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OBA Awards

OBA Awards

The Omaha Bar Association has two awards available for presentation to individuals in recognition of outstanding accomplishments: the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Public Service Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was initiated at the 2001 Law Day. The Award was not established to be an annual award. The criteria under consideration for the award includes: (1) Exemplary service to the profession, (2) Support and service to the Omaha Bar Association, (3) Innovative contributions to improving justice, and (4) Longstanding commitment to mentoring in the law. 

Award Recipients:

Honorable Michael McGill, May 1, 2001                                                               
Honorable Lyle E. Strom, May 1, 2002                                                              
John Miller, March 9, 2004                                                            
Rodney Shkolnick, May 2, 2006                                                               
J. Terry Macnamara, May 1, 2007                                                               
Kenneth P. Weiner (posthumously), May 1, 2007                                                               
Honorable Thomas M. Shanahan, May 1, 2008                           
Harold J. Rock, May 4, 2010                                                               
Robert H. Berkshire (posthumously), May 1, 2012
D.C. "Woody" Bradford, III, May 10, 2014
Amy Longo, May, May 2, 2017


The Public Service Award was initiated at the 1983 Law Day. Two Awards are presented each year at Law Day. The Robert M. Spire Public Service Award is presented to an attorney or attorney organization, and the Omaha Bar Association Public Service Award is presented to a non-attorney individual or organization. The criteria under consideration for the award includes: (1) The public's knowledge of the law or the legal system has been enhanced in some significant way by the recipient's efforts; (2) The recipient has focused on providing service to the community for purposes other than pecuniary profits; and (3) The recipient has demonstrated long term commitment to the enhancement of the public's knowledge of the law.

Award Recipients:
Year Robert M. Spire Public Service Award (Attorney) Omaha Bar Association Public Service Award (Non-Attorney) 
1983 N/A The Daily Record
1984 N/A Crime Stoppers/KETV
1985 N/A Junior League of Omaha
1986 Hon. Colleen Buckley N/A
1987 Doc Shugrue Irene Kilgore
1988 Jack Marer John Lee & Steve Regan
1989 Sister Timothy O'Rourke David Harr
1990 Robert M. Spire MAD Dads
1991 Maj. Thomas J. Dugdale Volunteers Intervening for Equity
1992 Hon. Lyle E. Strom Billy Williams
1993 Hon. Keith Howard David Thompson
1994 Gary Fischer Ron Henningsen
1995 Hon. Walter Cropper Mardee M. Korinek
1996 Karen L. Shepard Lori Rall
1997 Hon. Patricia A. Lamberty The Women's Fund
1998 Hon. James M. Murphy KIOS
1999 David & JulieAnn Herzog Kermit Engh & Donna Birkby
2000 Hon. Jack McGrath The Omaha Theatre for Young People
2001 Eileen Reilly Buzzello Henry Davis
2002 Kate Mahern OTOC
2003 Patrick Borchers Jean Roeder
2004 Milo Alexander Thomas Warren
2005 Jay Welch YMCA
2006 Steve Achelpohl Sara Achelpohl
2007 Diana Vogt & Brandie Fowler The Omaha Street School
2008 Ronald R. Volkmer Heidi Wilke
2009 Ann Marie Borer Douglas County CASA Program
2010 Hon. Douglas Johnson John Dougherty
2011 Douglas County Self Help Desk Richard J. Kutilek
2012 Paul C. Jessen OBA Lawyer Referral Service
 2013  Charles Sederstrom Project Harmony

Legal Aid of Nebraska

Women's Center for Advancement

2015  Robert L. Freeman Justice for Our Neighbors
2016  Jean McNeil Lutheran Family Services
2017  Don Kleine Doris Huffman
Hon. Michael Heavican Creighton Law Library
    2019 Mike Fenner
Lynda Henningsen & Lorraine Boyd
 2020Attorneys of Nebraska AppleseedLeague of Women Voters of Nebraska


The Alfred G. Ellick Lawyer Referral Service Award was first presented at the 2015 Law Day. The award is given to those attorneys who have been a part of the OBA Lawyer Referral Service for 10 or more years. To date, 125 award recipients have been recognized for their longstanding dedication to the Lawyer Referral Service.


The Omaha Bar Association's Champions of Law Award was first presented at the 2016 Young Lawyers Division Gala. The award is given to members of the legal community who have shown dedicated commitment to (1) Education, (2) Public Service, (3) Community Engagement, (4) Vision for the Future of the Bar, or (5) Support of the Bar's Programs, Mission, and Purpose.


2016 Award Recipients

Dan Lennon (Service)
Jackson Lewis LLP (Service)
James Boesen (Community Engagement)
Tom Gaughen (Community Engagement)
J. Terry Macnamara (Community Engagement)
Nickie Konen (Education)
J. Scott Paul (Education)
Ken Wentz III (Vision)
The Daily Record (Support)
Omaha Legal Professionals Association (Support)

2018 Award Recipients

Will Acosta-Trejo (Service)
Natasha Preston (Community Engagement)
Scott Hahn (Education)
Mike Kinney (Vision)

2011 Douglas County Self Help Desk Richard J. Kutilek
2012 Paul C. Jessen OBA Lawyer Referral Service