Liberty Bell Award

The Liberty Bell Award is given each year by local bar associations in conjunction with Law Day to honor outstanding citizens within the local community. The award recognizes outstanding service performed by a non-lawyer citizen who has given of his or her time and energy to strengthen the effectiveness of the American system of freedom under law, in keeping with the spirit of our Constitution. Such service may include activities which promote a better understanding of our form of government, especially the Bill of Rights; encourage greater respect for the law in the courts; educate people in the contrast between totalitarianism and freedom under law; or stimulate the deeper sense of individual responsibility to the end that citizens recognize their duties as well as their rights.

The SBM Awards Committee selects the statewide Liberty Bell Award winner from local bar winners submitted to the State Bar.

Previous Winners

2018 Urban League of West Michigan, Grand Rapids Bar Association
2017 Annemarie Conway, Emmet Charlevoix Bar Association
2016 David Britten, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
Teresa Weatherall Neal, Grand Rapids Bar Association
2015 Matthew R. Branding, Tuscola County Bar Association
2014 Gary B. Lasceski, Tuscola County Bar Association
Matilyn Sarosi, WLAM - Washtenaw County Bar Association
2013 Marge Palmerlee, Grand Rapids Bar Association
2012 David Dunckel, Ingham County Bar Association
2011 Judy Ellis, Livonia Bar Association 
Kate White, WLAM - Mid Michigan Region
2010 Audrey Gray, Michigan Lawyers Auxiliary
2009 Edna Kinsey, Monroe County Bar Association
2008 Rachel Crandall, Stonewall Bar Association
Jessie Gonzalez, Saginaw County Bar Association
2007 Shirley Cochran, Genesee County Bar Association
Jessie Dawkins, Saginaw County Bar Association
Mary Ann Farris, Michigan Lawyers Auxiliary
2006 Jeffrey Montgomery, Stonewall Bar Association
Kim Trent, D. Augustus Straker Bar Association
2005 Carolyn Bolthouse, Grand Rapids Bar Association
Pierre Sirois, Grand Rapids Bar Association
Deb Snow, Grand Rapids Bar Association
Tricia Hilgendorp, Grand Rapids Bar Association
Catherine Logsdon, Grand Rapids Bar Association
Susan Laninga, Grand Rapids Bar Association
2004 Joaquin & Cari Guerrero and K9 partners Rookie & Felony, Saginaw County Bar Association
2003 Wayne Bentley, Grand Rapids Bar Association
2002 Marguerite Kowaleski, Oakland County Bar Association
2001 Mark Hawkins, Genesee County Bar Association
Marian Impastato, Macomb County Bar Association
2000 Diana Dietle, Oakland County Bar Association
1999 Wilburn LeGree, Genesee County Bar Association
1998 Miriam Brown Dorsey, Jackson County Bar Association
1997 Donald R. Cronin, Genesee County Bar Association
1996 Linda Clark, Genesee County Bar Association
1995 William Hegarty, Grand Rapids Bar Association
1994 Leslie A Newman, Grand Rapids Bar Association
1993 Doris Suciu, Genesee County Bar Association
1992 Alann & Virginia Steen, Jackson County Bar Association
1991 Donald J. Amboyer, Macomb County Bar Association
1990 Kay Frew and Kent Roberts, St. Joseph County Bar Association
1989 Ralph Chandler, Kalamazoo County Bar Association
1988 Dee Dise, Oakland County Bar Association
1987 George Rose, Emmet-Charlevoix County Bar Association
1986 Diane Windischman, Ingham County Bar Association