Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, chief judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, is one of five recipients of the 2020 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. Blackburne-Rigsby chairs the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration in the District of Columbia and is a member of the Conference of Chief Justices and serves on its board of directors. She also chairs the Committee on Public Engagement, Trust and Confidence of the Conference of Chief Justices. She graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and earned her law degree from Howard University School of Law, graduating in the top five percent of her class.
The American Bar Association 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. The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession selects the annual awardees.