Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: John E. Higgins, Esq. Diversity Trailblazer Award


The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion seeks nominations for the 2023 John E. Higgins, Esq., Diversity Trailblazer Award. The Committee wishes to recognize exceptional efforts of a member of the legal community to promote the full and equal participation of diverse people at all levels of the legal profession.

Contact: Ernesto Guerrero

Deadline: October 19, 2022

Award Criteria: Attorneys that are licensed in New York State, whether practicing or not, are eligible. Nominees may be contacted for additional information or interviews.

Prize Awarded: The recipient will receive a recognition award and a complimentary one-year membership in the Association.



2022 – Evan Wolfson, Senior Counsel, Dentons
2021 – Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, New York State Appellate Division, First Department
2020 – Kenneth Chin, Partner and Chair of the Banking and Finance Practice, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
2019 – Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, New York State Appellate Division, Second Department
2018 – Barbara Finkelstein, Chief Executive Officer, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
2018 – Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Associate Judge, New York State Court of Appeals
2017 – Judge Denny Chin, U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd District
2016 – Christopher S. Auguste, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
2015 – Tracy L. High, Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell
2014 – Darryl M. Gibbs, Lead Director and Associate General Counsel, Contract Management, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
2013 – Lillian M. Moy, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York
2012 – Professor Jenny Rivera, City University of New York School of Law
2012 – Paul T. Williams, Jr., President, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York
2012 – Joseph Maron Hanna, Partner, Goldberg Segalla LLP
2011 – Hon. Theodore Jones, Associate Judge, New York State Court of Appeals
2011 – Sharon Y. Bowen, Partner, Latham & Watkins, LLP
2010 – Leonard M. Baynes, Professor, St. John’s University School of Law
2009 – Laurie Robinson, founder and CEO of Corporate Counsel Women of Color
2008 – Taa Grays, Assistant General Counsel, MetLife
2007 – Carol A. Robles-Roman, Deputy Mayor and Counsel to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
2006 – Hon. George Bundy Smith
2006 – Hon. George Leighton
2006 – Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick