Alameda County
Bar Association

Distinguished Service Award Recipients 

ACBA 2015 Distinguished Service Award RecipientsThe Alameda County Bar Association is pleased to present our 2015 Distinguished Service Award Recipients. All of these award recipients represent tremendous service to the community, whether through acting as mentors, demonstrating leadership, fostering a dynamic social network for new lawyers, partnering with the local community to make our streets safer, or by continuing to provide valuable public services in the face of limited resources.

Please join us on January 15th to honor their service at the ACBA 2015 Installation and Distinguished Service Awards Reception.

Judge Victoria KolakowskiDistinguished Service Award for Judge:

Judge Victoria Kolakowski, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda

Before winning her seat on the Alameda County bench, Judge Kolakowski practiced law for more than twenty years in Louisiana and California in private practice. Judge Kolakowski has been active in the community, having served on the Oakland Budget Advisory Committee and the Board of the  Bay Area Transgender Law Association, and was recently appointed to the California Commission on Access to Justice as the representative of the California Council of Churches. Judge Kolakowski has been an active and engaged member of the ACBA for almost a decade, and has participated as a mentor for the ACBA East Bay Diversity Bar Coalition Judicial Mentoring Project. In addition to her law degree, Judge Kolakowski holds master’s degrees in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, public administration, and divinity.

Darryl StallworthDistinguished Service Award for Lawyer:

Darryl Stallworth, Law Office of Darryl Stallworth

A former District Attorney for Alameda County with over 50 jury trials under his belt, Daryl  moved into private criminal defense practice in 2007. Darryl  became a member of the Court Appointed Attorneys Program (CAAP) in 2010, joined the CAAP Advisory Committee in 2011, and served as the Chair of that Committee from 2012-2014. Darryl is active in the community, having served as President of the Charles Houston Bar Association, a member of the California Association of Black Lawyers, the National Bar Association, and 100 Black Men of the Bay Area. Darryl also served as a Director of the Big “C” Society at UC Berkeley, and on the NCAA Gender Equity Certification Committee, and worked with the Institute for the Study and Development of Legal Societies (ISDLS).

Lauren PoweDistinguished Service Award for New Lawyer:

Lauren Powe, Bennett, Samuelsen, Reynolds, Allard, Cowperthwaite & Gelini

Lauren is an associate with Bennett, Samuelsen, Reynolds, Allard, Cowperthwaite & Gelini, where her practice includes personal injury, toxic tort defense, and general civil and trial practice. Lauren is an active member of ACBA, having served as Chair of the Barristers Section Executive Committee in 2014, and  a member of the Trial Practice Section. Lauren is a member of the Earl Warren American Inn of Court and the Charles Houston Bar Association.

GJELL Distinguished Service Award for Law Firm:

Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey

Founded in 1972, Gillin, Jacobson, Ellis, Larsen & Lucey (GJELL) is consistently rated as one of the top law firms nationwide by judges and other lawyers and was featured on the 2013 cover of “Northern California’s Best Lawyers” Magazine. GJELL attorneys represent victims of auto accidents, injured cyclists, and pedestrians who have been struck by motorists. They also make it a top priority to attack these issues on another level, by working with local non-profits to help make Bay Area streets safer for everyone. GJELL supports the Alameda County legal community as an ACBA Leadership Firm and a VLSC Guardian of Justice.

Alameda County Law LibraryDistinguished Service Award for Community Organization:

Alameda County Law Library

Established in 1891, the Alameda County Law Library is a resource to the legal community, professionals in other fields, and the general public of Alameda County. The Library provides access to current legal resources in books and premium databases, including  attorney practice guides and self-help books. The Alameda County Law Library serves thousands of patrons annually, providing invaluable resources to the community by offering a meaningful access to the justice system for people who might not have the means to seek legal help elsewhere through programs like Lawyers in the Library.

Lateefah_headshotKeynote Speaker:

Lateefah Simon, The Rosenberg Foundation

Lateefah Simon is the director of the Rosenberg Foundation’s California’s Future Initiative, which seeks to change the odds for women and children in the state. A longtime advocate for low-income young women and girls and for juvenile and criminal justice reform, at the age of 19, Ms. Simon was appointed Executive Director of the Center for Young Women’s Development (CYWD) in San Francisco. CYWD is the nation’s first economic and gender justice organization solely run for and by low-income and formerly incarcerated young women. After an 11-year tenure as Executive Director, Ms. Simon led the creation of San Francisco’s first Reentry Services Division under the leadership of District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. As Division Director, Ms. Simon led a strategic citywide public/private partnership effort aimed at providing concrete pathways to prevent young adults charged with low-level felony drug sales from returning to a life of crime, including the Back on Track Program, which serves as a national model. Looking for more information on Lateefah Simon? Read her ACBA Blog profile here.

Be sure to purchase your ticket today to celebrate these exemplary lawyers and organizations and to hear social justice visionary Lateefah Simon speak at the ACBA Installation and Distinguished Service Awards Reception. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased individually or as a group of ten.  For tickets and more information on the Distinguished Service Award recipients, please visit or contact Whitney Ward at (510) 302-2209 or

What: 2015 ACBA Installation and Distinguished Service Awards Reception
When: January 15, 2015, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Waterfront Hotel, Spinnaker Ballroom, Jack London Square