SMRLS' Staff Receive Becker Awards

May 9, 2019

The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) held its annual Bernard P. Becker Legal Services Awards ceremony at the MSBA Assembly on Friday, April 26, 2019. 

The Becker awards are presented annually to attorneys, paralegals, administrators or other staff employed by a private, non-profit agency that provides legal services to low-income eligible clients. 

The MSBA honored SMRLS’ staff members, Jocylyn PoehlerSteve Wolfe, and Georgia Sherman, with three Becker awards, marking the first time that their respective awards were given to staff all belonging to the same organization. 

[Pictured right: Georgia Sherman, Jocylyn Poehler, Steve Wolfe]

group photo cropped.jpg

Steve Wolfe, former Metro Region Sr. Leadership Attorney, received the 2019 Legacy of Excellence Award in honor of his stellar career as a long-time legal aid attorney. Steve retired from his full-time duties in October 2018 after 36 years at SMRLS, but he continues to provide temporary support to SMRLS staff.

“I really appreciate receiving a ‘Bernard Becker’ award, particularly as I transition out of SMRLS and legal services work. Seeing my name included with so many people I admire so much who have received Becker awards over the years means a lot to me,” Steve said.


Jocylyn Poehler, Lead Family Law Attorney for the Southeast Region, received the 2019 Emerging Leader Award in recognition of her steadfast and growing leadership at SMRLS.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award. I want to dedicate this award to my colleagues at SMRLS and the other legal services organizations throughout Minnesota, whom I know all work so hard to help our clients,” Jocylyn says. “It was especially meaningful for me to receive this award fifteen years to the day that my father passed away. My father encouraged me to find a career that would be fulfilling, and I know that he is looking down with pride.”


Georgia Sherman, Supervising Legal Secretary in St. Paul, received the 2019 Staff/Advocate Award for her exemplary 40 year career with SMRLS. Georgia joined SMRLS in 1977 as a Clerk Typist. Today, Georgia conducts client screenings, supervises 10 staff members, and manages daily operations of the office.

“I am proud to be a part of a group of people who continue to give a voice to those without a voice,” Georgia says about her time with SMRLS.


Georgia was recently featured in a written series chronicling SMRLS’ 110 year anniversary. Click here to learn more.

SMRLS sincerely thanks Steve, Jocylyn, and Georgia for demonstrating justice matters through their unparalleled commitment to their clients and colleagues at SMRLS.

Leave Site