JUDGE MARCIA MORALES HOWARD TO RECEIVE DISTINGUISHED FEDERAL JUDICIAL SERVICE PRO BONO AWARD
The Hon. Marcia Morales Howard, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville, is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Federal Judicial Service Award. The award, which honors outstanding and sustained service to the public especially as it relates to support of pro bono legal services, will be presented by Chief Justice Charles T. Canady in a Jan. 20 ceremony streamed live by the Supreme Court of Florida.
In the last year, Judge Howard has contributed no less than 200 hours of her time to pro bono and community service activities.
Her work has included welcoming new American citizens; broadening the horizons of the youngest minds; encouraging and enabling lawyers to better serve those in need and safeguarding the public’s confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the federal judicial system.
As a daughter of immigrants, Judge Howard has presided over more than 20 naturalization ceremonies of over 500 new citizens.
Since January of 2012, Judge Howard has chaired the Middle District of Florida Bench Bar Fund Committee, which manages the Court’s non-appropriated funds from attorney admission fees. Under Judge Howard’s leadership, the Bench Bar Fund examined and recommended improvements to the district’s pro se resources, which resulted in a redesigned website, much-improved written materials, and a legal assistance program funded by the Bench Bar Fund.
Judge Howard spearheaded the Bench Bar Fund’s $10,000 donation to The Florida Bar Foundation’s One Promise Campaign, which encourages Florida lawyers to represent one person who could not otherwise afford civil legal services. Judge Howard was also a member of the four-judge panel that donated $3.6 million from Engle progeny sanctions awards to The Florida Bar Foundation to further the Foundation’s support of legal aid organizations throughout the Middle District of Florida. She is also active in civics outreach initiatives for Jacksonville students.
Note: Support of pro bono legal services by members of the bench is an activity that relates to improvement of the administration of justice. Accordingly, a judge may engage in activities intended to encourage attorneys to perform pro bono services, including, but not limited to participating in events to recognize attorneys who do pro bono work, establishing general procedural or scheduling accommodations for pro bono attorneys as feasible, and acting in an advisory capacity to pro bono programs.
This year’s awards ceremony, which also honors Individual, Circuit, Voluntary Bar, Law Firm, Young Lawyers Division and Distinguished Judicial Service, pro bono efforts, takes place at the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan. 20, at 3:30 p.m. Watch it live on Facebook, WFSU: Gavel to Gavel and the Florida Channel.