Honorees receiving the Margaret Brent Award have achieved professional excellence in their field and
- influenced other woman to pursue legal careers,
- opened doors for women lawyers in a variety of job settings that historically were closed to them, and/or
- advanced opportunities for women within a practice area or segment of the profession.
The Margaret Brent Awards are named for the first woman lawyer in America. She arrived in the colonies in 1638. She was a master negotiator, an accomplished litigator, and a respected leader. She was involved in 124 court cases over eight years and won every case. In 1648, she formally demanded a “vote and voice” in the Maryland Assembly, which the governor denied. Over 250 years later, Harper’s magazine noted: “By this action, Margaret Brent undoubtedly placed herself as the first woman in America to make a stand for the rights of her sex." See this video about Margaret Brent's life to understand why it is so critical that our honorees carry on her legacy!