WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

Five women honored with 2020 Margaret Brent award

July 13, 2020

Five women with legal careers spanning nonprofit work, private practice, law school leadership and the judiciary will receive the 2020 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. The award was established in 1991 to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of female lawyers who have achieved professional excellence within their specialty and paved the way for other women. 

Margaret Brent Award honorees (left to right): Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Deborah Epstein, Wendi Lazar and Regina Montoya.

Margaret Brent Award honorees (left to right): Ruthe Catolico Ashley, Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Deborah Epstein, Wendi Lazar and Regina Montoya.

American Bar Association photo

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Margaret Brent Awards ceremony will be held as a virtual event at 4 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Aug. 27. For tickets and registration information, visit the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession Margaret Brent Awards page.

“We applaud the achievements of this amazing group of women, knowing they’ll inspire all of us in the legal profession and the next generation of women lawyers,” said Stephanie Scharf, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

2020 Brent honorees include:

  • 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. 
  • Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, chief judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.
  • Deborah Epstein, a law professor who has served as co-director of Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic for more than 25 years.
  • Wendi Lazar, a partner at Outten & Golden LLP in New York, who co-heads the firm’s Individual Practice and the Executives and Professionals Practice Group, representing women in employment negotiations, partnership agreements, pay equity and discrimination issues.
  • Regina Montoya, CEO of Regina T. Montoya PLLC, a health law firm in Dallas. Montoya served as vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and was the chair of the Dallas Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty.

Previous recipients of the award include U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  

Related links: