A Couple of Thoughts on Getting the ABA Brown Award

I know you should not use you blog to brag, but anyway.  .  .

I am deeply appreciative that I will be getting a lifetime achievement award from  the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services — the Louis M. Brown Award.

A couple of sentences (bolded below by me) in the letter got me thinking that really it was addressed not so much to me, but the legions of forms designers, court staff, programmers, researchers, etc., who labor largely behind the scenes to make our justice system more accessible.

Your enthusiasm, dedication and commitment have been inspirational to Committee members and staff throughout the past two decades. Beyond that, through this Award, we recognize your tireless commitment to those who may otherwise be denied their day in court were it not for your efforts. It is perhaps ironic that those who are able to have a just result to their legal matters because of your work will never know that that outcome was because of your efforts. But we know that and we take this opportunity to thank you on their behalf.

The comment also make me realize that some of us who end up trying to focus on system change end up losing touch with the day to experience of barriers and overcoming them.

Personally, I would have like it if I could have found better ways of staying in touch with what happens in courtrooms and self-help centers — I am sure I would have done a better system reform job had I done so.  I know that some of my colleagues have spent more time than I observing courts and listening to litigants.  I commend them.

Thanks again to all.

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About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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6 Responses to A Couple of Thoughts on Getting the ABA Brown Award

  1. Ainsile Embree says:

    Delighted to hear, Richard, about your award. You were a most worthy choice! I am learning a lot from you abut a subject that interests me greatly, although I am ignorant of much that is being done, as undoubtedly many others are.
    Ainslie

  2. Janet Fink says:

    Congratulations — the ABA knows what it is doing ! I wish I could be there to see you receive this well-deserved honor. All my very best–jan

  3. Stacey Marz says:

    Congratulations Richard! You deserve as much recognition as possible for your amazing work! You are my hero.

  4. Denise Asper says:

    Richard, Congratulations on receiving the Brown Award. It is richly deserved. I appreciate your leadership and example on the issues confronting self-represented litigants. It is truly an inspiration! Best regards, Denise Asper, Prisoner Litigation Project Director, Ninth Circuit, Office of the Circuit Executive.

  5. Lisa Colpoys says:

    Many congratulations Richard on this much deserved recognition!

  6. Congratulations Richard on your well-deserved award! I don’t think there is anyone quite like you. From where I stand you have an excellent handle on the obstacles and challenges that unrepresented litigants face and you have done an amazing job bringing access to justice issues to the foreground, training and motivating others and instigating change and reform. I think that a lot of the time spent by your access to justice colleagues observing courts and listing to litigants is the product of your great work setting the foundation and supplying the building blocks. Thank you.

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