Local attorneys take home Wyoming State Bar awards
The Wyoming State Bar announced on Monday the winners of various awards presented last week during the bar’s annual meeting and judicial conference held in Laramie.
John B. “Jack” Speight, an attorney from Cheyenne, received the 2016 Community Service Award for his volunteer work as the Director of the Wyoming Lawyer Assistance Program since its inception in 2014. He also has been a generous donor to the WyLAP Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides grants to lawyers in need of assistance but unable to afford it.
Angie Dorsch, executive director of Equal Justice Wyoming, received the Bar’s Champion of Justice for Legal Services Award. As director of Equal Justice Wyoming since 2012, Dorsch has helped grow statewide legal services and pro bono work in Wyoming. She also works with the Wyoming Access to Justice Commission and the Equal Justice Wyoming Foundation.
Billie Ruth Edwards, an attorney from Cheyenne who died in January, posthumously received one of three Pro Bono Awards for legal services provided to indigent clients. He accepted five pro bono cases through Equal Justice Wyoming in 2015. Edwards also volunteered at monthly advice clinics, offering free legal advice and, to help ensure access to the legal system, would also provide full volunteer representation after meeting with clients at an advice clinic.
The Cheyenne law firm of Woodhouse Roden Nethercott also received one of the 2016 Pro Bono Awards for legal services provided to indigent clients. The firm regularly sponsors and participates in monthly Equal Justice Wyoming/Wyoming State Bar law clinics, and its attorneys are frequent volunteers for clinic nights in Laramie County. The volunteer attorneys also have taken on cases of clients they meet through those clinics, and pro bono work is a significant part of the firm’s culture according to the bar.
Members of the public needing pro bono assistance should contact the Legal Advice and Intake Hotline at 877-432-9955.
Laramie judge receives Wyoming State Bar President’s Award
The Wyoming State Bar announced Tuesday that Albany County District Judge Jeffrey A. Donnell received this year’s President’s Award from the bar.
The award is given to a person or organization that has special meaning to the President of the Wyoming State Bar. This year’s president, Devon O’Connell of Laramie, recognized Donnell, who is retiring at the end of the year. Donnell practiced with the Worland firm of Davis, Donnell, Worrall & Bancroft until his appointment to the Albany County District Court in 1996.
UW law student receives Wyo. State Bar pro bono award
Al Walsh, a third-year law student at the University of Wyoming College of Law received the Wyoming State Bar’s Outstanding Pro Bono Student Award last week during the bar’s annual meeting and judicial conference held in Laramie. The award recognizes Walsh for his volunteer work in the Veteran’s Service Center on campus, specifically with assisting student veterans.
Laramie attorney wins Gerald R. Mason Professionalism Award
The Wyoming State Bar announce Tuesday that Dona Playton, an attorney from Laramie, received this year’s Gerald R. Mason Professionalism Award last week during the bar’s annual meeting and judicial conference held in Laramie.
According to the bar, the award is given to a Wyoming attorney who, over the course of his or her career, has embodied the spirit of former Wyoming State Bar president Gerald R. Mason’s phrase, “Proud to Be a Wyoming Lawyer,” and who serves as an example to others by having the highest professionalism standards to which all members of the Wyoming State Bar should aspire.
Playton is a senior lecturer at the University of Wyoming College of Law and founded the school’s Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic.