Jane Elizabeth Curran Distinguished Service Award


IDignity lawyer Jackie Dowd accepts the 2019 Curran Award from Foundation board member Ray Reid.

The Jane Elizabeth Curran Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of The Florida Bar Foundation’s first executive director, who, over her 32-year career, was responsible for implementing the nation’s first Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) program and spearheading virtually every innovation utilized in the IOTA/IOLTA movement throughout the United States until her retirement. The Florida Bar Foundation was renamed FFLA in 2023.

The award is intended to recognize an individual who, over his or her career, has achieved meaningful, effective and lasting increases in access to civil justice for the poor in the State of Florida. The recipients may be legal aid attorneys, FFLA employees, non-lawyer legal aid staff members, or other public service/governmental staff whose work involves the justice system, and whose commitment sets them apart to an extraordinary degree as deserving of such recognition. The award is presented each year at FFLA’s Annual Award Ceremony during The Florida Bar Annual Convention.

2024 Nomination Form

The 2024 nomination deadline has passed.

Jane Elizabeth Curran Distinguished Service Award Recipients

2023Kimberly L. RodgersFor serving and leading Community Law Program for almost two decades, where her unwavering belief in fairness and equity, her inspiring work ethic, and her zeal for protecting client rights have led to lasting change in her community
2022Richard "Dick" C. WoltmannFor his four decades of being a staunch advocate and effectuating positive and lasting change by increasing access to civil justice for communities and underserved individuals, particularly seniors and veterans.
2021Anthony J. KarratFor devoting a lifetime to ensuring the civil legal rights of low-income communities and his strong and steady leadership, professionalism, and integrity leading the charge for those individuals and families who would otherwise have no voice and no access to the judicial system
2020Kathy ParaFor her energizing pro bono efforts throughout Florida during her entire legal career and her role in the creation and implementation of several innovative and civil legal assistance programs.
2019Jackie DowdFor her decades of impactful work on behalf of poor and homeless individuals, including her representation of a group fighting for the right to feed the poor and homeless in an Orlando city park and her instrumental role in the founding of IDignity, which has helped tens of thousands of clients to obtain records and documents needed to secure a Florida ID.
2018Sharon BourassaFor her lifetime career devoted to improving the housing conditions of low-income individuals, ceaselessly advocating and solving legal problems that have lasting impact on entire communities, and for imparting her passion to and faithfully inspiring and mentoring a new generation of public interest lawyers who will persist as she has, selflessly pursing justice with compassion and determination.
2018Marcia CypenFor her decades of innovative development and energetic leadership of a nationally renowned civil legal aid program, as a brilliant and compassionate lawyer, devoted to improving access to justice for low-income and vulnerable communities, and as a visionary having built an institution that will endure and is considered the gold standard of legal services.
2017Randall Berg Jr.For his pivotal role in establishing Florida's Interest on Trust Accounts program, defending its constitutionality and expanding the funding mechanism to other states, and for his decades of leadership of the Florida Justice Institute, which has fiercely defended the rights of prisoners, the disabled and other vulnerable Floridians since 1978.
2016Lynn DrysdaleFor achieving impactful results for thousands of clients affected by predatory lending and other unethical, illegal and unscrupulous practices, for protecting the rights of homeowners, and for providing testimony to legislative and other government bodies in an effort to reform industries that trap Americans in a cycle of poverty.
2015Jane Elizabeth CurranFor her 33 years of extraordinary vison, leadership, dedication and service to The Florida Bar Foundation as its founding executive director; her immeasurable contributions to the national IOLTA movement; her innovative grantmaking as director of the Improvements in the Administration of Justice Grant Program; and her tireless advocacy promoting access to justice statewide and nationally.