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July 21, 2021 CWP News

2021 Brent Honorees Announced

The Commission on Women in the Profession is proud to announce the recipients of the 31st Annual Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards. The award was established in 1991 to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women lawyers. Each year, this award honors up to five outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence in their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for other women lawyers. These women demonstrate excellence in a variety of professional settings and personify excellence on either the national, regional, or local level. The honorees will receive the award during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, August 5, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. CT, as part of the events at the 2021 ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting.

The 2021 Margaret Brent Awards honorees are:

  • Hon. Irma Gonzalez—U.S. district judge, retired, San Diego, CA
  • Joan Haratani—partner, Morgan Lewis, San Francisco, CA
  • Joyce Hughes—professor of law, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, IL
  • Pamela Karlan—principal deputy assistant attorney general, Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; co-director, Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford Law School; Washington, DC
  • Ellen Rosenblum—Oregon attorney general, Oregon Department of Justice, Salem, OR

Information about how to support the Commission and its 2021 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards can be found at Support opportunities are available through July 23, 2021.

The Commission thanks Goodwin Procter LLP for its generous support as a Silver Commission sponsor, which allows the Commission to move forward with its project and activities such as the 2021 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards. A full list of supporters can be found at

Individual tickets for the 31st Annual Margaret Brent virtual ceremony are now available for $30 as part of the registration process for the ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting, which can be found at

Margaret Brent, the namesake of the Brent Awards, was 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. More than 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.”

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