The New Lawyers Section (“NLS”) of the California Lawyers Association (“CLA”) is pleased to award the 2022 Jack Berman Award of Achievement to Deeva Shah. The New Lawyers Section annually confers the Jack Berman Award of Achievement to recognize a new or young lawyer within their first eight years of practice. The award recognizes distinguished service to the public, the judiciary or the legal profession. This year’s pool of nominees were extremely competitive, and NLS thanks and recognizes everyone who submitted nominations.
About Deeva Shah
Ms. Shah is an associate attorney at the Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP (“KVP”) representing clients in all facets of commercial litigation, including intellectual property, legal malpractice, and contract disputes.
In the face of significant professional risk, Ms. Shah has dedicated the last five years to advocating for reforms in one of our nation’s oldest, most revered institutions and the cornerstone of our democracy, the federal judicial system. Shortly into Deeva’s clerkship at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, two female colleagues shared with her that they had experienced sexual harassment on the job.
Their stories moved Ms. Shah to co-found Law Clerks for Workplace Accountability, an organization whose mission is to ensure that the federal judiciary provides a safe workplace environment, free of harassment, for all employees. She has spoken at panels all over the country on these issues and is regarded as a thought leader in the space. In February 2020, Ms. Shah testified to the House Judiciary Committee about the conditions in the federal courts that make harassment possible, and explained why the existing mechanisms are not adequate to prevent or remedy misconduct that occurs.
Ms. Shah earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and B.A. in political and social thought from the University of Virginia. Ms. Shah is a first-generation college student originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ms. Shah stated that she was humbled and honored to receive NLS’ 2022 award. Ms. Shah believes that “aside from bringing attention to reform efforts in the federal judicial system, the Jack Berman Award highlights to the importance of diversity in the judiciary and in our profession.”
About the Award
NLS established this prestigious award in 1992 in memory of Jack Berman. Mr. Berman was a young attorney who performed outstanding service to both the public and the profession before he tragically died in a shooting in San Francisco. The Award honors his dedicated service to issues of concern to the profession, especially to young lawyers.
In conferring the award, the NLS Executive Committee considers projects or service to the public, the judiciary, and/or the legal profession that the nominee has taken part in or spearheaded. To be eligible, an awardee must be an active California attorney in their first eight years of practice. The projects or services may –but need not be—pro bono. The award is intended to recognize an early-career lawyer for their individual achievements and contributions.
The 2022 Jack Berman award will be conferred to Ms. Shah by the CLA Board of Directors at the CLA Annual Meeting on September 14, 2022.