The American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession has chosen five female lawyers to receive its 2019 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. These women, selected for their professional excellence and their work to support other women in the legal profession, will be honored at a luncheon during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco on Sunday, Aug. 11.
The honorees are:
- Raquel Aldana, associate vice chancellor for academic diversity and professor of law at the University of California, Davis.
- Michelle Banks, senior adviser and executive coach at BarkerGilmore in San Francisco.
- Kelly M. Dermody, office managing partner and employment practice group chairperson at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein in San Francisco.
- Hon. Judith McConnell, administrative presiding justice, Court of Appeal; Fourth Appellate District in San Diego.
- Julie A. Su, secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency in Sacramento.
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.
Previous recipients range from small-firm practitioners to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Honorees are selected on the basis of their professional accomplishments and their role in opening doors for other women lawyers.