WASHINGTON, DC—The American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession has chosen five women lawyers to receive its 2020 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The award ceremony luncheon will take place Sunday, August 2, at the Swissotel Chicago during the ABA Annual Meeting.
The honorees are:
Ruthe Catolico Ashley, executive director emeritus at California LAW, a nonprofit that has established a pipeline of diverse students from high schools, community colleges, four-year institutions and law schools into law or law-related careers.
Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, chief judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She chairs the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration in the District of Columbia and is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices and serves on its board of directors.
Deborah Epstein, law professor and co-director of Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic. Epstein has spent more than 30 years advocating for the rights of survivors of domestic violence and has represented hundreds of women in civil protection order cases. She co-chaired the D.C. Superior Court’s effort to design and implement its Domestic Violence Unit, an effort to integrate civil and criminal cases involving intimate abuse.
Wendi Lazar, partner at Outten & Golden LLP in New York, where she co-heads the firm’s Individual Practice and the Executives and Professionals Practice Group. Lazar practices in many areas of employment law with a focus on executive agreements. She also represents teams of executives, founders and partners transitioning during a sale, merger and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.
Regina Montoya, CEO and chairperson of Regina T. Montoya, PLLC in Dallas, Texas, focusing on health law. Montoya is currently writing a book about the importance of incorporating Latinos into the economic, political and social fabric of America, and she is a frequent public speaker on a wide range of issues including health care, poverty, diversity and children.
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.