The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers recognizes and honors excellence through a dynamic recognition program that celebrates significant contributions, professional achievement and service in the field of Family Law and to the Academy.

AAML takes great pride in recognizing the achievements that advance the recognition of selected Fellows. AAML awards acknowledge the passion of a member’s lifelong professional participation in the profession of Family Law. All awardees are recognized at the Academy’s Annual Meeting each November.

Awards and Winners

The Fellow of the Year Award was first presented in 1992 and was established to honor those AAML Fellows who exhibit exemplary service to the Academy. The President selects the Fellow of the Year.

2022 – Lauren E. Waddell
2021 – Tina Roddenbery
2020- Jonathan Bates and Katherine Kinser
2019 – Thomas Sasser
2018 – Elizabeth Green Lindsey and Cary Mogerman
2017 – Virgina Albers
2016 – Carole Gailor and David Griffin
2015 – Richard Jacobs and Tom Ries
2014 – Louise Truax
2013 – David Hofstein
2012 – Guy Ferro
2011 – Maria Cognetti
2010 – Peter Walzer
2009 – G. Thomas Vick
2008 – Linda Lea Viken
2007 – James McLaren
2006 – Richard Victor
2005 – Joel Bender and Dorene Marcus
2004 – Bernie Rinella
2003 – Joy Feinberg
2002 – Sanford Dranoff
2001 – Marlene Moses
2000 – Stephen Sessums
1999 – Steve Harhai
1998 – Gary Nickelson and Mary Jo McCurley
1997 – Cheryl Hepfer
1996 – Joy Feinberg
1995 – Sanford Dranoff
1994 – Leonard Loeb
1993 – Stephen Schlissel
1992 – James Friedman


The Professionalism Award was first presented in 2016 and was established to honor those AAML Fellows who have elevated the practice of matrimonial law and consistently demonstrated a very high level of commitment. They have practiced in a principled manner and always have been civil, cooperative and respectful to opposing counsel, witnesses, third parties and the court. Nominations are made by Fellows to the Professionalism & Collegiality Committee. All nominations are due by September 1st of each year.


The Public Service Award was first presented in 2018 and was established to honor those AAML Fellows that serve through their commitment to the field of family through scholarship, community service, and writing. The President selects the Public Service Award.

2022 – Kiilu Davis
2022 – Gary M. Rosen
2021 – Dawn Smith and Ronique B. Robinson
2020 – Thomas W. Wolfrum
2019 – Not Awarded
2018 – Mary Kay Kisthardt

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AAML is a welcoming group of accomplished family lawyers who are approachable role models and eager allies to help you advance your family law career.
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