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NLADA-SLS Mark J. Karon Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Mark Karon’s career in service to students at the University of Minnesota would rightly be described as an exercise in showing up. And Mark has done so brilliantly, and to the great benefit of everyone who has worked with him, for 40+ years. His dedication, incredible intellect and work ethic, and unmatched kindness and compassion show up in everything he does. Mark’s impact on the University of Minnesota Student Legal Services office, the students at U. of MN, and this NLADA-SLS organization, will be felt for a lifetime. It is only fitting, therefore, that the NLADA-SLS organization’s award for lifetime achievement in student legal services should bear his name. 

More than being successful in a chosen field, lifetime achievement is comprised of countless moments of doing the hard work when no one is looking. As attorneys for students, lifetime achievement sometimes means doing the work when no one even seems to care. Lifetime achievement in our work means making a difference by showing up- for student clients, for colleagues, and for community, day in and day out, year after year, decade after decade, without fanfare, without awards, and sometimes without much funding. These leaders, like Mark Karon, have shown a demonstrated commitment to the legal profession, to student legal services, and the general welfare of students, with contributions over the course of their career that have had a sustained and positive impact.

Who Qualifies: Any active attorney or staff member in a Student Legal Services office, or attorney or staff member who has or will retire within the year preceding the presentation of the award and who exemplifies the the following criteria:

  • Offered at least 20 years of active service in an SLS office

  • Shown a demonstrated commitment to the legal profession, to student legal services, and the general welfare of students, with contributions over the course of their career that have had a sustained and positive impact.

  • A history of service as a role model or mentor to students and/or colleagues 

  • A history of leadership/service within the NSLS organization, including committee memberships, executive roles, and educational presentations 

Who May Submit Nominations: Any Student Legal Services attorney or staff member, and you may nominate yourself.

The Karon Award may not be awarded each year. The award is intended to recognize a lifetime of work and will be reserved for those nominees who meet the above criteria as determined by the votes of the Awards Committee members. 

To nominate someone for the Karon Award, please submit an essay to Stacee Williams, seevans@indiana.edu, for consideration.

“Mark is a leader by example. He is a model of kindness and generosity, as well as an intellectual and professional role model. It’s almost impossible to not admire the man after being around him for any amount of time.”

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