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NACC Promoting Excellence Awards

The National Association of Counsel for Children honors the champions among us who raise the bar and set the standard for excellence in children's legal advocacy.  NACC’s Promoting Excellence Awards are presented annually to individuals and institutions making significant contributions to the rights and well-being of children through excellence in legal representation.   


NACC is now accepting nominations for awards in the following categories:

Outstanding Legal Advocate

Outstanding New Lawyer

Outstanding Children's Law Office
Submit your nominations using the online form below. 


Deadline: Extended to July 31!


2019 Outstanding Children's Law Office Award

Children's Attorneys Project (CAP), The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada


The Children's Attorneys Project was established in 1999 from a task force including a Nevada State Senator, Clark County Commissioners, judges, and child advocates who wanted to create a method for children in foster care to have a voice in court.  Until that time, Las Vegas was one of the last metropolitan areas in the country with no independent legal representation for youth in the child welfare system.  Today, CAP consists of 26 staff attorneys and an extensive pro bono network which is necessary since there are more than 3,000 children in the Clark County foster system. The CAP team provides supports to volunteer attorneys through mentorship, trainings and CLEs to ensure a successful experience.  In 2018, the #CAP100 campaign was launched with the goal of providing legal representation to 100% of the youth in foster care.  This campaign was hugely successful and has helped CAP achieve its goal.  The CAP team champions systemic changes to support all children in Nevada's foster care system through the legislative process.  CAP helped enact several bills - a Foster Child Bill of Rights, a Foster Youth Sibling Bill of Rights, Voluntary Jurisdiction (AB 350), Right to Counsel (SB 305), and most recently, Right to an Educational Decision Maker (AB 156).  CAP has also created books for children of all ages in foster care, an education advocacy program, and partners with HELP of Southern Nevada every year to bring brand new bicycles to child clients during the holiday season.


2019 Distinguished Achievement Award

David P. Kelly, JD, MA, U.S. Children's Bureau

David P. Kelly, JD, MA, serves as Special Assistant to Associate Commissioner Jerry Milner at the U.S. Children’s Bureau and oversees the Bureau’s work with courts and the legal community, including the State and Tribal Court Improvement Programs. During David’s tenure, the Children’s Bureau has issued landmark policy statements elevating the importance of high quality legal representation, reshaping child welfare to focus on strengthening families through primary prevention, urging child welfare professionals to engage youth and family voice, and much, much more. Most notably the Children’s Bureau changed the Child Welfare Policy Manual to permit states to seek federal reimbursement for up to 50% of the administrative costs of legal representation for children and parents. Thank you for your exceptional public service and dedication to improving the lives of children and families, inspiring and activating true child welfare transformation across the country.


Click here to read David Kelly's moving remarks and call to action for all of us to "get on the right side of history."


Award History

Year Award


2018 Outstanding Legal Advocate Barbara Elias-Perciful
2018 Outstanding Young Lawyer Tara Grigg Garlinghouse
2017 Outstanding Legal Advocate Jill Johnson
2017 Outstanding Young Lawyer Jane Hogan
2016 Outstanding Legal Advocate Catherine Krebs
2016 Outstanding Young Lawyer Margaret Lois Riley
2015 Distinguished Achievement Donald N. Duquette
2015 Outstanding Young Lawyer Stephanie Klitsch
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award John Ciccolella
2014 Outstanding Young Lawyer Daniel Senter
2013 Outstanding Legal Advocate Angela Vigil
2013 Outstanding Young Lawyer Regina Quaynor
2012 Outstanding Legal Advocate Karen J. Freedman
2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer Nancy Goodman, Jenna Statfeld
2011 Outstanding Young Lawyer Betsy Fordyce
2010 Outstanding Legal Advocate Jack Sampson
2010 Outstanding Young Lawyer Diana Rugh Johnson
2009 Outstanding Legal Advocate Karen L. Worthington
2007 Outstanding Legal Advocate Katherine Mullen and the Disability Rights Legal Center
2006 Outstanding Legal Advocate Sheila L. Brogna
2005 Outstanding Legal Advocate Angela H. Orkin
2004 Outstanding Legal Advocate Shannan Wilber
2004 Cahn Award Robert Schwartz
2003 Outstanding Legal Advocate Teresa Spahn and University of Miami Children and Youth Law Clinic
2002 Career Achievement Award John B. Ciccolella
2002 Outstanding Legal Advocate Hon. Nina R. Hickson and Suzin M. Bartley
2001 Outstanding Legal Advocate Rita Swan
2000 Outstanding Legal Advocate Hon. Zinora M. Mitchell-Rankin
1999 Outstanding Legal Advocate Hon Patricia Macias, Dianne Nunn and Sarah Hawxby
1998 Outstanding Legal Advocate Robert E. Shepherd, and Stephen A. Dixon and The Children’s Law Center, Inc.
1997 Outstanding Legal Advocate Debra Y. Lulf, Mark Hardin and Juvenile Rights Project, Inc., and Ellen Jones
1996 Outstanding Legal Advocate Linda Mallory Berry, Donald N. Duquette, Seth Grob, Tina M. Talarchyk and the CIVITAS ChildLaw Center
1995 Outstanding Legal Advocate Hon. Patricia Macke Dick, Mary Ann Edmund, Sue Hathorn and Alan Mishaek

Nominator Info

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