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American Bar Association

Frances Perkins Public Service Award


The need for pro bono services in the labor and employment area is acute. Questions relating to labor and employment law account for more than a quarter of the issues raised in many pro bono programs. The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law wishes to acknowledge the individuals, firms, corporate and union legal departments, government agencies, and other organizations who help to meet this crucial need.

As a result, in 2003 the Section established the Frances Perkins Public Service Award ("Award"). Named after Frances Perkins, appointed in 1933 by President Franklin Roosevelt as Secretary of Labor and instrumental in the birth of the Social Security Act, the Award recognizes individuals or organizations that demonstrate a significant commitment to providing pro bono legal services primarily in the areas of labor and employment law to persons of limited means or to nonprofit, governmental, civic, community or religious organizations designed primarily to address the needs of individuals with limited means.

Award Criteria & Requirements

To be eligible, a nominee must meet all of the following criteria:

Section Membership: An individual nominee must be a member of the Section. A Section member who is actively involved in the pro bono project must be employed by, associated with, or involved in a firm, corporate or union legal department, government agency, or other organization that is nominated for the Award.

Join the Section

Rule 6.1: The pro bono services that were performed must meet the definition of pro bono services under Rule 6.1 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 6.1). Preference will be given to nominees who provide pro bono services in the labor and employment law area, although nominees may provide pro bono services in other areas.

Significant Services: The pro bono services provided must be significant. Examples of such significant services include:

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