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Legal Awards

Committee Overview

The Awards Committee (AC) considers each request for nomination on a case-by-case basis.  The AC accepts self-nominations and nominations of other candidates.  The AC reviews the nomination request and conducts a reference check.  If the nominated candidate passes a paper screening, the AC may request an interview of the candidate in person or via virtual means.  The AC considers, among other factors, qualifications, and professional work experience; past and present nexus to the Asian American community, to other diversity communities and to PALSD; involvement in community activities and local bar associations; commitment to diversity; integrity, character, and temperament;  intelligence and communication skills. Upon concluding the evaluation, the AC’s recommendation about the candidate, along with any materials deemed relevant by the AC, is presented to PALSD's Board of Directors, who may accept or reject the recommendation.

Upon the request of a candidate or PALSD's Board of Directors, a candidate may present a statement at a PALSD Board meeting and respond to questions of the Board. This in-person or virtual meeting usually occurs after the AC has conducted its due diligence of a candidate and submitted its recommendation to the Board.  PALSD has no limitation on the number of nominations for the same award.


A nomination request for PALSD’s nomination, any PALSD letter of nomination, and any PALSD nomination are considered confidential unless and until the candidate publicly discloses the same. Documents in support of a nomination request shall be confidential, and disclosure shall be limited to the AC and PALSD's Board of Directors. Submitted documents are the property of PALSD and will not be returned.

Awards Committee Members - 2023: 

  • Eric Tran, San Diego County District Attorney's Office (Chair)

  • Julie Houth, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

Application Process

The AC consists of the Chair, members at large, and the current president of PALSD (who serves in a nonvoting capacity). Those seeking award nomination(s) should contact the Chair with all of the following at least 30 days prior to the deadline:


1)  Cover letter, not to exceed two (2) pages, with the following information:   

a. Title of award and relevant details.

b. External and internal deadlines of candidate’s nomination

c. Name, title, address of person whom nomination letter should be sent (and whether candidate would like to receive a copy or blind copy of said letter if addressee is not candidate)

d. Reasons for seeking PALSD’s endorsement

e. Candidate’s involvement with PALSD, Asian American community, and other diverse groups

f. Candidate’s qualifications for award sought.

2) Resume or curriculum vitae (if self-nomination).

3) Professional references: Name, title, phone number, email address, and relationship for four (4) professional references, two (2)  of whom must have personally worked with candidate in a professional capacity as a colleague, subordinate, supervisor, opposing counsel, or judge and who is able to assess the candidate's legal experience and qualifications.

4) Any other relevant materials the AC should consider: i.e., description of award and requirements, letters of reference, other endorsements, articles, awards, etc.

The AC may refuse to consider a nomination request that does not have the complete information and documentation listed above.  So that the AC may properly conduct its due diligence in evaluating a nomination request, a candidate should give the AC ample time for consideration, with a minimum of 30 days' notice.  The AC reserves the right to decline nomination requests based on insufficient time for its evaluation and reserves the right to decline to review any request for endorsement in its discretion.

A nomination from PALSD applies only to the particular candidate and to the particular award requested. Candidates who received prior nominations from PALSD should re-submit updated materials if they are seeking a new nomination.



Please direct questions regarding the application process or the Committee to

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