Nellie L. King Honored with Prestigious Women in Leadership Award from Executive Women of the Palm Beaches
Mrs. King received the Women in Leadership Award, Private Sector, from the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches on May 11, 2017, at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. King was honored for her role in President Barack Obama’s historic clemency initiative, which sought to right the wrongs of minimum-mandatory sentencing policies.
The Obama Administration announced its intent to balance past sentencing inequities through clemency review after a shift in more recent federal policy lowered sentences for certain drug offenses. Working through Clemency Project 2014, a work group including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and defender organizations, King’s role was in the recruitment of volunteer lawyers to draft petitions for submission to the White House. In total, 1,715 men and women were granted clemency as a result of President Obama’s initiative.
King shared the results of this clemency effort with event attendees: “The savings in financial terms is estimated at $ 427,000,000. More importantly, the human capital savings estimate is the most staggering: considering an 80-year life span, 13,665 years were reduced, allowing these men and women to be reunited with their families. Many of them had been sentenced to life in prison despite having little or no prior criminal history and they simply had no hope.” Motivated by the “monumental, longstanding injustice of draconian sentencing guidelines and the disparate racial impact the war on drugs had on minority communities,”
King called on community leaders to continue to examine policies which result in the mass incarceration of thousands of American citizens for nonviolent drug offenses.
In nominating King for the Women in Leadership Award, attorney Eunice Baros stated, “Nellie is a change-maker and her mark on this community is deep… she sincerely believes her job also entails changing the system through passionate advocacy, a commitment to volunteerism, and via mentorship of young lawyers who likewise aspire to facilitate change.”
Discussing NACDL's involvement in Clemency Project 2014, Nellie King delivers her acceptance speech upon winning the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Women in Leadership Awards, Private Sector, May 11, 2017.
Posted by The Law Offices of Nellie L. King, P.A. on Monday, May 15, 2017
Nellie L. King has been recognized by her peers as a leader within the criminal defense bar. In 2011-2012, Ms. King was elected President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. FACDL, an organization proudly described as “Liberty’s Last Champion,” is the preeminent voluntary bar association for lawyers practicing criminal defense in the State of Florida. Ms. King is committed to the ideals espoused by FACDL, an organization which strives to advance the knowledge of criminal defense practitioners, promote the proper administration of criminal justice and encourage the integrity and independence of the criminal defense bar. Ms. King is also a Past President and Board Member of the Palm Beach Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
In 2012, Ms. King was elected to the Board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the nationwide organization dedicated to ensuring justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. Founded in 1958, NACDL has approximately 10,000 members in 28 countries. In February 2012, Ms. King testified at a regional hearing of NACDL’s Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status after Conviction about Florida’s draconian policies relating to rights restoration. She is also a frequent lecturer on criminal law topics, having presented at NACDL’s 2012 Midwinter Meeting and Seminar on the topic, “Beyond Registration: Collateral Consequences of a Sex Crimes Conviction,” as well as at NACDL’s Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference on the topic of juvenile sentencing issues.
Ms. King was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in June 2012. The award was presented to Nellie for her significant achievements and contributions to the legal profession and community, as well as for her leadership contributions which serve to inspire the students of UMW. While studying at Mary Washington, Nellie served as President of the Honor Council, twice receiving a Board of Visitors Citation for her service and leadership to the institution. Ms. King currently serves on the Mary Washington Alumni Board of Directors and leads UMW’s South and Central Florida Regional Alumni Network.
Ms. King also believes in giving back to the local community. Ms. King currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Boys’ Town South Florida and she is the current Chair of the Court Systems Task Force for the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission. Ms. King is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County, Class of 2004, and she subsequently was elected to the Board of that organization from 2004-2008. Ms. King also served on the inaugural Board of the Women’s Foundation of Palm Beach County, an organization which invests in women and girls to encourage their leadership and positively affect their economic, political and social status. Ms. King is also actively associated with the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Association of Women Lawyers and the Palm Beach County Bar Association.
Ms. King is admitted to practice in the Florida Bar, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Ms. King is a graduate of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where she majored in International Affairs/Russian Studies. Ms. King then graduated from Nova Southeastern University Law School, where she won the Feinrider Moot Court Competition for her oratory skills, as well as various trial advocacy awards.
Law School Highlights
1994 – Winner of the Martin A. Feinreider Memorial Intramural Moot Court Competition
1995 – Selected by law school faculty to represent Nova Southeastern at the Nationals Moot Court Competition in Atlanta, GA
1995 – Member of University team selected to participate in the Robert Orseck Memorial Moot Court Competition sponsored by the Florida Bar
1990-1992 – Elected by the student body to serve as President of the Mary Washington College Honor Council
1988-1990 – Elected by the student body to serve as a Representative of the Mary Washington College Honor Council
1991 and 1992 – Board of Visitors Citation – Recognized by Mary Washington College’s governing body for service and leadership, specifically for implementing a revised Honor Constitution
1991-1992 – Awarded the Shirley L. and Jean D. White Scholarship by the President of Mary Washington College for leadership and service to the institution
1992 – Pi Sigma Alpha – Member of this prestigious Honorary for International Affairs majors
1991-1992 – Mortar Board – Member of the Cap and Gown Chapter of this highly competitive scholarship, leadership and honor society
1990, 1991 – Summer Leadership Scholarship
High School Accomplishments
1987-1988 – Class President
1986-1987 – Class President
1987 – 1988 – National Honor Society