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2016 Robert F. Drinan Award

Honoring Estelle H. Rogers

The Section proudly presented Section Delegate Estelle H. Rogers with the 2016 Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service at a reception on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, during the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego, California.

The award, named in honor of the late Father Robert F. Drinan, a former member of Congress who chaired the Section in 1990-91, recognizes individuals whose sustained and extraordinary commitment to the Section has advanced its mission of providing leadership to the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties, and social justice.

Estelle has been an integral part of the Section for decades. She was first appointed as co-chair of our Women's Rights Committee and played a key role in the multi-year House of Delegates consideration of reproductive rights. In 1990, she was elected to the Section's Council and from 1996 to 1999 served as Section Delegate. She resumed her position as Section Delegate in 2012 and was re-elected in 2015.

"Since 1987, when I became co-chair of the Women's Rights Committee of IRR, the Section has been my gateway and my home in the ABA. No one, least of all me, would have believed I could become an ABA leader--or as some people say, a bar junkie--if they had met me in my law school years or in my early career. The organized bar was the farthest thing from my concept of myself as a lawyer. But little by little, I found a niche for myself and for progressive values in the ABA, due in no small part to the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (now Civil Rights and Social Justice)."

Within the ABA, Estelle also chairs the Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs and co-chairs the Women's Caucus. Her past ABA experience has included service on the Standing Committee on Election Law, the Commission on Women in the Profession, the Death Penalty Representation Project, and the ABA Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law, which she chaired. She is also a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.