ABA GPSolo honors five lawyers with Difference Makers Awards

The American Bar Association’s Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division selected five extraordinary lawyers to receive the 2014 Difference Makers Awards for making a difference by breaking down barriers through community service, pro bono work and service to the profession.
 
The award ceremony luncheon took place on Friday, Oct. 24, at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio during the 9th Annual GPSolo National Solo & Small Firm Conference.

This year’s recipients were:
Harry Gee Jr., a principal partner of Harry Gee, Jr. & Associates in Houston is actively involved in various legal organizations, with a strong emphasis in the field of immigration law. His practice involves representation in corporate, litigation, administrative law practice and transactions work in international business, corporate oil and gas, real estate and probate. Gee & Associates have practiced before the administrative agencies throughout the country and before the U.S. State Department Consular Offices overseas. Gee was former president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and served as chair of the American Leadership Forum. He is a graduate of University of Texas School of Law and is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He was honored for making a difference in the local community.
 
Wallace B. Jefferson, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas in Austin has made Texas judicial history. Some of his most prominent accomplishments include serving as chief justice twice and as president of the Conference of Chief Justices, an association of chief justices from the 50 states and U.S. territories. As president, Jefferson chaired the National Center for State Courts board of directors, the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Council of the American Law Institute, the board of the American Bar Foundation, and the Board of Advisors of the O'Connor Judicial Selection. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, is a member of the American Law Institute and is certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He was honored for making a difference by breaking barriers.
 
Lisa M. Tatum is the owner of San Antonio law firm of LM Tatum, PLLC focusing primarily on corporate, employment and public finance law. She is a well-tenured lawyer with a highly regarded reputation in the legal profession. Tatum serves as co-bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel to governmental entities throughout the state of Texas and is an active member of the Bexar County Women’s Bar Association, San Antonio Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association. She is a past director of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors. Tatum received her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1994. She served as president of the State Bar of Texas from June 2013 until June 2014, committing to three more years of service on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors. She was honored for making a difference through community service.
 
RAICES, an organization founded and incorporated in 1986, provides legal information and pro bono representation to indigent, detained immigrants and asylum seekers. RAICES, orchestrated under the leadership of Executive Director Jonathan Ryan, continues to provide counsel and representation before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in family-based immigration cases, visas and other affirmative applications. RAICES was honored for making a difference through pro bono work service.

Will A. Gunn, a retired Air Force colonel, military lawyer and White House Fellow, served as general counsel for the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from May 2009 until July 2014.  During his military career, Gunn served as the first-ever chief defense counsel for the Guantanamo Military Commissions, the first proceedings of their kind to be conducted by the United States in more than 60 years.  Gunn, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., graduated from the U. S. Air Force Academy with military honors, and he is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. Gunn has chaired the American Bar Association’s Commission on Youth at Risk and served on the boards of Christian Service Charities and the Air Force Academy Way of Life Alumni Group. Among other honors, Gunn received an honorary doctorate from Nova Southeaster School of Law and the American Bar Association’s Outstanding Career Military Lawyer Award. He was honored for making a difference through professional service.
 
With more than 19,025 members, the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GPSolo) is committed to providing unique resources exclusively for solo, small-firm and general practitioners, who represent half of the nation’s lawyers.
 

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