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The California Lawyers Association will honor the best in the legal profession at its annual meeting

SACRAMENTO, Calif., August 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The California Lawyers Association (CLA) is proud to announce the names of the attorneys, judges and legal organizations who will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the legal profession in California.

Recipients will be recognized at the CLA Annual Meeting Opening Reception at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Awards include legacy awards that were formerly awarded by the State Bar of Californiathe lawyers’ regulatory body.

“CLA was thrilled to take responsibility for these awards after we became the statewide voluntary bar association in 2018,” said CLA CEO and Executive Director, CLA Oyango A. .Snell. “CLA is honored and thrilled to recognize these passionate and dedicated honorees who have gone above and beyond to help the most vulnerable in society, make our esteemed profession fairer, and promote justice and high ethical standards.”

The 2022 CLA award winners are:

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Bobbi Tillmon will receive the Aranda Award for Access to Justice. Co-sponsored by the Judicial Council, CLA and the California Judges Association, in association with the California Commission on Access to Justice, the award honors a judge who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to improving access to our courts and who has significantly improved access for low- and middle-income Californians. This prize will be awarded on November 17, 2022 to the Judicial Council of California.

Dean of Southwestern Law School Susan Westerberg Prager will receive the Bernard E. Witkin Medal. The award recognizes those who, over a career of extraordinary service, have made a significant contribution to the quality of justice and legal scholarship in California.

Lawyers’ Club San Diego and DTO law will each receive Diversity Awards for their efforts to promote diversity in the legal profession or among their peers.

Mark L. Tufta litigation partner of Cooper, White & Cooper in San Francisco, will receive the Harry B. Sondheim Professional Responsibility Award. The award recognizes a member’s outstanding long-term contribution to the advancement of professional standards for lawyers in California.

Deeva Shahpartner at Keker, van nest & Peters, will receive the Jack Berman Excellence Award. The award recognizes a young attorney (first eight years of active membership in the state bar) who has provided outstanding service to the legal profession and the public, as well as dedication to issues of concern to new and young attorneys.

Executive Director of California Rural Legal Assistance Jbonee R.Padilla will receive the Loren Miller Award for Legal Services. The award honors a lawyer who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally engaged in important work to extend legal services to the poor. The prize is co-awarded with the California Commission on Access to Justice and the Legal Aid Association of California.

Tristan EH Higginsa San Diego lawyer, speaker and diversity and inclusion expert, will receive the Distinguished Leadership Award from the California Lawyers Foundation.

Legal Education Access Pipeline Inc. (LEAP)a Diversity Fellowship Program, will receive the Heather L. Rosing Pathway Partner Award from the California Lawyers Foundation.

“I am honored and impressed by the accomplishments of our honorees,” said the ACC President. Jeremy M. Evans. “They provide great examples for the rest of us to follow. We look forward to celebrating soon with the winners and all conference and gala attendees.”

CLA celebrates the “Best of the Legal Profession” at its Annual Meeting September 15-17, 2022 and hosts a first-ever Black Tie Gala in partnership with the California Judges Association on September 17, 2022to benefit both the California Lawyers Foundation and the California Judges Foundation.


Established in 2018, the California Lawyers Association is the statewide voluntary bar association for all California Lawyers. CLA’s mission is to promote excellence, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law. Visit us at to learn more about CLA or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

SOURCE California Bar Association