Mark Surprenant to Receive the 2020 St. Ives Award

The Loyola College of Law Alumni Association will honor Mark Surprenant, J.D. ‘77 with the 2020 St. Ives Award at its annual Alumni Luncheon on February 7. The recipient of numerous awards and distinctions for both his litigation practice and community service work, Mark Surprenant, J.D. ‘77  is an outstanding example of commitment to the legal profession and furthering the cause of the College of Law. 


Mark’s dedication to volunteerism and community service goes back many years. In 1988, he created H.U.G.S. (Hope, Understanding, Giving, Support)—the Adams and Reese corporate philanthropy program—and he established the firm’s official pro bono program in 2002. He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors for The Pro Bono Project in New Orleans, and as a member of the Board of St. Andrew’s Village and the Catholic Foundation. Mark is a recognized leader in the legal community, being elected Vice President of the New Orleans Bar Foundation for 2018–2019. Mark now serves as president of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS), which operates six offices throughout the state and is the largest provider of legal services for low-income people in Louisiana. “Guiding SLLS in its mission to ensure access to justice for all is an honor and a privilege for me as a lawyer who has been dedicated to these causes throughout my career,” says Mark. “As lawyers, we have the power to transform lives and help the most vulnerable people in our communities.”


Mark is also a co-founder of SOLACE, Inc. (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel All Concern Encouraged), a statewide volunteer organization with approximately 17,000 members in Louisiana and chapters in more than 25 states. SOLACE primarily assists those in the legal community who have experienced a significant, potentially life-changing event in their lives. Mark is also a member of both the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Access to Justice and Legal Services Committee and the Louisiana Access to Justice Commission. In both entities he was instrumental in starting a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellows Program.


In 2018, Mark was named a Hall of Fame Activist by the St. Elizabeth’s Guild in recognition of his commitment to helping those in need in the New Orleans area. Mark has also received the "Leadership in Law" award from New Orleans CityBusiness (2015); David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, Louisiana State Bar Association (2014); Loving Cup Award from The Times-Picayune (2013); William Reece Smith, Jr. Special Services Pro Bono Award from the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals (2013); Pro Bono Award from the Legal Services Corporation (2013); the Distinguished Donor Award from The Pro Bono Project (2012); Friend of Pro Bono Award from The Pro Bono Project (2011); Presidents Award from the New Orleans Bar Association (2010); Camille F. Gavel, Jr. Pro Bono Award from the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (2008); the Leah Hipple McKay Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteerism from the Louisiana State Bar Association (2008); and “Role Model of the Year” by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans.


A 1977 graduate of the Loyola College of Law, Mark Suprenant has served the university as a former Law Alumni Association president and volunteer adjunct faculty member. He coordinated the law class of 1977’s 40th reunion and helps steward the Law Class of 1977 Endowed Scholarship Fund.

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