ABA announces winners of Margaret Brent Award

Lynn Nakamoto, a justice on the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem, Ore., is a recipient of the American Bar Association's 2017 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Nakamoto will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the New York Hilton Midtown at the ABA Annual Meeting in New York. In addition to Nakamoto, the 2017 award recipients include Nancy Duff Campbell, Hon. Bernice Bouie Donald, Lauren Stiller Rikleen and Nadine Strossen.

"We are honored to recognize this spectacular group of women. We applaud their achievements, knowing that their efforts will inspire a new generation of women lawyers," said Michele Coleman Mayes, chair of the ABA Commission on Women, of this year's Brent winners. Previous honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justice Nakamoto is a long-standing trailblazer in the Asian Pacific American community. In 2016, she became the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court. Five years earlier, in 2011, she became the first Asian Pacific American to serve as a judge on any Oregon state or federal appellate court. She started her career as one of the first Asian Pacific American women litigators in Oregon and was the first Asian Pacific American female managing partner at a Portland, Ore., law firm.

Nakamoto is an active advocate and mentor to many young women and Asian Pacific American lawyers and is a founding member of the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association. She has received numerous awards throughout her career for her contributions to the Asian Pacific American legal community, including the Daniel K. Inouye NAPABA Trailblazer Award in 2013.

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The Hon. Bernice Bouie Donald, circuit judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Memphis, Tenn., is a recipient of the American Bar Association's 2017 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Donald will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the New York Hilton Midtown at the ABA Annual Meeting in New York. In addition to Donald, the 2017 award recipients include Nancy Duff Campbell, Hon. Lynn Nakamoto, Lauren Stiller Rikleen and Nadine Strossen.

"We are honored to recognize this spectacular group of women. We applaud their achievements, knowing that their efforts will inspire a new generation of women lawyers," said Michele Coleman Mayes, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, of this year's Brent winners. Previous honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Judge Donald is the first African American to serve on the Sixth Circuit. Prior to her confirmation in 2011, she was the first African-American female jurist on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee (1996-2011), the first African-American woman bankruptcy judge in the U.S. (1988-96) and the first African-American female judge in Tennessee when elected in 1982.

Donald served as president of the National Association of Women Judges (1990-91), where she developed a curriculum to teach women how to position themselves for election in states or how to develop as lawyers to be qualified candidates for appointment to judgeships. She has worked tirelessly to mentor women and provide opportunities for and advance the careers of women and women of color in the legal profession, including taking an active role in leadership positions in numerous legal organizations.

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Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women's Law Center, is a recipient of the American Bar Association's 2017 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Campbell will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the New York Hilton Midtown at the ABA Annual Meeting in New York. In addition to Campbell, the 2017 award recipients include Hon. Bernice Bouie Donald, Hon. Lynn Nakamoto, Lauren Stiller Rikleen and Nadine Strossen.

"We are honored to recognize this spectacular group of women. We applaud their achievements, knowing that their efforts will inspire a new generation of women lawyers," said Michele Coleman Mayes, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, of this year's Brent winners. Previous honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

A co-founder of the National Women's Law Center, Campbell has participated for more than 45 years in the development and implementation of key legislative initiatives and litigation protecting women's rights, with an emphasis on issues affecting low-income women and their families. Her career includes involvement in three of the most important social and legal movements of our time civil rights, rights of the poor and women's rights.

Campbell has served as counsel in landmark litigation expanding women's opportunities and has been a leader in securing significant legislation for women and their families. She has worked tirelessly to recruit highly qualified women lawyers for positions in the federal government and has used her connections and advocacy skills to ensure greater diversity in high government ranks.

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Nadine Strossen, the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School, is a recipient of the American Bar Association's 2017 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Strossen will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the New York Hilton Midtown during the ABA Annual Meeting in New York. In addition to Strossen, the 2017 award recipients include Judge Lynn Nakamoto, Judge Bernice Bouie Donald, Nancy Duff Campbell and Lauren Stiller Rikleen.

"We are honored to recognize this spectacular group of women. We applaud their achievements, knowing that their efforts will inspire a new generation of women lawyers," said Michele Coleman Mayes, chair of the ABA Commission on Women. Previous honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Strossen has practiced, written and lectured extensively in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties, women's rights, and international human rights for more than 40 years. She is widely known as a First Amendment scholar and advocate for the freedoms of religion, conscience and speech. From 1991-2008, she served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the first woman to head the organization.

Strossen has made countless presentations at campuses around the country to motivate and inspire young women, conveying to them the importance of breaking into a male-dominated profession and working for public interest causes. Through her guidance and outreach as a professor at New York Law School since 1988, many of her former students and research assistants have secured positions within the legal profession, including civil liberties and human rights organizations.

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Lauren Stiller Rikleen, president of Rikleen Strategic Leadership in Wayland, Mass., is a recipient of the American Bar Association's 2017 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Rikleen will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the New York Hilton Midtown during the ABA Annual Meeting in New York. In addition to Rikleen, the award recipients include Judge Lynn Nakamoto, Judge. Bernice Bouie Donald, Nancy Duff Campbell and Nadine Strossen.

"We are honored to recognize this spectacular group of women. We applaud their achievements, knowing that their efforts will inspire a new generation of women lawyers," said Michele Coleman Mayes, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. Previous honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Rikleen is a nationally recognized expert on developing a thriving, diverse and multigenerational workforce. A prolific author, her works include "Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women's Success in the Law" and "Power of the Purse: How General Counsel Can Impact Pay Equity for Women Lawyers." Following a successful practice in environmental law, Rikleen founded the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership in 2011 and joined the Boston College Center for Work & Family as a visiting scholar.

Whether in private practice or through her extensive activities in national, state and local legal and community organizations, Rikleen has championed gender equity and gender pay equity in the legal profession, worked to advance women lawyers into leadership positions and minimize the impact of unconscious bias, and fought to remove barriers to women's success in the legal profession.

The ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established in 1991, honors outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence in their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for others. The award is named for Margaret Brent, the first woman lawyer in America. Brent arrived in the colonies in 1638, and was involved in 124 court cases in more than eight years, winning every case. In 1648, she formally demanded a vote and voice in the Maryland Assembly, which the governor denied.

Published: Thu, Aug 10, 2017

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