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Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program Wins Prestigious ABA Award

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Jan L. Jacobowitz, at right

Jan L. Jacobowitz, at right. (Photo: Miami Law) Full-Size Photo

The American Bar Association (ABA) has recognized the University of Miami School of Law's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program (PREP) and its Director, Jan L. Jacobowitz, as a recipient of this year's E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award.

The E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards are the leading national awards recognizing programs and projects contributing to the understanding and advancement of professionalism among lawyers. The ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism presents the awards annually. This year the award will be presented during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago on August 3rd.

Jacobowitz guides students in developing and presenting interactive continuing legal education ethics training for the legal community. Students collaborate in a manner that is analogous to an ethics law firm; however, they do not offer legal advice, but rather provide education and facilitate discussion of compelling legal ethics issues.

"The Committee was particularly impressed with the program's unique amalgam of an extraordinary "real-world" experience for their student instructors and valuable legal-learning benefits for the recipient local legal organization and firms," said Dennis R. Honabach, Chair of the ABA's Standing Committee on Professionalism. "Your program offers a model for law schools in communities with a concentration of legal organizations to partner with such a program."

PREP's programming originated as an outgrowth of a collaborative effort with the nonprofit legal community to provide training on ethics issues arising in the context of serving the underprivileged. Today, PREP has not only become an invaluable resource to the nonprofit community, but also has expanded to present ethics training to lawyers working throughout the legal profession.

"PREP provides a unique opportunity for synergy between our law students and the legal community," said Jacobowitz. "The program facilitates lively discussion about the importance of professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. I am deeply honored to be a recipient of the prestigious E. Smythe Gambrell Award and look forward to sharing it with all of the students whose dedication and hard work are reflected in this national recognition."

The Gambrell Awards were established in 1991 and are named for E. Smythe Gambrell, ABA and American Bar Foundation president from 1955 to 1956. Gambrell founded the Legal Aid Society in Atlanta, where he practiced law from 1922 until his death in 1986.