honored at NLADA’s 2013 Exemplar Award Dinner in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, September 19, 2013.


Please contact Helen Katz, NLADA Chief Development Officer, at (202) 452-0620 ext: 223 or via email at


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