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Congratulations to Professor Phyllis Kotey for receiving the 2020 ABA Difference Maker Award. The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division’s (GPSolo) Difference Makers Awards recognize extraordinary individuals who “make a difference” by breaking down barriers, through community service, pro bono work, or service to the profession. This award honors a deserving individual who is an attorney or non-attorney: (a) who has made a difference in the local community and (b) who lives in the local geographic area where the Division is meeting and where the Difference Makers Awards program is being held. The virtual award ceremony will take place Friday, December 11, 2020 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm EST.

Phyllis Williams Kotey, a senior judge, is a Clinical Professor of Law at Florida International University (FIU) College of Law in Miami, FL. She began at FIU after a distinguished record of service to the bench and bar. She is Director of the Externship and Pro Bono Program and has facilitated student initiated pro bono legal service in Colombia, South America and around the country including New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She was selected as an FIU Top Scholar in 2014 and was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for the 2012 – 2013 academic year in Accra Ghana. She conducted research in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Access to Justice. She served as Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and developed the Delinquency, Educational Advocacy and Dependency Clinics. Prior to becoming a judge, Kotey served as an assistant state attorney. She served as the Associate Dean of the Florida Judicial College and is a faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Judicial College.

Kotey is a member of the Diversity Committee of the ABA’s Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division and was a member of the ABA Judicial Division Committee on Ethics and Professionalism. She is a member of numerous bar associations. She is author of numerous articles regarding criminal justice and judicial ethics. In 2020, she published a chapter on prosecutorial discretion for the Criminal Justice Section of the ABA entitled “Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion: A 360 Degree View from 30,000 Feet Above.”