2016 Claude Pepper Award Recipients
The Claude Pepper Award is a Florida Bar award, granted to an individual at The Florida Bar’s annual meeting each June. The Claude Pepper Award is presented to government lawyers typically with at least 10 years of service, whose character and accomplishments exemplify the highest ideals of government service. Recipients are well-rounded lawyers, whose importance to their agency or employer is irrefutable. This award looks for more than just a single even if remarkable event, instead seeking out lawyers demonstrating annual contributions over time and commitment to public service and the public interest. The recipient is determined by a consensus of the President of The Florida Bar, the Chair of the Government Lawyer Section and the Chair of the Claude Pepper Award Committee of the Government Lawyer Section, as advised by the Claude Pepper Award Nominating Committee appointed by the Chair of the Government Lawyer Section.
Mary Ellen Clark is a Senior Assistant Attorney General, serving in the Administrative Law Bureau in the Tallahassee Office of Attorney General for the past 13 years, and represents multiple professional licensure boards as their general counsel. She began her 21 years of public service as a prosecuting attorney for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and later worked for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, including tenure as a Hearing Officer within the Division of Motor Vehicles. An A-V rated lawyer and dedicated professional, Mary Ellen has volunteered her time to improve the legal profession as the Chair of the Government Lawyer Section of The Florida Bar, President of the Florida Government Bar Association, President of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers, and as a member of state and national committees related to accounting rules and professional ethics. She is the recipient of a 2012 Leader in the Law Award from the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Finally, within her Tallahassee community, Mary Ellen has served the Board of the Friends of Maclay Gardens and the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program.