The Student Leadership Award is the LGBTQ+ Bar’s highest honor for law students. The award recognizes two law students who have demonstrated leadership within their school and in the surrounding community, especially in the area of LGBTQ+ equality. The 2023 co-winners will receive free Lavender Law® registration, travel assistance to Chicago, and a free hotel stay at our conference venue.
To nominate someone for the Student Leadership Award, please send their resume and a 250-500 word statement of support indicating why the nominee deserves recognition to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must include the following subject line on the email: 2023 Student Leadership Award: [Student Name]. Nominations may be submitted by anyone, including nominees themselves.
A maximum of two additional letters of support may be submitted with the nomination, but are not required. We strongly encourage nominators to adhere to the allotted number of letters (one is required, an additional two are optional). It is not an advantage to provide additional letters or extra documentation; if such extra materials are submitted, the Bar will randomly choose which letters to send to the Awards committee.
Nominations will close at midnight Eastern Time on April 1, 2023.
Dylan Bitar is a graduate of the Charleston School of Law and plans to practice in Florida. As a student he served as the president of the LGBTQ+ organization, the Student Bar Association, and the Chair of the SBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Through these positions, Dylan has learned to tailor his passion and skills as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and other underrepresented communities. He hopes to take his advocacy and experience further to work for non-profit advocacy groups for LGBTQ+ equality and other initiatives on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
2022 Runner Up:
Edson Abadia Jr. was born and raised in Port Orange, Florida and is a recent graduate of Stetson University College of Law located in Gulfport, Florida. Edson served as President of Lambda Legal Society, Stetson’s LGBTQ+ student organization. Under their leadership, Lambda created the Lambda Legal Society PRIDE Scholarship, the first scholarship for current LGBTQ+ and ally students at Stetson, and hosted the Inaugural Pride Flag Raising, Transgender Flag Raising, Alumni Mixer, and numerous events centered around the intersection of art and the law.
Edson also served as a member of Stetson’s Campus-Wide Diversity Committee and Student Bar Association’s Diversity Committee. In these roles Edson was able to spearhead securing pronoun pins for all students and assisted in drafting and reforming campus policies. Throughout law school, Edson has earned many recognitions, including Stetson’s Pride Award, given to a graduating student based on participation in extracurricular activities and service related to the LGBTQ+ community. They have also received the Victor O. Wehle Award and the Diaco Law Book Award, both given to students who excel in Trial Advocacy.
Edson plans to continue contributing to the legal community through his memberships with the Clearwater Bar Association, Tampa’s Hispanic bar Association, and Central Florida’s Gay & Lesbian Laws Association. After passing the Bar, Edson will serve as an Associate with Burruezo & Burruezo, PLLC, an employment law firm located in Tampa, Florida. Edson’s goal is to represent clients with disabilities and clients who identify as LGBTQ+ with their employment-related disputes and cases.
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Second Runner-up – Beck Zucker, The George Washington University Law School
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