The Maine Board of Bar Examiners bestows the July 2017 LAURIE A. GIBSON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE to
Jacobus P. van der Ven
Yale Law School, May 2017.
This award honors the memory of Laurie A. Gibson, a key member of the Maine Board of Bar Examiners from 1989 to 2005, serving as chair from 2000 to 2003. It is given to the applicant who obtained the highest score on the essay portion of the Maine Bar Examination.
During her tenure, Laurie reorganized and modernized the admissions process and wrote numerous articles on bar admission issues. She also represented the board on briefs and in arguments before the Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court in a number of proceedings. Even during the seven years after leaving the board, until her untimely death in 2012, she remained a signature figure in bar admissions.
After clerking for then-Chief Justice Robert Clifford of the Maine Superior Court, Laurie had a distinguished career in private practice, and then, during the last 19 years of her life, as the principal of Lawyers Assistance Group, the first law firm in Maine to offer contract writing services to other lawyers. Laurie was a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Maine School of Law. She was a member of the National Conference of Bar Examiners Committee on Multi State Performance Test Policy and a member of the subcommittee on Bar Admissions of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
Laurie served on the Maine Bar Journal’s Editorial Advisory Committee from 1989-2001. She was appointed as the reporter for the Maine Civil Rules Committee in 2009 and as a trustee for the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection in 2010. She was a serious student of yoga, eventually receiving her certification as a registered yoga instructor in 2008.
The Board hopes that the recipients of this award will be inspired by Laurie’s life.