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2017 SMBA Law Day Recap

Monday, May 15, 2017  
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The Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association (SMBA) annual Law Day lunch was held on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at Hickory Hills Country Club. The theme for this year’s Law Day was " The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy.”  Judges, bar members, public officials, honorees and citizens were on hand to hear keynote speaker, UMKC Law School professor Sean O’ Brien deliver the Law Day address.  Following O’Brien’s remarks, awards were presented in three categories: Distinguished Attorney; Equal Access to Justice, and Liberty Bell Award.

The 2017 Distinguished Attorney Award went to Gary Cunnningham. In presenting the award, which is the highest honor given by the SMBA, Bryan Renfrow noted that Cunningham was a worthy recipient, having distinguished himself throughout his career as a formidable trial attorney, committed to the community and the profession.

The Equal Access to Justice Award, which recognizes individuals who provide significant pro bono services, was presented to Amanda Brown. The Liberty Bell Award, which recognizes non-lawyers who encourage respect for our legal system, was presented to Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director of the 10 branch Springfield-Greene County Library District.

The 2017 SMBA Teen Advocate Awards were presented to Cameron Linch and Madison Carroll for their commitment as volunteers with the Teen Court program.  The recipient of the 2017 John D. Ashcroft Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association Scholarship was also announced.  Danielle Reid, a rising 3L at Vanderbilt University Law School, will receive a $2,000 scholarship to assist in completion of her studies.

This year’s theme: The Fourteenth Amendment: Transforming American Democracy inspired 300 entries in SMBA poster and essay contests.  An awards ceremony was held April 8, 2017 to celebrate the young artists and authors entering those contests.  The posters were on display at the Library Center for three weeks, during which time 28,046 passed through the concourse and the inspiring display.  The number of direct participants in 2017 SMBA Law Day events and contests topped 700.