State Bar seeking entries for Golden Gavel Awards

The State Bar of Wisconsin is accepting entries for its annual Golden Gavel Award competition, which honors journalists who have helped enhance the public’s understanding of the justice system.

The contest is open for stories that were broadcast or published between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. There is no fee to enter the contest; all that’s needed is a link to the story or other material and a completed entry form. The deadline to enter is Friday, Oct. 27.

Newspapers may also enter the Golden Gavel Award contest through the WNA’s Better Newspaper Contest portal. However, Golden Gavel Award-winning newspapers do not earn points toward the Best of Division or Newspaper of the Year contest.

The State Bar sponsors the annual Golden Gavel Awards because it recognizes most Wisconsin residents rely on the media to stay informed about important justice-related issues. The bar’s goal is to improve the public’s understanding of the legal system by encouraging outstanding media coverage of those issues.

A judging committee composed of lawyers, educators and media representatives will select winning entries based on informational value and educational merit, creativity, thoroughness, reportorial and other technical skills and impact.

Two types of awards are presented, at the discretion of the judging committee: Golden Gavel Awards are presented for outstanding contributions to public understanding of the system of law and justice, and Certificates of Commendation are presented for entries judged to be noteworthy examples of public service messages or other activities that enhance the public’s understanding of the justice system.

For more information, contact State Bar Public Relations Coordinator Kristen Durst at 608-250-6025 or by email at

The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a Wisconsin law license. With more than 24,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the value of lawyers. For more information, visit