Every year, the Board of Directors presents various Foundation Awards to publicly recognize lawyers who make significant contributions to the Foundation and who enhance the legal profession as a whole. The professional contributions of lawyers are meaningful to the Board and the Foundation has established several awards to formally recognize the important roles Nebraska lawyers perform in:

1) Interpreting the law
2) Educating citizens regarding important aspects of the law
3) Contributing to the creation of new laws
4) Supporting the Nebraska State Bar Foundation thereby enabling it to better serve Nebraska citizens

The Foundation Fellows have the honor of nominating all award recipients except the Silver Quill Award recipients, who are selected by the faculty of Creighton University Law School and the University of Nebraska College of Law. Nominations are reviewed by the Awards Committee, and the Board of Directors then determines the final award recipients. The Foundation only bestows awards as the occasion arises.

Legal Pioneer Award

The Foundation's Legal Pioneer Award honors the lifetime achievements of a lawyer who makes innovative contributions to the improvement of justice.

1992 Legal Pioneer Award
Chief Justice William C. Hastings, Lincoln

1994 Legal Pioneer Award
Leo Eisenstatt, Omaha

1995 Legal Pioneer Award
Judge Leslie Boslaugh, Lincoln

1996 Legal Pioneer Award
Judge Hale McCown, Lincoln

1998 Legal Pioneer Award
Bert L. Overcash, Lincoln

1999 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. Patricia Lamberty, Omaha

2000 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. Lindsey Miller-Lerman, Lincoln

2003 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. Donald P. Lay, St. Paul, MN
John P. Miller, Blair

2005 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. Karen B. Flowers, Lincoln 

2006 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. Richard C. Kopf, Lincoln   

2008 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. John M. Gerrard, Lincoln

2010 Legal Pioneer Award
Linda R. Crump, Lincoln

2013 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. Warren K. Urbom, Lincoln

2019 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. Mary C. Gildbride, Wahoo

2022 Legal Pioneer Award
Michael G. Mullin, Omaha

2023 Legal Pioneer Award
Hon. James E. Doyle IV, Lexington

Outstanding Legal Educator Award

This award recognizes significant contributions to the field of legal education by a legal educator, a lawyer who volunteers his or her time to instruct, and a lawyer who serves in continuing legal education capacities. 

1990 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Judge Warren K. Urbom, Lincoln

1994 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
William A. Day Jr., Omaha

1995 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Barbara J. Gaskins, Omaha
John M. Gradwohl, Lincoln
Albert T. Reddish, Alliance

1996 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Gregory B. Minter, Omaha

1997 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Dr. Richard E. Shugrue, Omaha

1998 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Ronald R. Volkmer, Omaha

1999 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Rodney Shkolnick, Omaha

2000 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Hon. Robert O. Hippe, Gering

2003 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
William H. Lyons, Lincoln

2009 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Patrick J. Borchers, Omaha

2011 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
John P. Lenich, Lincoln

2016 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Marianne B. Culhane, Omaha

2017 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Roger W. Kirst, Lincolnf

2019 Outstanding Legal Educator Award
Edward Birmingham, Omaha

Shining Light Award
The Foundation gives this award in acknowledgement of outstanding legal research conducted by a lawyer in Nebraska, whether a practitioner, academician, or non-practicing lawyer.

1989 Shining Light Award
Michael L. Johnson, Grand Island

1992 Shining Light Award
Professor G. Michael Fenner, Omaha
Professor Roger W. Kirst, Lincoln
Professor Josephine R. Potuto, Lincoln

1993 Shining Light Award
John M. Gradwohl, Lincoln
Donald H. Kelley, North Platte
James E. Rembolt, Lincoln

1997 Shining Light Award
Hon. John T. Grant, Omaha
Robert M. Slovek, Omaha

1998 Shining Light Award
Daniel A. Morris, Omaha

1999 Shining Light Award
Richard C. Mangrum, Omaha

2005 Shining Light Award
Professor Susan Poser, Lincoln            

2013 Shining Light Award
Christine P. Costantakos, Omaha

Public Service Award

The Foundation confers its Public Service Award on a lawyer in the employ of local, state or federal government in Nebraska or on a Nebraska lawyer in government employment outside the state for outstanding service in the performance of duty.

1990 Public Service Award
Robert M. Spire, Lincoln

1994 Public Service Award
Judge W.W. Nuernberger, Lincoln

1995 Public Service Award
Dennis R. Keefe, Lincoln

1997 Public Service Award
Hon. William H. Norton, Osceola

1998 Public Service Award
Brenda J. Council, Omaha

1999 Public Service Award
Kathleen M. Severens, Washington D.C.

2002 Public Service Award
Deborah K. R. Gilg, Omaha

2003 Public Service Award
Karen L. Shepard, Omaha

2005 Public Service Award
Hon. John V. Hendry, Lincoln    

2009 Public Service Award
Charles Thone, Lincoln

2012 Public Service Award
Hon. Todd J. Hutton, Papillion

2014 Public Service Award
Hon. Ben Novicoff, Lincoln

2016 Public Service Award
Hon. Susan M. Bazis, Omaha

2017 Public Service Award
Laura Garcia-Hein, Bennington

2018 Public Service Award
Justice Jeffrey J. Funke, Lincoln
Hon. Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, Omaha

2019 Public Service Award
Chief Justice Michael Heavican

2020 Public Service Award
Douglas F. Johnson

2023 Public Service Award
Patty Pansing Brooks

2023 Public Service Award

Hon. Shelly R. Stratman, Omaha
Hon. Sheryl L. Lohaus, Omaha

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Foundation recognizes a lawyer who has made significant contributions to the legal profession, to the Bar Foundation, and to to his or her community.

1997 Lifetime Achievement Award
Governor Frank B. Morrison, Lincoln

1999 Lifetime Achievement Award
James I. Shamberg, Grand Island

2000 Lifetime Achievement Award
James A. Lane, Ogallala

2001 Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard S. Harnsberger, Lincoln

2002 Lifetime Achievement Award
Thomas M. Davis, Lincoln

2004 Lifetime Achievement Award
Thomas E. Brogan, Norfolk
Daniel D. Jewell, Norfolk

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award
Hon. C. Alren Beam, Lincoln

2012 Lifetime Achievement Award
Theodore L. Kessner, Lincoln

2014 Lifetime Achievement Award
Charles V. Sederstorm Jr., Omaha

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award
Howard J. Kaslow, Omaha

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award
J. Terry Macnamara, Omaha

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award
Gary M. Gotsdiner, Omaha

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award
Hon. Laurie Smith Camp (given posthumously)

2023 Lifetime Achievement Award
Hon. John A. Colborn, Lincoln

Distinguished Service Award

This Distinguished Service Award is a special award to recognize a lawyer's service to the legal profession.

1991 Distinguished Service Award
Governor Robert B. Crosby, Lincoln
Jack W. Marer, Omaha

1993 Distinguished Service Award
Otto Kotouc Jr., Humboldt

1994 Distinguished Service Award
Edward Shafton
Robert M. Spire, posthumously

1995 Distinguished Service Award
Judge Lyle E. Strom, Omaha

1996 Distinguished Service Award
Judge Harry A. Spencer, Lincoln

1997 Distinguished Service Award
Hon. F. A. Gossett III, Blair

1998 Distinguished Service Award
John C. Brownrigg, Omaha

2000 Distinguished Service Award
Steven R. Voigt, Kearney

2001 Distinguished Service Award
Lynn D. Hutton Jr., Norfolk

2002 Distinguished Service Award
Harold L. Rock, Omaha

2011 Distinguished Service Award
Hon. D. Nick Caporale, Omaha

2013 Distinguished Service Award
Gerald E. Matzke, Sidney

2015 Distinguished Service Award
Todd V. Elsbernd (Posthumously)

2016 Distinguished Service Award
Dennis G. Carlson, Lincoln

2018 Distinguished Service Award
M. Douglas Deitchler, Lincoln

2019 Distinguished Service Award
Hon. Ronald D. Lahners, Omaha

2020 Distinguished Service Award
Dennis Collins

2023 Distinguished Service Award
Patrick S. Cooper

Foundation Award

The Foundation Award is the most prestigious award given by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. This award honors exemplary service to the Foundation and is presented to lawyers who have made and who continue to make a strong commitment to the goals of the Foundation.

1989 Foundation Award
Deryl F. Hamann, Omaha

1990 Foundation Award
Robert G. Scoville, posthumously

1992 Foundation Award
Hans J. Holtorf Jr., posthumously
Howard H. Moldenhauer, posthumously

1993 Foundation Award
Milton R. Abrahams, Omaha

1994 Foundation Award
Flavel A. Wright, Lincoln

1995 Foundation Award
Senator Roman L. Hruska, Omaha

1996 Foundation Award
Keith I. Frederick, Omaha
Richard A. Knudsen, Lincoln

1999 Foundation Award
Harvey S. Perlman, Lincoln

2001 Foundation Award
Hon. Lyle E. Strom, Omaha

2002 Foundation Award
Charles Thone, Lincoln

2006 Foundation Award
Thomas M. Davies, Lincoln

2008 Foundation Award
George E. Svoboda, Fremont

2010 Foundation Award
Robert H. Berkshire, Omaha

2012 Foundation Award
Charles E. Wright, Lincoln

2014 Foundation Award
Dean G. Kratz, Omaha

2015 Foundation Award
Hon. William Jay Riley, Omaha

2018 Foundation Award
Kile W. Johnson, Lincoln

2022 Foundation Award
Charles F. Gotch

Silver Quill Award

The Silver Quill Award was established to recognize a law student's legal writing ability as displayed in the classroom and other writing situations as selected by the faculty at the University of Nebraska College of Law and Creighton Law School. Recipients receive a cash award of $500 at the Foundation's Legacy of Liberty Breakfast, as well as have their name permanently inscribed on a plaque which hangs at each respective law school. 

1990 Silver Quill Award Winners
Michelle Wernimont, Creighton University Law School
Chad M. VonKampen, University of Nebraska College of Law

1991 Silver Quill Award Winners
Greg O'Kief, Creighton University Law School
Patrick Straka, University of Nebraska College of Law

1992 Silver Quill Award Winners
Sharon Rosse, Creighton University Law School
Timothy Moll, University of Nebraska College of Law

1993 Silver Quill Award Winners
Amy Erlbacher-Anderson, Creighton University Law School
Jennifer Gilg, University of Nebraska College of Law

1994 Silver Quill Award Winners
Lisa Gottula, Creighton University Law School
Christian Stewart, University of Nebraska College of Law

1995 Silver Quill Award Winners
Bruce Gragert, Creighton University Law School
Nilesh Patel, University of Nebraska College of Law

1996 Silver Quill Award Winners
Steven C. Likes, Creighton University Law School
Brian Keller, University of Nebraska College of Law

1997 Silver Quill Award Winners
Kristine Becker, Creighton University Law School
Heidi Lysne, University of Nebraska College of Law

1998 Silver Quill Award Winners
Edward D. Williamson, Creighton University Law School
Kevin O'Neil, University of Nebraska College of Law

1999 Silver Quill Award Winners
Cassandra Volanges, Creighton University Law School
David R. Mayer, University of Nebraska College of Law

2000 Silver Quill Award Winners
John A. Sharp, Creighton University Law School
Brian Sobczyk, University of Nebraska College of Law

2001 Silver Quill Award Winners
Richard Winders, Creighton University Law School
Karen Iossi, University of Nebraska College of Law

2002 Silver Quill Award Winners
Nicole Englehardt, Creighton University Law School
Amanda J. Karr, University of Nebraska College of Law

2003 Silver Quill Award Winners
Thomas M. Worthington, Creighton University Law School
Tara Scholz, University of Nebraska College of Law

2004 Silver Quill Award Winners
Kourtney Greenfield, Creighton University Law School
Samuel R. Randall, University of Nebraska College of Law

2005 Silver Quill Award Winners
Aimee L. Lowe, Creighton University Law School
Mark Buckwalter, University of Nebraska College of Law

2006 Silver Quill Award Winners
Anna Yost, Creighton University Law School
Kelli Church, University of Nebraska College of Law

2007 Silver Quill Award Winners
P. Brian Bartels, Creighton University Law School
Valerie McGill, University of Nebraska College of Law

2008 Silver Quill Award Winners
Robert A. Stark, Creighton University Law School
Adam W. Barney, University of Nebraska College of Law

2009 Silver Quill Award Winners
April N. Erke, Creighton University Law School
Andrew Conroy, University of Nebraska College of Law

2010 Silver Quill Award Winners
Julie Roberts, Creighton University Law School
Lyudmila Kishchun, University of Nebraska College of Law

2011 Silver Quill Award Winners
Alexander Boyd, Creighton University Law School
Shannon H. Kelly, University of Nebraska College of Law

2012 Silver Quill Award Winners
Kara Stockdale, Creighton University Law School
Martin Demoret, University of Nebraska College of Law

2013 Silver Quill Award Winners
Dewey Kennison, Creighton University Law School
Jessop Adams, University of Nebraska College of Law

2014 Silver Quill Award Winners
Eric Walser, Creighton University Law School
Christopher Schmidt, University of Nebraska College of Law

2015 Silver Quill Award Winners
Justine Piatek, Creighton University Law School
Gregory Vinton, University of Nebraska College of Law

2016 Silver Quill Award Winners
Rachel Lee, Creighton University Law School
Jared Koch, University of Nebraska College of Law

2017 Silver Quill Award Winners
Janessa Cruz-Alfaro, Creighton University Law School
Troy Anderson, University of Nebraska College of Law

2018 Silver Quill Award Winners
Shai Gonzales, Creighton University Law School
Lyzz Smith, University of Nebraska College of Law

2019 Silver Quill Award Winners
Ryan Baker, Creighton University Law School
Jessica Robinson, University of Nebraska College of Law 

2020 Silver Quill Award Winners
Creighton, Hallie Hamilton
UNL, Hayley Kaiser

2021 Silver Quill Award Winners
Creighton, Nathan Heimes and Lexi Weisbeck
UNL, Kaitlyn Moore

2022 Silver Quill Award Winners
Creighton, Justin Pritchett
UNL, Abbey Penton

2023 Silver Quill Award Winners
Creighton, Kara Stark Smith
UNL, Amanda Landaverde