Updated: July 19, 2021
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The 2021 APEX Awards

The APEX — Acknowledging Professional Excellence — Awards honor exemplary members of the legal community, including legal professionals, judges, and members of the public.

 


And the APEX Award recipients are... 


Award of Merit

David A. Perez

This award is the Bar's highest honor and is given to an individual for a recent, singular achievement. The singular achievement may involve an individual who has displayed exceptional courage in the face of adversity, thus bringing credit to the legal profession. It is awarded to individuals only – both legal professionals and members of the public.


Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Government Service

Julian M. Bray (posthumous)

Named in honor of Angelo R. Petruss, a senior assistant attorney general who passed away during his term of service on the WSBA Board of Governors, this award is given to a lawyer in government service who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession, the justice system, and the public.


Justice Charles Z. Smith Excellence in Diversity Award

James F. Williams

Named in honor of Justice C. Z. Smith, the first African-American to serve on the Washington Supreme Court, this award goes to a lawyer, law firm, or law-related group that has made a significant contribution to diversity in the legal profession.


Legal Innovation Award

Jacqueline G. Schafer

This award recognizes legal professionals, law firms, courts, law schools, individuals, or organizations who demonstrate leadership in promoting innovation in the practice of law. Innovation may be defined as programs, processes, or technology that advance or streamline the future of the profession and accessibility/delivery of legal services.


Lifetime Service Award

William H. Gates (posthumous)

This award is a special award given for a lifetime of service to the legal community and the public.


Norm Maleng Leadership Award

Edmund R. Witter

Presented jointly with the Access to Justice Board

This award is given jointly by the WSBA and the Access to Justice Board, in honor of the late King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng's legacy as a leader. He was an innovative and optimistic leader committed to justice and access to justice in both civil and criminal settings. Within the profession, his leadership was characterized by his love of the law and commitment to diversity and mentorship. This award recognizesthose who embody these qualities.


Outstanding Judge Award

Justice Gerry L. Alexander (retired)

This award is presented for outstanding service to the bench and for special contribution to the legal profession at any level of the court.


Outstanding Young Lawyer Award

Gagandeep Singh Paul Heer

This award recognizes one attorney who has made significant contributions to the professional community, especially the community of young lawyers, within their initial years of practice. Recipients must be active WSBA members within five years of admission to any bar association or less than 36 years of age.


Pro Bono and Public Service Awards

For Group:
Virtual Help, a collaboration between
Perkins Coie, Microsoft, and The WAVE Foundation

For Individual:
Command Master Chief Sally A. Webster

These awards are presented to an individual, a lawyer, other legal professional, law firm, or other legal entity for outstanding cumulative efforts in providing pro bono services or who gives back in meaningful ways to the public, the community, or to the legal profession. Nominations considered in two categories: 1) for an individual, or solo or small firm practitioner; 2) for a multi-person law firm or organization.


Professionalism Award

Lt. Col. Melanie J. Mann

This honor is awarded to a WSBA member who exemplifies the spirit of professionalism in the practice of law, as defined in the WSBA's Creed of Professionalism.


Sally P. Savage Leadership in Philanthropy Award

Karen W. Murray

Presented jointly with the Washington State Bar Foundation

Sally Savage led the Bar Foundation’s renaissance and was a catalyst for its refocused mission to sustain the WSBA’s effort to advance justice and diversity. Her clarity, expertise and vision helped establish a path for enduring support of a strong bar association that provides statewide leadership on matters of profound importance to the profession and the citizenry. Sally’s spirit of generosity and leadership continue to inspire all who recognize the transformative potential of philanthropy. Philanthropy means “love of humanity” and focuses on private initiatives for the public good, focusing on quality of life. Sally Savage emulated this spirit of philanthropy in her life, and it is in her memory that we continue to honor donors, volunteers and friends of the Washington State Bar Foundation who embody Sally’s spirit.