Attorneys win state bar awards


Bruce Courtade. Courtesy Rhoades McKee

Two West Michigan attorneys will be honored by the State Bar of Michigan this month.

Bruce Courtade and Miriam Aukerman will each be given awards on Sept. 26 at the State Bar of Michigan NEXT Conference in Grand Rapids.

Courtade is a VP and shareholder at Rhoades McKee's Grand Rapids office.

Aukerman is a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, and she manages the ACLU’s West Michigan office.

A standing awards committee made up of 19 attorneys from across the state recommended awards recipients to the State Bar of Michigan after reviewing the nominees’ qualifications.

Bruce Courtade

Courtade will receive the Roberts P. Hudson Award.

The award honors an attorney who has shown an “unselfish rendering of outstanding and unique service to and on behalf of the State Bar of Michigan, the legal profession and the public.”

Courtade has served the State Bar of Michigan for 20 years: as president; member of the Board of Commissioners; chair of the Representative Assembly; and member of the Representative Assembly.

He practices commercial litigation and mediation and construction law.

Courtade also serves on the board for Metro Health – University of Michigan Health Hospital and several committees of the Grand Rapids Chamber.

He holds a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.

Miriam Aukerman

Aukerman will receive The Champion of Justice Award.

The award is given to a practicing lawyer and judge "of integrity and adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, superior professional competence and an extraordinary professional accomplishment that benefits the nation, the state or the local community.”

Aukerman focuses on immigrants’ rights, poverty and criminal law.

A couple of her successful cases include Barry v. Lyon, which resulted in the return of $50 million in wrongfully withheld food assistance to low-income families, and One Michigan v. Johnson, which led the Michigan Secretary of State to issue driver licenses to immigrant youth who have lawful status under the DACA, or dreamers, program.

She holds a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Cornell University, a law degree, summa cum laude, from the New York University Law School and a master’s degree, with honors, from Oxford University.

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