APEX Award Categories
Chief Justice Mary E. Fairhurst Award of Merit
In March 2022, the WSBA Board of Governors unanimously elected to rename the WSBA's highest award, the Award of Merit, the Chief Justice Mary E. Fairhurst Award of Merit. This change took effect at the 2022 APEX Awards. Find more information about the decision in the board’s March 2022 meeting materials at page 382.
Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Government Service
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
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
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
This award is a special award given for a lifetime of service to the legal community and the public.
Norm Maleng Leadership Award
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 recognize sthose who embody these qualities.
Outstanding Judge Award
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
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
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: for an individual or solo/small-firm practitioner and for a multi-person law firm or organization.
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
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.