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July 28, 2023

Lawyer, author, podcast host Jill Wine-Banks to receive 2023 ABA Margaret Brent Award

CHICAGO, July 28, 2023 — Lawyer Jill Wine-Banks, MSNBC contributor, “Watergate Girl” author and podcast host, is a recipient of the 2023 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Wine-Banks will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, at a ceremony and reception at 3-5:30 p.m. MDT on Sunday, August 6, at the Hyatt Regency Denver during the 2023 ABA Annual Meeting.

In addition to Wine-Banks, the 2023 award recipients include Hon. Sabrina S. McKenna, Melissa Murray, Yvette Ostolaza and Deborah Willig.

“These five distinguished lawyers are role models for all women in the legal profession. We honor their achievements and look forward to celebrating with them at the 2023 Margaret Brent Awards ceremony,” said Commission member Victoria Alvarez, co-chair of the Margaret Brent Awards committee.

Wine-Banks began her legal career as the first woman to serve as an organized crime prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Less than five years later, she was named one of the three assistant Watergate special prosecutors for the obstruction of justice trial against top aides to U.S. President Richard Nixon.

Wine-Banks served as general counsel of the U.S. Army and as Illinois’ first solicitor general and first female deputy attorney general and as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Bar Association.

She also served in executive positions for Motorola and Maytag, Winning Workplaces and Chicago Public Schools.

Wine-Banks is the author of “The Watergate Girl,” and is a member of the board of the Better Government Association. She previously served on the boards of the ACLU, the Veterans Art Museum, Executive Service Corps and Roosevelt University, among others.

She has received numerous awards, including several from the Department of Justice and the highest civilian award given by the United States Department of the Army, as well as awards from Illinois Legal Aid Online, the Girl Scouts, the YWCA, the Women’s Bar Association and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who in America.

Wine-Banks earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a law degree at Columbia Law School.

For a photo of Jill Wine-Banks, click here.

The 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 other women in the profession. 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.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.