Hunter M. Abell, recipient of the 2015 Courageous Award, pictured with then-WSBA President Anthony Gipe.[/caption]
You may have already heard that the WSBA’s annual awards are now the APEX Awards, but did you know that time is running out to nominate a colleague for the 2016 awards? We talked with Seattle attorney Lieutenant Commander Hunter Abell, who received the 2015 Courageous Award in recognition of his overseas service in support of global counterterrorism efforts and his domestic work to foster relations between military attorneys from the U.S. and Canada. He shared his experiences as a WSBA award recipient — and why he wants you to nominate an attorney who’s doing a great job.
What was it like to attend the awards dinner as a recipient?
It was one of the great honors of my legal career. I was humbled to be listed among men and women of such tremendous accomplishment. It’s rare that we, as a profession, assemble to recognize our accomplishments, so it was a lot of fun, memorable, and very exciting. I also think it was a lot of fun for my wife, who usually only sees the very un-glamorous side of a law practice, including late nights, missed dinners, and weekend work. The award was every bit as much about recognizing her as it was about me.
Where were you when you learned you had been nominated?
I discovered that I had been nominated while I was on deployment with the U.S. Navy overseas. I had just finished speaking briefly with my wife by Skype when I saw that I had an email message from the Bar congratulating me on being selected. It was surreal, and reminded me how much support men and women in uniform have back home.
Is there someone you’d like to nominate for an award this year?
Yes! Receiving the award has made me aware of how many deserving (and unsung) attorneys there are in our profession who richly deserve recognition.
What would you say to encourage WSBA members who are thinking about nominating a colleague?
Do it! You have a better understanding than most about what your colleagues or friends do on a daily basis in our profession. If you do not recognize them, it is likely no one will.
Do you know someone who is making a positive difference in the legal community or the legal profession? Please consider nominating him or her for a 2016 award. You’ll find the list of awards and the nomination form on the WSBA website. The deadline for submissions is April 25. Winners will be selected at the June 3 Board of Governors meeting and notified shortly thereafter. The WSBA APEX awards will be presented during our annual dinner in Seattle on Sept. 29.
Help us recognize the best in the profession and legal community — submit your nomination today.