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FSU Law’s Raising the Bar Professionalism Program wins Gambrell Award

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Associate Dean Nancy BenavidesFlorida State University College of Law’s Raising the Bar Professionalism Program has won one of this year’s three E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards from the ABA.

The program was created by Associate Dean Nancy Benavides and she accepted the award on behalf of the program.

The Raising the Bar Professionalism Program exposes law students in all three years to professional development resources and to lawyer role models to prepare them for a life in law. It emphasizes personal productivity and resilience, civic engagement, relationship building, practice area exploration, and technology and effective communication.

The program uses alumni and student advisory boards to help with the program, as well as partnerships with the Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism, the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, Tallahassee Women Lawyers, Legal Services of North Florida, local inns of court, Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., the AccessLex Institute, and various FSU resources.

It also features a professionalism writing contest, won this year by third-year law student Katie Mesa.

The Gambrell awards are given by the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professionalism and “recognizes the nation’s exemplary, innovative, and on-going professionalism programs in law schools, bar associations, courts and other legal organizations that help ensure the maintenance of the highest principles of integrity and dedication to the legal profession and the public.” Other awards this year went to the Mississippi Access to Justice Commission and The Mississippi Bar for their access to justice initiative and the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law.

It’s the second year in a row a Florida law school has been honored. Last year, the Stetson University College of Law Professional Development Conference: Campus to Career Program won the award.

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