Vern Countryman Award


Each year NCLC presents the Vern Countryman Consumer Law Award to a legal services or other public interest attorney whose special contributions to the practice of consumer law have strengthened and affirmed the rights of low-income Americans.

We welcome and encourage your nominations for a deserving defender of consumer rights to receive the 2019 Countryman Award, which will be presented at our 28th annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference this October in Boston.

If you would like to nominate an outstanding attorney who has demonstrated excellence in working on behalf of low-income consumers for at least ten years, please see the nomination requirements below, and send complete nomination materials to Cory Murray at

Submit Your Nominations Here

Nomination Material:

1) Candidate’s resume / CV
2) A 1-2 page description of the work which qualifies for the award
3) Optional: one or more letters of reference from those familiar with the candidate’s work
4) Optional: Anything else you think is relevant, compelling and convincing

Please limit your nomination to a maximum of 8 pages.

The winning candidate is chosen by a committee of NCLC’s Board of Directors consisting of attorneys and low-income clients. Please be sure to build a short but compelling case for your nominee.

The deadline for completed nominations is  June 29th. Please submit your materials to Cory Murray at


Since the first award was presented in 1990, the Vern Countryman Award has quickly become the top honor for consumer attorneys with 15 or more years of experience. We are most proud to know these outstanding advocates and applaud their efforts on behalf of low-income consumers. Each year NCLC presents the Vern Countryman Award to an attorney whose career work has significantly contributed to the rights and well-being of low-income consumers.

Winners include some of the most highly regarded consumer advocates in the country:

Karen Brown (2018),  David Humphreys and Luke Wallace (2017), Mark Chavez (2016), Lorray Brown (2015), Dale Irwin (2014), Richard N. Feferman (2013), David Leen (2012), Carlene McNulty (2011)


O. Randolph Bragg, 2010
Michael D. Donovan, 2009
Bernard E. Brown, 2008
Mallam J. Maynard, 2007
F. Paul Bland, Jr., 2006
Irv Ackelsberg, 2005
Gail Hillebrand, 2004
Dan Hedges, 2003
Joanne Faulkner, 2002
Lynn Drysdale, 2001
Richard Rubin, 2000


Kathleen Keest, 1999
Alan Alop, 1998
David Ramp, 1997
Elizabeth Imholz, 1996
James Sturdevant, 1995
Patricia Sturdevant, 1995
Michael Ferry, 1994
William Brennan, 1993
Carolyn Carter, 1992
Margot Freeman Saunders, 1991
Henry Sommer, 1990