Davis-Dunnings Bar Association presents 16th Annual Otis M. Smith Awards


By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News

The Eagle Eye Golf Club in East Lansing was the scene of the Davis-Dunnings Bar Association's 16th Annual Otis M. Smith Scholarship Banquet and Awards ceremony on the evening of April 27th. Members of the legal, education and business communities along with their family and friends came together to recognize and honor the awardees.

The awards ceremony began with a presentation of the Honorable John W. Davis Scholarship to Rosanna Cochran, Cooley Law School student. Sherrie Guess presented the award, which rewards academic achievement to Cochran who is ranked in the top 10 percent of her class at Cooley. She also serves as regional director of community service for the Black Law Student Association, as apprentice program chair of the Mock Trial Board, and as the legal conference editor for the Thomas M. Cooley Journal of Practical and Clinical Law.

The Stuart F. Dunnings, Jr. Scholarship was presented to Bryan Concepcion, student at Michigan State University College of Law. While at MSU College of Law, Bryan is a member of the local Black Law Student Association (BLSA) chapter, was a finalist in the Midwest BLSA Frederick Douglas Moot Court Competition and has been involved with the Diversity Services Office. After graduation this May, he plans to return to his home state of Virginia, take the Virginia Bar exam and pursue a career as a Public Defender.

Janene McIntyre presented the President's Award to Conrad Tatnall, staff attorney, State of Michigan and graduate of Michigan State University College of Law. This award recognizes a member of the Davis-Dunnings Bar Association whose continued commitment and extraordinary service to the Association warrants special acknowledgement. Tatnall, a long-standing member of the organization, has served as Co-Chair of the Association's Bar Passage Program, as mentor to Bar Passage Program Participants and serves on the Association's Attorney Outreach committee.

Brian Mackie, Washtenaw County Prosecutor, presented the Distinguished Barrister award to Judge Amy Ronayne Krause. The award recognizes an outstanding member of the legal community whose distinguished career demonstrates exemplary character, strong integrity, sound legal judgment and scholarship and whose service to the profession promotes the advancement of the highest legal standards and professional responsibility while contributing to his or her community through support of community-based organizations and activities.

Mayor Virg Bernero presented the Humanitarian Award, which recognizes individuals that have distinguished themselves in direct service to others that promotes human welfare and social reform in the Lansing community to Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson, Director, Human Relations and Community Services Department, City of Lansing. Under her leadership the Department addresses the services needs in the Lansing area, developing grant proposals and related programs based on identified needs, providing support for local nonprofit service providers through funding agreements, monitoring City-funded programs and providing technical assistance to agency funding recipients.

Marcia Spivey received the Rising Star award, which recognizes an outstanding young lawyer in the Greater Lansing community whose relatively short career demonstrates such leadership, exemplary character, integrity, judgment, legal scholarship, service to the profession as well as the community through community-based organizations that strive to improve the lives of the people in the Lansing community so as to make him or her a role model for others.

Spivey is the program director for the Lansing College Access Network, which has a goal of creating a college-going culture in the Lansing School District. She received the award for being an outstanding young lawyer in the greater Lansing community who is dedicated to mobilizing the legal community to support public education. Spivey's involvement with the Lansing School District includes coaching the Wainwright Debate team. She also created and presented job/college portfolio workshops for high school students and coached students for the 2011 Michigan Youth and Government Conference. Additionally, she has taught law and government, served as a restorative justice facilitator, and organized a restorative justice symposium to address at-risk female youth.

Cooley Professor Mable Martin-Scott received the Trailblazer award, presented by Associate Dean Charles Cercone, Thomas M. Cooley Law School. This award recognizes those whose pioneering achievements in their field opened and promoted new opportunities for minorities in the Lansing community.

Martin-Scott was honored as a pioneer for her contributions in opening doors and encouraging minorities and other individuals to pursue careers and successfully accomplish their goals of practicing law. As an African-American female attorney and professor, she has spent countless hours mentoring tomorrow's leaders and contributing her own leadership to various community organizations.

Published: Thu, May 17, 2012