Stetson presents awards in May for lifetime achievement, professionalism

Retired Justice David A. Erickson . Photo by  Jacqueline Seaberg.

Retired Justice David A. Erickson. Photo by Jacqueline Seaberg.

Retired Justice David A. Erickson will receive Stetson University’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching Advocacy during the Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills Conference on May 19 on the Gulfport campus. The Edward D. Ohlbaum Professionalism Award will be presented to professor Adam Shlahet.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes those who have fundamentally changed the way in which the world approaches the teaching of advocacy. Justice Erickson’s distinguished career as a lawyer, jurist and law professor began in 1976. Erickson served as an assistant state attorney, was appointed to the bench where he served between 1988-1996, and became a first assistant state’s attorney in Cook County. In 2001, Erickson was recalled to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court and presided for three years in the Juvenile Court, serving as trial judge and as acting supervisory judge until his appointment to the Appellate Court. In 2006, Erickson retired as justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and became senior lecturer in law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he has directed the school’s nationally ranked trial advocacy program, Criminal Law Certificate Program, and  “Rule of Law” initiative in Mexico.

The Edward D. Ohlbaum Award honors an individual whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law. The award is designed to recognize a trial team coach and program director who exemplifies the late Professor Ohlbaum’s commitment to doing things with a high degree of professionalism, integrity and competency. In choosing this year’s recipient, the selection committee was charged with finding a rising star in the advocacy coaching world. The committee selected Shlahet, a special assistant attorney general with the New York State Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and adjunct professor at Fordham Law School. Shlalet received the Travis H.D. Lewin Outstanding Coach Award from the Trial Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association. He has coached Fordham law students competing in 23 national trial competitions and was named director of Trial Competitions at Fordham Law School in 2012.

Adam Shlahet.

Adam Shlahet.

The annual Educating Advocates conference, May 18-21 on Stetson University’s Gulfport campus, draws law professors, lawyers and legal practitioners from across the U.S. to learn the Stetson method of advocacy, developing teaching skills, new techniques and networking with some of the most recognized names in advocacy teaching. To register for the conference, visit